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Title:Educational values and practices of fundamentalist Mormons
Author(s):Hamilton, Michael William
Director of Research:Burbules, Nicholas C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burbules, Nicholas C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Bresler, Liora; Ebel, Jonathan H.; Higgins, Christopher
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Plural marriage
History of education in Utah
Philosophy of education
Education policy
Polygamist schools
Abstract:Fundamentalist Mormons believe in plural marriage, or polygamy. Many practice it. Polygamist groups live in insular settlements and in mainstream communities, mostly in the western United States and Canada. Polygamists often have large families, and they educate their children in a variety of settings: a public charter school within a polygamous town, private religious schools in suburban and rural areas, “priesthood schools” based on home school models, and in public schools in which polygamists’ children are invisible minorities. They trace their origin to Mormons who refused to abandon polygamy after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) renounced it in 1890. Polygamists model their economies, religion, and education on the “theodemocracy” of 19th century Utah. In the scriptural world view that they embrace, polygamists are a remnant people, entrusted with continuing plural marriage. The purpose of this study is to explore the educational component of fundamentalist Mormonism. Their schools transmit the values and practices of plural communities to children. What are these values? How do schools transmit them? Do they prepare students for participation in a pluralistic society? To explore these questions, I conducted field work at several polygamist communities’ schools and developed case studies about two of them, Spring Hill School and Link Academy. To understand these schools in their historical and religious contexts I examined the history of education and polygamy in Utah. The work of several philosophers of education helped me to explore themes of autonomy versus servitude and education for pluralism in polygamist communities’ schools and informed my recommendations for how the state and civil society should respond to fundamentalist Mormon education.
Issue Date:2017-11-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Michael William Hamilton
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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