Essay: Distance Learning- Home Schooling, "Produce better educational results than traditional education"

Home schooled children "accomplish more academically than in traditional schools. Home schooling uses pedagogical approaches other than those typical in institutional schools, and enhance family relationships between children and parents and among siblings" (Ray, 2016)

Is home schooling giving our children certain advantage over traditional schooling system? (Ray, 2016)

Ray, 2016 said that while home schooling children a decade ago was experimental, today it is becoming a mainstream trend.

Parents of all faiths and walks of life have adopted to school their children at home due to the inherent benefits to children such an approach offers.

There is an estimated 2% to 8% annual increase of home schooled children with an estimated amount of 2.3 million presently in such ranks.

Home schooled children perform better than the average student in the social, emotional and psychological arena. Including peer interaction, self-concept, self-esteem, and other leadership skills.

Here are some facts,

"General Facts, Statistics, and Trends"

  • Homeschooling – that is, parent-led home-based education; home education – is an age-old traditional educational practice that a decade ago appeared to be cutting-edge and “alternative” but is now bordering on “mainstream” in the United States. It may be the fastest-growing form of education in the United States. Home-based education has also been growing around the world in many other nations (e.g., Australia, Canada, France, Hungary, Japan, Kenya, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom).
  • A demographically wide variety of people homeschool – these are atheists, Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas. One study shows that 32 percent of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and others (i.e., not White/non-Hispanic) (Noel, Stark, & Redford, 2013).
  • There are about 2.3 million home-educated students in the United States. This is up from one estimate that there were about 2 million children (in grades K to 12) home educated during the spring of 2010 in the United States (Ray, 2011). It appears the homeschool population is continuing to grow (at an estimated 2% to 8% per annum over the past few years).
Quote taken from: "Research Facts on Homeschoolilng". (Ray, 2016).

Are home schooled students- children or adults better trained and better prepared in terms of quality, quantity and facts?  


  Can your home-schooled children obtain a Masters or even a Ph.D or tenure at a university if they were home-schooled? or if they obtain a Distance Learning masters or doctoral degree from an accredited university?

The relatively low prices for personal computers, the invention of the Internet and the proliferation of the World Wide Web has brought significant amount of changes in the way people learn (Forcier, 1999).
In the 1800’s people earned a living my means of agriculture. In the 1900’s most people lived in industrial societies (FitzGerald & Dennis, 1999).
The 20th century, on the other hand, has become associated with information, communications and instant messages across the world. Rightly so, it has taken the name of “information age”. Individual, scholastic, and commercial success depend, almost exclusively, on information technology and communications intelligence and this is especially true since the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web (FitzGerald & Dennis, 1999).
In the early years of the 20th century and before then, it took many days, weeks, months, even years for data, information, or letters to be conveyed from one point to another. Today, it only takes a matter of seconds before data reaches another person across the globe or even across our solar system. FitzGerald & Dennis (1999) said we have learned to collapse the information lag.


Legitimate distance learning Degrees

The National Center for Educational Statistics projected the total number of doctoral awards to go from 45,200 in 1998 to a figure of 49,500 by the year 2008. (NCES Projections2, 1998).  Although the number of doctoral degrees has increased for the past 13 years, we do not know how many of those degrees have been issued by DL programs and DL institutions which grant those degrees (Lewis, 2002).

There appears to be very little literature (although this is rapidly changing) regarding the subject of distance learning and skepticism is expressed on the part of some academic personnel of traditional universities regarding the value of distance learning Ph.D. degrees.

Nevertheless, issuing graduate degrees has become a growing market for many traditional and non-traditional universities. Masters, and Doctoral degrees, once termed, “scorned” are now being looked at with more respect and acceptance and even offered by Ivy League schools (Forelle, 2002). 
Although there have been a number of studies showing the DL learning degrees for graduate work and undergraduate work are just as valuable to employers and employees, there continues to remain an aura of disbelief, distrust and skepticism towards those graduates who earn such degrees (West 1995). The same amount of skepticism is shown towards institutions that issue DL learning Ph.D. degrees (Koredoski, 2001).

