A historical overview of Amish education in Lawrence County, Tennessee

Gina L Haddix, Tennessee State University


It was the purpose of this study to understand the education of the Amish in Ethridge, Tennessee. The most frequently litigated issue concerning the Amish has always been education. This unique group of individuals arrived in Lawrence County in 1944 due to compulsory attendance laws in Ohio. The first Amish school was built in 1944 and was under the direction of Peter Gingerich. By 1965, three schools had been established and uneducated Amish individuals taught children through the eighth grade. Books used in the Amish schools were old county textbooks that were no longer in use. The McGuffey Eclectic Reader was and continues to be the book of choice for the moral lessons each story contains. Today, Amish children still attend one-room schoolhouses through the eighth grade. The Amish believe that any more education would be harmful to their way of life. Schoolhouses have none of the modern conveniences of public schools. Each school is equipped with chalkboards and desks for children. Through the use of German Bibles, two languages are learned, English and German, and both are spoken fluently. This writer believes that the Amish, in all of their simplicity, live a life that is to be admired and applauded. Through perseverance, the Amish have been able to give their children the education required to five a simple, yet productive life.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Education history

Recommended Citation

Gina L Haddix, "A historical overview of Amish education in Lawrence County, Tennessee" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3187591.