Age-old battle: State versus parents in Spain
Sent Wednesday, December 22, 2010View as plaintext
Hello, , from NHERI.
am on a home-education research e-mail list with participants from all over the
world. I heard this week about a situation in Spain.
Spain, the local social services has been pressuring two families to stop
homeschooling and send their children to school. A law professor in Spain
reported this week that the Spanish Constitutional Tribunal ruled homeschooling
is not a right under Spanish law, and that children must go through a formal
educational system. The professor also said, however, there is good news in
that the Tribunal noted the option of compulsory schooling is not required by the
Constitution, but is a legislative choice. In other words, the Constitution allows
for "... legislative options to incorporate some flexibility into the education
system and, in particular, basic education." [Note 1]
is an age-old battle. Some entity has first and final authority over the
education and upbringing of children. It boils down to either the parents or
the state. Those who favor the parents typically come from either a classical
liberalism paradigm or a sacred-scripture foundation. Those promoting state
control, on the other hand, typically put their faith in the public's majority
opinion or some philosopher-king minority's view of what is good for
children/society within a governmental jurisdiction (i.e., a state). Either
position is ultimately one of faith in presuppositions.
few academics have argued that the interests or "stakeholders" are three-fold --
parents, state, and child -- rather than two-fold but this argument collapses
since the advocates of this position look to the state to decide whether the
minor child's interests are being respected. Therefore, the three stakeholders
are conflated back to two, the state and the parents.
hope and pray that the worldview promoting freedom of conscience, freedom of
expression, freedom of religion, educational choice, diversity in childrearing,
heterogeneity in teaching and learning, customization of curriculum, above-average
academic achievement, solid social, emotional, and psychological development, and
the importance of trusting parents in the education and upbringing of their
children soon holds sway in Spain.
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