Homeschoolers More Politically Tolerant, Study Finds

Published April 14, 2014

A new study of university students finds those who were homeschooled in K-12 are more likely to be politically tolerant than their private- or public-schooled counterparts.

Researcher Albert Cheng found little difference between the political tolerance levels of public and private school students. He defined political tolerance as “the willingness to extend basic civil liberties to political or social groups that hold views with which one disagrees.”

Cheng interviewed students at a Christian university in the western United States. He asked them to name their least-liked political group—such as Republicans or gay activists—then say whether they would extend civil liberties to those groups. They were asked to respond to statements such as, “Books that are written by members of the [the least-liked group] should be banned from the public library,” and “I would allow members of [the least-liked group] to live in my neighborhood.”

Homeschoolers were less likely to want to restrict or shun people they disagreed with. Cheng suggests two reasons for this: Homeschoolers “may attain a greater degree of self-actualization” from their “personalized instruction [that] enables students to be taught a consistent worldview,” and religious views taught in home and private schools “are consistent with political tolerance and other values necessary for a liberal democracy.”

Learn more:
Dr. Brian Ray reviews Albert Cheng’s study:

—Staff reports

Image by U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan.