Amish education is one of the most researched subtopics in Amish studies. This article is a
meta-analysis of the existing literature about Amish education, finding that most research
discusses how the parochial school system functions to socialize students into the broader
Amish social system. In particular, the school socializes students into (1) several major Amish defining
internalized dispositions, ideologies, and outlooks and (2) the meso- and micro-level
Amish social structure. Several anomalies do exist, including their educational approach to
special needs children, parochial school dysfunctions, and alternative schooling methods. The
article concludes with suggestions for future research, including more rigorous ethnographic
studies that better divulge latent functions and...
Prior to the 1972 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Wisconsin v. Yoder, et al., parents found themselves in court in a number of states. This essay explores the Yoder decision and its relevance for the Amish today, contrasting the understanding of Amish life implicit in the Supreme Court decision with the reality of the twenty-first century Amish world. In particular, it notes that the agency afforded the Amish by the Supreme Court’s decision in the Yoder case means that, as the Amish increasingly engage with the mainstream, education has for many become less about isolating children from the...
Ziegler, Daniel A.
This study was designed to provide Rosedale Bible College, a Conservative Mennonite Conference school in Ohio, with critical information to increase its understanding of the educational choices of emerging adults from its sponsoring denomination and the way those choices correlate with church involvement and volunteerism later in life. The study also offers a glimpse into the educational and religious context of these young adults and the denomination they were part of as youth. A 16-question survey was distributed to 1,068 individuals ages 26-32 who attended one of the denomination’s churches when in high school. The survey queried respondents on personal...
Zimmerman, Janelle M.
This study is an exploration of common structures, theories, and practices among the educational
systems of selected Anabaptist communities, focusing on a Midwestern Schmiedeleut Hutterite
community and the Groffdale Conference (Old Order) Mennonites in Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania. Building on ideas of utopian communities, this research suggests two key foci of
education as practiced in Hutterite and Old Order Mennonite communities. The first is identity,
both of the community—as manifested by a common purpose and identity—and of the
individual—as manifested by a belief in free will. The second is practicality, both in the physical
(pragmatic) and metaphysical (idealistic) realm. Anabaptist communities tend to perceive
education as highly important to...
Donnermeyer, Joseph F.
Current estimates of Amish population growth often cite a “doubling time” figure, but fail to
substantiate the source from which the estimate was derived. As well, some estimates of
population increase, such as by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at
Elizabethtown College, use net change in the number of church districts as a proxy to determine
population change, rather than a more precise counting up of children and adults. Unfortunately,
a direct “head count” of the Amish, and changes in this count overtime to create a doubling time
estimate, would be very daunting, Until there is a valid database from which this can...
Anderson, Cory; Miller, Crist; Raber, Anna; Petrovich, Christopher G.; Beachy, Leroy
Smith, William L.; Reiling, Denise; Swartz, John; Schlabach, Gracia; Greksa, Lawrence P.; Eberle, Donald; Jany, Berit