For instance, Lewis (2002), Vice Provost and Dean for the School of Graduate Studies for the University of Michigan, stated that some DL graduate programs are effective as long as the training and education is provided in conjunction with practical laboratory and industry experience. Although the statement was specifically applied to liberal studies, Lewis indicated that engineering and M.B.A masters programs could also be successful if they were offered in conjunction with practical industry and laboratory experience (Forelle, 2002).

Competencies differences between DL and traditional graduates

While DL has helped thousands of people today, it has also created challenges, like the ability or inability to cope with feeling of isolation and lack of collaboration as students learn from far away places and distance learning institutions.

Nevertheless, the question posed by many is: “are DL degrees as or more valuable to employees and employers than traditional degrees?”(Koredoski, 2001). If so, have they successfully produced quality graduates?

Timura (1995) answered that question when he originally suggested that DL learning degrees produce better educational results than otherwise traditional education.

West (1995) said many authors found little difference in the acceptability and negotiability between traditional and DL or non-traditional degree holders.

Challenges ahead

According to Oblinger, Barone & Hawkins (2001) the next few years will require deep educational reforms in order to ensure that everyone who participates in learning is provided with the best of the practice. This is especially true of future Ph.D. graduates. 

The digital methodologies adopted by many traditional learning and other teaching institutions will need to be modified in order to adjust to new educational methods and formats of delivery. Again, this applies equally well to doctoral degrees (Lewis, 2002).
Thus while Timura suggested that DL learning degrees produce better educational results than traditional education., will a doctoral degree obtained via DL methods be equally classified as educationally better? 
Since doctoral graduates are needed to teach at all levels of learning, will a holder of a DL doctoral degree, in any discipline, obtain professorship and tenure status in the traditional universities of today?
Studies continue to indicate that millions of motivated students are continuing their education via Distance Learning (DL) methods, of all the way up to the Ph.D. level, even though there is a great deal conflict regarding the value of DL undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees (Koredoski, 2001 and West, 1995).

Is there value in distance learning Ph.D. programs?

Many are beginning to accept the fact that DL methodologies are producing new sets of learners, paradigms, and institutions (Schneider, 1999). 

Distance Learning, as a new learning method has become one of the most complex issues that face modern day higher educators and education in general. Therefore, Distance learning (DL) is beginning to give way to more accurate terms like distributed learning. 
That is why Oblinger, Barone & Hawkins (2001) use the terminology “distributed learning” when speaking of distance learning since DL, otherwise would be a highly restrictive and inaccurate term, they said.

But why the Reluctance one may ask?
Why, then are some Deans of traditional universities appear to be reluctant to use these DL new paradigms of teaching, especially those that affect graduate and Ph.D. doctoral programs? (Lewis, 2002). 
Many who have had one on-one experience with DL doctoral graduates openly accept the legitimacy and qualifications of such degrees. However, the difference between their open acceptance and an open rejection appears to be in their perception of DL and distributed learning (DL) technologies (Koredoski, 2001). And perception is sometimes taken as truth.

Peat and Helland (2003) defined perception as reality since people generally select as true any information that supports their hypothesis. Therefore, if an academic employer, tenured professors, or the Dean of a university perceives that an DL doctoral degree is not comparable in quality to their own degree as obtained from a traditional brick and mortar university, then for him or her, that perception is  “true”. 
Such perception becomes instantly detrimental to a doctoral graduate applying for professorship in their institution (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975).

Other reasons for Reluctance:
Elitism is one of the reasons some traditionally trained professors refuse to accept DL doctoral degrees. 
The majority of professors who hold tenure and faculty positions in traditional universities argue they went, for years, through a great deal of work in order to graduate from doctoral brick and mortar universities. Therefore, many of these same professors prefer to have colleagues who, likewise, “paid their dues” and earned their Ph.D. degrees from traditional “brick and mortar” universities. “It comes down to paying your dues”, said Mr. Fant, a traditional Ph.D. graduate from Union University in Tennessee (Montell, 2003). 

