Evidence Base for Self-Directed Education

By Rose ArnoldSuitable-Education.uk, first published October 2021

“Self-directed education is a pedagogy grounded in biology, anthropology, cognitive science, psychology and child development. It is not claimed that self-directed education is the only way that children can learn. However, being as it is an approach based on and supported by well-established and rigorous research from across multiple disciplines, it is one which deserves respect.

This is not the experience of home educating families in England who report bias and discrimination in how local authorities treat them combined with a widespread lack of understanding. Local authorities seem to be increasingly demanding evidence of provision which looks like school – work completed, details of curriculum, subjects, objectives and aims – which is incompatible with self-directed approaches.”

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This document aims to give an overview of the research available and evidence base for self-directed education: