Date of Award

May 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Blain Neufeld

Committee Members

Nataliya Palatnik, Joshua Spencer


If citizens in a politically liberal society are truly to be free to order their lives as they desire, it is important that the society contain as many acceptable methods of education as possible. I examine a method of education that I am almost certain has never been considered by political liberals: a type of homeschooling known as “unschooling.” Unschoolers believe that children should largely be in charge of their own education. I contend that this makes unschooling well-suited to promote the development of political autonomy. Unschooling’s self-directed approach to education gives children a sense of their own agency and independence. It also encourages children to develop their own conceptions of the good, to be aware of their educational rights and resources, and to practice deliberating with others. For these reasons, we should consider unschooling to be an acceptable method of education in a politically liberal society.

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