Hutterite Education

Do Hutterites go to high school? Who teaches in Hutterite classrooms? Is Hutterite schooling similar to Amish education?

You asked Linda Maendel a number of questions on education on our Hutterite questions post. Linda, who happens to be a teacher in her Manitoba colony, addresses that topic today.

On Hutterite Learning

Each colony has its own school and for most of these non-Hutterite teachers come in and teach the students. These teachers are hired by their local School Divisions. Many, however, mine included, have their own Hutterite people as teachers. This has not always been the case.

Up until the 1990s there were just a few Hutterite teachers. But then Brandon University here in Brandon, Manitoba offered a special program for Hutterites who were seeking to train as teachers. Through this program there are now many colonies who have one or more trained Hutterite teachers working in their schools.

Teachers follow the Manitoba curriculum and most Hutterite students stay in school till they graduate from grade twelve, since they feel that education is essential in this day and age. There are some colonies though who don’t encourage a High School education.

Classroom Hutterite Colony

When someone on the colony wants to continue their education they do so at local universities, e.g. acquiring a Bachelor of Education degree. Some have even gone on to study for a Post-Baccalaureate or Master’s degree. In recent years four young women here in Manitoba got their nursing degrees and now use these skills at their colony and/or work part time in local hospitals.

There are also programs in place where adults can upgrade in other fields they’re working in. These include carpentry, plumbing and electrical. It’s great that many Hutterite men are certified in these areas as well.

Many Hutterite German teachers have taken language and/or teaching methods courses in Germany. I’ve done that twice; the first time in Berlin about eleven years ago and more recently, two years ago I got a scholarship to study in Hannover for ten days. Both were interesting and enriching experiences, especially since I had to speak German the whole time.


Linda Maendel is a church member and schoolteacher in a Mannitoba Hutterite colony, and author of Hutterite Diaries: Wisdom From My Prairie Community (May 2015). If you’d like to learn more on the Hutterites, see Linda’s previous posts on:

Image credit: woodsfehr/flickr

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    11 Comments

    1. Alice Mary

      Linda, in your area, what types of jobs do most of the students get after their 12-year education? I’d be curious to know what percentage go on to university or beyond.

      Do most parents encourage education beyond 12 years? Are there any occupations (common ones in the English world, I mean) that Hutterites won’t or can’t enter? (Law, for example?)

      Thank you for your input. My daughter is a 5th grade public school teacher and I think she’d fit right in the classroom pictured here.

      Alice Mary

    2. No, nobody would study law. We mostly encourage work that they could do on the colony, such as farming, electrician, plumber, teacher, carpenter, cook, baker, seamstress… Some of those are learned from apprenticing.

    3. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I just wanted to thank Linda and Erik for posting these. For me, as I’ve expressed earlier (or at least I think I have) my family settled around the town of Dauphin, not terribly far from Linda’s colony, and reading these are like reading letters from an Aunt ‘back home’ (I’ve never lived there, only visited, but its so engrained into my imagination it feels more heart stirring to me in terms of sentimentalism than ancestral thoughts of the Ukraine where my family originated from).
      Keep up the good work!

      1. You’re welcome, I’m glad you enjoy my posts. Thanks for your kind words. If memory serves me well, I think I have a second cousin in Dauphin.

    4. Ed from NY

      Do Hutterite parents prefer any particular method in teaching kids? There’s a lot of different theories about education. Some emphasize rote memorization, others group learning. Some are very math-focused. What do most parents want? Is it more or less similar to the German educational system?

      Is educational achievement emphasized? By that I mean getting high grades, getting top scores on standardized tests, getting recognition and/or scholarships for one’s accomplishments.

      You mentioned going to Germany. Have German teachers even come to a colony to teach for a while? I imagine there might be some cultural similarities.

      Thanks for your input.

    5. It’s common for Germans stationed in Canada to do workshops for Hutterites, but I’ve never heard that teachers from Germany teaching on colonies. We follow the Manitoba Curriculum,not sure that it would be similar to the German education system, but I tend to lean towards that it’s not. As for what parents want, I believe most their children to have a good education; some feel memorization is important, others are more for group learning. In most colony schools their ample opportunity for both.

    6. Reinhard Singwald

      Anfrage

      Kann ich Ihnen einige meiner zahlreichen Fragen zu allen Kategorien (Schulausbildung, kommunales Leben, Kleidung und Sprache) auch in Deutsch stellen? Oder gibt es vielleicht auch eine andere Möglichkeit sich darüber mit Ihnen auszutauschen, ohne dieses öffentliche Forum zu nutzen. Vielen Dank für Ihre Bemühungen!
      Mit freundlichem Gruß Reinhard Singwald (Berlin Germany)

      1. Reinhard, gerne kann ich Fragen in Deutsch beantworten. Auf meinen persönlichen Blog: hutt-writevoice.blogspot.ca auf ‘contact me’ klicken.

    7. Linda Too

      Hutterite Classroom

      Do the students sit in rows of desks? I notice you have a half-circle table where chairs can be pulled up to. When is that table used?
      Do students proceed at their own pace in individual subjects, or do they stay together as a class with teacher instruction?
      Do you use a whiteboard or a chalkboard?
      Are all of the 8 or 12 grades in the same classroom?
      Do you know if public schools in Canada are similar to public schools in the U.S?
      I like that you have plenty of books!
      Thank you for taking the time to write!

      1. No we don’t have rows of desks and haven’t for many, many years. Students always around tables. For the most part, students stay together as a class with teacher instructions, but of course there are sometimes students who need extra help or have a modified program. Our school has whiteboards, but I don’t know if every other school has them. We have IITV for highschoolers, so those students have their own classrooms. Usually our students are grouped like this: Kindegarten, 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8. Here again it may vary in other schools.I have no idea whether the public schools in Canada are similar to the US.

    8. Amanda Day

      Hutterite Teaching Jobs in the U.S

      Hello,

      I am very interested in becoming a teacher in a Hutterite colony in the U.S. I’ve read there are positions in the Montana & Dakota areas. If you have any information of where I could apply, I would be so grateful!

      Thank you,

      Amanda Day