Parental entrepreneurship in public education: A social force or a policy problem?

Anat Gofen, Paula Blomqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parental involvement in public education is an expression of joint responsibility between parents and the state in which parents are expected to comply with current educational policy. Moreover, parents are often perceived as reactive, whereas the educational administration is seen as proactive, mainly by reducing barriers and establishing mechanisms for parental involvement. Referring to proactive involvement in which parents practice noncompliance while fighting the system, this study conceptualizes 'parental entrepreneurship.' The practical aspects of parental entrepreneurship are analyzed based on three well-known manifestations: homeschooling, the integration of children with special needs, and parental cooperatives within early childhood education and care. Parental entrepreneurship further exemplifies the blurry boundaries between parents and administration as regards children's education and demonstrates that the entrepreneurial role parents may play in reforming formal public education. Parental entrepreneurship also illuminates the ongoing renegotiation of the foundations of the social contract between parents and the government, primarily in relation to professionalism, legitimacy, and authority.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)546-569
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • politics
  • theory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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