GHEC 2012 was a leadership conference held in Berlin 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 its time has come as a valid form of basic education, among others. That is what the Global Home Education Conference 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, and 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 Dr. Charles Glenn and Dr. Jan De Groof have written that to deny parents this fundamental right is “unjust and unworthy of a free society.” No one knows a child better than his or her 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 them.
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 is highly unfamiliar to those who have been trained under compulsory school attendance.
The GHEC 2012 will attempt to present to policy makers the scientific and legal evidence 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 of 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, or 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.
"The aspect of networking and getting to meet other home educators and people in positions of leadership was very important to us. The home educators in Kenya were in the process of setting up an entity and it was important that we met people in positions of leadership from other countries"
"The statement being made [Berlin Deceleration] was the main reason I attended, but the people I met will be the reason to go again."
"Personal talks in between the sessions and building up new relationships to others especially those who are in troubled situations [...] in Germany."
"Conference managed to accommodate all of us with our diverse background, philosophies and homeschooling methodologies! On top of that it was remarkable to the the unity in the room."
"The very fact that Berlin was chosen to host GHEC had a significant political impact and signing the Berlin Declaration - I hope - may be helpful for the countries where home education is not tolerated"
"The conference re-energized to keep the theme of home education also on the agenda of our organization to support the promotion of home education as an alternative to schooling. It is not only a promotion at the political level but also within churches and communities."
"The speakers were wonderful and it was enjoyable to be able to speak to them personally and to interact with other people from many different countries."
Michael P. Donnelly
Dr. Gerd Habermann
André de Holanda
Christer and Annie Johansson
Dr. Mareile Kirsch
Roger Kiska, JD
Dr. Tatiana Kovaleva, EdD
Chandra Montgomery Nicol
H. D. Nicolay
Brian Ray, PhD
Andreas Vogt, JD
Аналитический центр «Семейная политика.РФ» (Analytical Center for Family Policy, Russian Federation)
Asociace pro domácí vzdělávání (ADV), Czech Republic
Associação Nacional de Ensino Domiciliar, Brazil
Bulgarian Homeschooling Association
BzH—Bildung zu Hause Schweiz, Switzerland
Elimu Nyumbani, Kenya
Familiennetzwerk der Freilerner, Austria
«За права семьи» (For Family Rights, Russian Federation)
Foundation for Family and Demography, Russian Federation
Homeschool Association of the Philippine Islands
Home Education Foundation, New Zealand
«Домашнее образование в Санкт-Петербурге» (Home Education in Saint-Petersburg Club)
Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada
Home School Legal Defense Association, United States
Hungarian Home Schooling Association
Korea Christian Homeschool Association
Klub Sinau, Indonesia
Социальная сеть «Учимся дома» (Learning at Home Social Network, Russian Federation)
Libres d'Apprendre et d'Instruire Autrement (LAIA), France
MTÜ Eesti Koduõppe Keskus (Estonian Centre for Home Education)
Mujen Chinese Christian Home Educators Association (in Taiwan)
Nordic Committee for Human Rights—NKMR
Otthonoktatás—Homeschooling in Hungary
Pestalozzi Trust, South Africa
Philadelphia Schule, Germany
Rohus, The Swedish Association for Home Education
Romanian Home Schooling Association
«Россия. Семья. Дети» (Russia. Family. Children. Association)
Schulunterricht zu Hause e.V., Germany
Stowarzyszenie Edukacji Domowej, Poland
Suomen kotiopettajat, Finland
Taiwan Homeschool Advocates
TEACH Asia, Singapore
TMA Homeschool, Philippines