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4 Pencil Box Journey: Old Colony Mennonite Children, Education, and Schooling

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Abstract

In this chapter, I describe the case of the Old Colony Mennonite (OCM) children who, for reasons of faith and family, often find themselves located among several different constructs of childhood as represented by education and schooling. I am making a clear distinction between education and schooling because to be an OCM child means having to negotiate among these often contested notions of power. The OCM represent a minoritized culture (McCarty, A place to be Navajo. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum & Associates, 2002), defined as those who are marginalized by power relations and processes within the larger society. Many are from homes where Low German is the first language—a spoken patois that is rarely written or read (Epp, The story of low German & Plautdietsch: Tracing a language across the globe. Hillsboro: The Reader’s Press, 1999). Many OCM children attend school in both Ontario and in Mexico, and the education delivered in these two systems is distinctly different. Further, the home serves as a place of schooling where children are taught their role in the family and in the larger Mennonite community. OCM children have, in the words of Barbara Rogoff (The cultural nature of human development. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), “a foot in two worlds, but who live one life” (p. 361). I use the OCM pencil box to highlight the schooling experiences of the OCM children as they move across two countries, public and private education, and “home schooling”, and demonstrate the ways in which these children are capable and competent negotiators of their Mennonite identity.

Keywords

  • Mennonites
  • Patois Spoken
  • languageLanguage
  • familyFamily
  • Gemeinde

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Plate 4.1
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Correspondence to Wendy A. Crocker .

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Crocker, W.A. (2019). 4 Pencil Box Journey: Old Colony Mennonite Children, Education, and Schooling. In: Frankel, S., McNamee, S. (eds) Contextualizing Childhoods. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94926-0_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94926-0_5

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