Home-Schooling in Oldtown: The Education of a Virtuous CitizenryReport as inadecuate




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Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n2 2009

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was the beneficiary of a unique blend of educational influences. The daughter, sister, and wife of Congregational ministers, she inherited the faith of New England Puritanism and its subsequent redirection by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758). Studying and then teaching at her sister Catharine's female seminary, she shared some of her sister's dissent from the received faith. Her maternal grandmother ensured that Harriet was a welcome shareholder in the Episcopal Church, to which she would convert near the end of her life. Stowe's New England novels trace each of these influences. In "Oldtown Folks" (1869), she is particularly concerned with the application of Christian principles to the upbringing of three children raised in the ordinary households of a post-Revolutionary War New England community. Irrespective of its theological disputes, Oldtown families consider themselves heirs of Hebrew theocracy and rely on Biblical principles. In the Preface, the novel's narrator argues that the communities in which these households operated created a seed-bed of virtue that eventually helped characterize an entire nation. Stowe's novel thus embodies the source and constituent parts of the virtuous citizenry that the American Founders felt was necessary for a successful republic. (Contains 6 footnotes.)

Descriptors: Siblings, Home Schooling, War, Novels, Religious Education, Christianity, Authors, Moral Values, Ethical Instruction, Biographies, Religious Factors

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Author: Howard, William L.

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2634&id=EJ870080







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