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ERIC Number: ED265958
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Feb-24
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Farm Experience: Its Importance in a Child's Life.
Barker, Richard
For the past 10 summers a rural Ohio farm family, convinced of the merits of involving children in farm experiences and/or plant and animal care, has shared its farmstead with approximately 3,000 urban elementary school children. This paper discusses the impact of farm experiences on children's development, exploring rural community life among the Amish, Maria Montessori's views of the value of farm experience, and British integrated day schools. American Amish society, particularly, is seen as lacking the neurotic symptoms of industrial society. It is asserted that (1) some of the qualities characteristic of Amish society were idealized by Maria Montessori; (2) Montessori's "erdkinder" schools look in many ways like today's Amish family life; (3) British integrated day schools attempted to provide an education based on the farm experience to post-World War II schoolchildren; (4) children's learning environments require proper scale and relevance, qualities inherent in farm life. Specific character traits which might develop among children involved in small scale relevant learning environments such as Amish society, the erdkinder, and the family farm include respect for nature and understanding of nature's generosity, the habit of observing life, foresight, responsible community participation, and a certain equilibrium of conscience, resulting from the knowledge that one has given one's best effort at all times. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A