The issue of the effectiveness of ´uncertificated´ parents vs ´highly trained professionals´ is sometimes also raised as a bogey to be feared. But the existing evidence suggests that the academic achievements of the homeschooled population exceed those of their public school peers. Even the National Assessment of Education Progress data published last year by the American Federation of Teachers showed a curious lack of results associated with high levels of pedagogy even within the school system itself.
Most amazing and unfounded among the fears usually raised is the concern about interpersonal skills, the socialization question. Florida researchers surveyed and observed a wide spectrum of young people in the state, public, private and homeschooled... and noted among their conclusions the fact that homeschooled children were more likely to be hospitable to a new child and to welcome them into their group activities.
If school is so beneficial to the personalities of those subjected to it, why do the recent studies of teenage girls show such horrible influences? Reviving Ophelia and Schoolgirls in the areas of emotional wellbeing and the AAUW´s study of girls´ academic and career expectations. By contrast, Sense of Self by Susannah Schaeffer, for example, documents the absence of such influences among homeschooled teenage girls.
If a few school students learned important lessons during their stay in the system, it does not follow that school is desireable. Rather their progress is testimony to learning in spite of the system. In fact the relation between messy school and messy America may not be preparatory preview but cause.
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