THE SCHOOLS THAT FEAR BUILT by David & Robert E. Bills Nevin


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The Christian schools of the South appear to be flourishing but are they really accomplishing anything? In this study for the Lamar Society (a racial conciliation group), based on observation and completed questionnaires from eleven schools, Nevin and Bills come up with some surprising ""findings,"" although there is little here that could be called hard evidence. As might be expected, many are strong on religion, patriotism, and rote learning, priding themselves on enforced dress codes and few non-academic distractions. But the stress on ""no frills"" education is often a screen for budgets that cart's support traditional enrichments, and the stated policy of Respect and Discipline glosses over the fact that principals can't always afford to expel tuition-paying students. ""Perhaps the single most important point about these schools is their sameness--the homogeneity of student, of teacher, of attitude, of the experience they offer."" Ironically, in their unquestioning acceptance of authority and belief in moral absolutes, the children are different from their public school peers; many would flounder in a less structured setting, and their like-minded teachers--especially the fledglings--would also. The authors consider the schools destructive not only for the limited educations they provide but also for the view of society they perpetuate and their drain on public school support. Not a conclusive study, considering the sketchy sample and the cultivated privacy of the schools, and not a well-constructed book, but the basic issues are raised and some of the inner chambers have been penetrated.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1976
Publisher: Acropolis