ERIC Number: ED308038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
Educating the Amish Child.
Newcomb, Thomas L.
The Old Order Amish community is a unique minority group that does not receive adequate public school services. While a majority of Amish children attend an estimated 470 Amish parochial elementary schools, some Amish enrollment is in small rural public schools. However, six states with large Amish populations have no significant public school programs serving the special needs of Amish children. The religious values, folkways, and customs of the Amish easily place their children at a disadvantage in public school. School facilities, social customs, instructional materials, course content, and the English language could be unfamiliar to these children, nearly all of whom speak a German dialect, "Pennsylvania German," at home. To better meet the needs of these children, school administrators and teachers should (1) cultivate an awareness of basic Amish religious beliefs, cultural values, language differences, and educational and life goals; (2) develop a cooperative relationship with Amish parents and nearby Amish parochial schools; (3) recognize the rights of the Amish child as a minority and a culturally different learner; and (4) remember that Amish children are normal children in nearly every way. Educators and researchers familiar with the Amish culture should be active in providing information and guidance to public schools; such information is rare and difficult for small rural schools to locate. This report contains 34 references and an overview of Amish history and beliefs about education and child rearing. (SV)
Descriptors: Bilingual Education, Cultural Background, Cultural Traits, Educational Responsibility, Elementary Education, Minority Groups, Multicultural Education, Public Education, Public Schools, Religious Cultural Groups, Rural Schools, Small Schools
Dr. Thomas L. Newcomb, 19130 Nelson-Parkman Road, Garrettsville, OH 44231 ($5.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A