Education without Schools

Discovering Alternatives

Helen E. Lees

Education without Schools

Helen E. Lees

Distributed for Bristol University Press

192 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Cloth $120.00 ISBN: 9781447306412 Published December 2013 For sale in North and South America only
Education without Schools explores what happens when parents learn that there are legal alternatives to conventional schooling. Based on an empirical case study of families in England who discovered the possibility of elective home education, this book offers a globally relevant analysis of the state’s relationship to education, parental choice, and related human rights issues. Underscoring the fact that education occurs in many different contexts around the world, Helen E. Lees argues that schooling’s dominance has ultimately limited our ability to imagine the full range of educational possibilities. 

List of abbreviations

Notes on author


1              Setting the scene

2              Against educationism

3              Why is elective home education important?

4              The theory of the gateless gate of home education

5              Moments of discovery

6              Against discovery of education without schools

7              School exit and home education

8              Understanding discovery differences

9              Concluding remarks




Review Quotes
Michael J Reiss, Institute of Education, University of London

“Home schooling is under-researched and often misunderstood. Helen Lees’ excellent Education without Schools goes a long way to remedying this. It combines insightful empirical work with rigorous conceptual analysis. It makes a major contribution to defining the field."

Other Education
“This important and thought-provoking book makes a sustained case for an alternative to the ‘educationalist paradigm.’ . . . Above all, this is a hopeful book and one I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who understands (or could be persuaded to understand) education as, ‘a plurality of possibilities.’”
International Centre for Home Education Research
“Thoughtful and interesting to read. . . . Lees has gone further than most other writers on home education in her efforts to theorize the movement such that it becomes a coherent and viable option for twenty-first-century families.”
Family Education Trust Bulletin
“This study is a valuable and welcome contribution in an area of education which has so far received little attention from researchers in the United Kingdom.”
Harriet Pattison | Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
“Marvelous reading for those who sit on policy committees and those in Local Authorities who struggle with the dissonances between alternative philosophies and mainstream practices.”
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