ERIC Number: ED345930
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Rural Philosophy for Education: Wendell Berry's Tradition. ERIC Digest.
This ERIC Digest reviews past and present rural educational philosophy, focusing on the views of Wendell Berry, a Kentucky farmer and novelist who in recent years has emerged as a leading American philosopher. The major difference underlying rural and urban living is the relationship of people with nature. Rural living is much more closely related to nature. Farming, fishing, and logging--typical rural enterprises--must be carried out in ways that conserve the natural world. This principle seems less relevant in an urban setting, where production can often be pressed to whatever level the markeet will bear. Historians believe that schools have incorporated urban tendencies and have required students to become little more than good producers and consumers. The Commission on Country Life, created by President Roosevelt in 1908, was an attempt to counter rural to urban migration. One solution was to stress the study of nature in rural schools in hopes that the appeal of urban life would weaken. By 1920, this movement lost its momentum perhaps due to its proposal that small, rural schools consolidate into larger schools, which was resisted by rural communities. Wendell Berry contends that at present rural schools actively contribute to the decline of rural areas, in both environmental and human terms. Berry calls for a liberal arts curriculum that incorporates rural knowledge and concerns. This will empower rural youth to undertake wise action to cultivate practices and knowledge that will influence their lives for the better. If rural communities are going to survive, rural education must re-establish its equilibrium with nature. (LP)
Descriptors: Conservation Education, Educational Philosophy, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Environmental Education, Liberal Arts, Role of Education, Rural Education, Rural Sociology, Rural to Urban Migration, Rural Urban Differences, Rural Youth
ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, P.O. Box 1348 Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.