ERIC Number: ED065658
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972-Jun
Amish Schooling: A Study in Alternatives. CAE Newsletter, Volume 3, Number 2.
Hostetler, John A.
This paper summarizes the issues underlying the Amish conflicts with public school consolidation and the enforcement of extended compulsory school-age limits. It calls attention to a long-standing strategy for community control of schools contributing to the maintenance of a culturally divergent minority group tradition. None of the traditional arguments in favor of school consolidation are acceptable. Amish society is localized, formal, and familistic. They are opposed to separating school from life. The Amish struggle to retain the school on a human rather than an organizational scale has centered around four main issues: (1) the location of the school; the Amish insist that their children attend schools located close to their homes, so that children can help with farm work and aspire to become farmers; (2) the training and qualifications of the teacher; in order to teach their way of life, the Amish want to have teachers qualified by their commitment to Amish values; (3) the number of years of schooling; the Amish want education in the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic; and, (4) the content of education; the Amish basically object to having their children trained for a way of life that is contrary to their religion. The Amish have, thus, been able through community discipline and support and protection of their children to maintain cultural continuity and integrity, to remain a discrete minority, steadfast to their own vision of the good life. (Author/RJ)
Descriptors: Amish, Community Control, Cultural Background, Cultural Isolation, Curriculum, Disadvantaged, Educational Attitudes, Educational Objectives, Elementary Education, Minority Group Children, Religious Education, Religious Factors, School Location, Teacher Qualifications
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Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council on Anthropology and Education, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper prepared for the symposium on "Consequences of Implementing Alternative Schools," at the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings, Montreal, P. Q., Canada, 1972