Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
Lynda Ann Ewen
Leonard J. Deutsch
This thesis addresses the following research question:
In what ways do rural schools support or undermine rural community viability in the United States?
Following a methodology first recommended by C. W. Mills, the study was organized to include historical, cultural, social, and economic dimensions, which are explained in the first chapter. Chapter 2 looks back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to explore how such a diverse people--originating from Asia, Africa, North American, and Europe--all came under the power of a single ideology of progress and the superiority of urban, modified English culture. The chapter then investigates the American transition from a rural people who labored on the land to an industrialized people today who have little connection to the land or to any particular place. This lack of connection has had a negative impact on the environment and on the viability of rural communities. The schools are part of the story as producers and reproducers of human, cultural, and social capital. Chapters 3-5 take a closer look at three rural groups in the United States: the Old Order Amish, the Menominee Nation, and rural Appalachians in West Virginia. Each chapter examines how events outlined in chapter 2 played out locally, and what sorts of impacts the schools continue to have on community viability along cultural, social, ecological, and economic dimensions. Chapter 6 draws conclusions for rural education today, including rural educational research and reform.
Hammer, Patricia Cahape, "Rural education and rural community viability" (1997). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1638.