GHEC 2012 is a leadership conference for movement leaders, parents, and policy makers interested in home education.
Home education is the fastest growing form of basic education today. Just as school was an innovation of the early industrial society, home education is the pedagogical innovation of the early knowledge society. Home education has surprised researchers with its excellent results, both academically and socially. University admission officers are amazed. Slowly a new understanding of learning and development is unfolding which in time will change the way we view education. No one knows how education will look in the mature knowledge society, but home education will supply a key understanding to future learning. Most likely we will see a pluralism of different forms of learning for basic education.
Why a Global Conference on Home Education?
Just as in previous historical social shifts, misconceptions are easily born. Today home education is legal in most democratic countries, but not yet all. Home education needs to state to the world that it is a form of learning whose time has come as a valid form of basic education among others. That is what the Global Home Education Conference (GHEC) 2012 intends to do.
Home education is a fundamental human right
The right of parents to exercise control over and to have choices regarding the form of education their children receive is a fundamental and basic human right. This right is recognized by various international human rights documents, including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights , as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The reason for this is critically important: when the government exercises a monopoly over education, this forecloses freedom and liberty and contributes to a totalitarian society. Internationally renowned education professors Drs. Charles Glenn and Jan DeGroof have written that to deny parents this fundamental right is "unjust and unworthy of a free society." No one knows a child better than the parents, and every child is an individual. We know today that children learn in many different ways. Home education has greatly enhanced this understanding.
As the fastest growing form of basic education today, home education is supported by a heterogeneous, global movement of parents who want the best for their children and who have found their own unique ways to educate their children.
Worthy of Respect and Protection
Although many countries protect this fundamental freedom, some still do not. And there are many governments that are simply uncertain how to proceed with this new form of education that seems highly unfamiliar to those who have been trained under compulsory school attendance.
The GHEC 2012 will attempt to present some key points of the global home education movement by presenting the scientific and legal evidence to policymakers that shows that home education is effective and contributes positively to a democratic society. It is our aim to support home education in becoming globally recognized as the valid form of education that it truly is.
Home educators are a most diverse group
We recognize that there are many different philosophies, methods and motivations for parents who choose home education. The conference focus is on none of these, but rather that regardless of reason or method, the right for parents to be free to choose this form of education for their children is fundamental and must be protected by all free societies.
GHEC 2012 makes no distinction about method of home education—whether structured or unstructured, whether for philosophical, pedagogical or religious reasons. Home educators are indeed a diverse and passionate group with many differences, but we share a defining and common belief: that parents must be protected in their fundamental human right to choose how their children are educated.
This is what we want to accomplish
By bringing together everyone with an interest in home education—whether parents, policy-makers, home education leaders, researchers and anyone else interested—we aim to influence public policy by promoting an understanding of the great value of home education and the necessity for it to be acknowledged as a human right. We also want to provide an opportunity for global leaders to connect and mutually support and encourage one another as we all seek to protect and advance this fundamental and basic human right.
When passionate and committed people come together with a common goal great things can happen. And that is exactly what we expect at the Global Home Education Conference in 2012. Please join us!