The Legitimacy of DL advanced degrees- And
Legitimate universities around the world granting Distance Learning Ph.D. Degrees

One of the largest universities in Europe, England- the Open University, enrolls more than 110,000 undergraduate students, and over 30,000 graduate students via distance learning.
The Open University degrees are based entirely on distance studies. Many of the part time and full time faculty of the Open University obtained their graduate and doctoral degrees from DL universities (Donovan, Scanlon & Whitelegg, 2000).
Other examples abound of legitimately and regionally accredited universities in the USA and abroad who offer advanced degrees up to the doctoral level (Author, 2005).
Nova Southeastern, Capella University, in the USA, UNISA in South Africa, are among some of them.
Brown University in Boston, MA is presently part of 52 universities who form part of the International Virtual Medical School, (IVIMEDS). This program will bring medical education via blends of e-learning (Distance Learning) and face-to-face methods to train doctors for countries in Africa and others all the way from undergraduate to post graduate studies (Forelle, 2002 & IVMEDS, 2003).
The Expected abilities described by Brown Medical School in Boston, the Six competencies by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in the USA, and seven outcomes by the International Institute for Medical Education, provide IVIMEDS program the legitimacy accorded and expected from any traditional medical school.

Kuskis (2003) said there is a crucial need for better and newer vision for globally affected Distance Learning technologies. Changes need to originate at the institutional level so that all affected institutions contract the best of faculty and instructional designers. This includes the selection from a global pool rather than just the traditionally and locally selected tenured faculty. 
While it may seem easier to manage traditionally selected and local faculty, their teaching methodologies are not necessarily better. Some of the globally selected faculty, whom may be better equipped to teach, inevitably may one day come from those who hold distance learning Ph.D. degrees from fully accredited universities (Kuskis, 2003).

Management and Business View of Ph.D. degrees
            Many DL doctoral graduates have successfully attained positions and their ultimate goals in industry or in the commercial world. However, it is not known if the same amount of success applies to doctoral graduates seeking academic or teaching jobs (Montell, 2003).

Hiring managers and tenured professionals and academia have already learned to discern that DL higher education including masters and doctoral degrees is significantly knowledge-based and, besides the mandatory course work, it makes practical use of one’s past experience (West, 1995). This is precisely what DL affords a new set of learners all over the world in this information age.  


 Scholar Albert Cheng stated: "Students who are home schooled may attain a greater degree of self-actualization because homeschooling is highly conducive to personalized instruction and enables students to be taught a consistent worldview". 

Cheng stated further: "Second, the religious values taught in a homeschooling environment as well as in many religious private schools are consistent with political tolerance and other values necessary for a liberal democracy".

According to the national center for education statistics, 36% of homeschooling families were primarily motivated by a desire to provide religious or moral instruction.  

Another 38% said the primary reason they homeschool is because they don’t like the school environment or the way teachers teach—those numbers are also way up from a few years ago. 
Since young students today subjected to an enforced secularism and God-lessness throughout the entire educational system, some parents adopt not to accept such form of education for their children.

Some parents have discovered that traditional schools are not producing the results that parents want out of their educational goals for their children.

Thus, with all the literature showing that homeschooling is giving our children much advantage during their forming years, parents are opting for this path that may ultimately lead their children to fully formed professionals that will have been influenced little or not at all by some of the traditional brick and mortar schools and universities that are a shadow of what they once were.
Learning has taken a completely different approach in the 21st century.  This century revolutionized the way we transfer knowledge. Some of the results of this revolution changed teaching and learning methods which make some earlier methods of learning or teaching obsolete and, at times, inadequate.

The level of sophistication of today’s teaching methods have reached proportions that permit some institutions to grant advanced distance learning (DL) including doctoral degrees with a great deal of success.

An increasing number of learning institutions are successfully educating and accredited graduates all the way to doctoral level from all disciplines which are of equal or better quality than those issued by traditional learning universities. This article has attempted to inform its readers of the value, perception, and potential of challenges for present home-school and perhaps future doctoral graduates of accredited Learning institutions.

It is especially geared to those who wish to pursue any career at any learning institution (Donovan, Scanlon & Whitelegg, 2000). Including for the home-schooled children of today.

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"Why homeschooling is better than traditional school"

Research Facts on Homeschooling. (Ray, 2016. Obtained July 2017).

 Copyright   Computer Integrations, Inc. ©, 2017
Fred Echeverria,
MSc. Computer Science
Ph.D. (abd) Computer Science
No part of this article may be reproduced or copied without the author’s exclusive permission
Last Updated   Wednesday, July 12, 2017

No part of this article may be reproduced or copied without the author’s exclusive permission.

Parts of this essay were printed and published on

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Last Updated   Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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