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.
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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