Educating in the Vernacular

Kathleen Holscher

in Religious Lessons

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199781737
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979653 | DOI:
Educating in the Vernacular

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This chapter explains how sister-taught public schools became part of New Mexican culture and why they received support from the local population. It employs a comparative framework—as Catholic leaders elsewhere in the United States in the nineteenth century struggled with the prohibitively Protestant character of “nonsectarian” common schools, the Catholic Church in New Mexico maintained a working relationship with the territory’s developing education system. By the time a formal school code and funding structure appeared near the turn of the century, however, that system had begun to resemble its American counterparts in troubling ways. Its Anglo-Protestant character alienated both the Church hierarchy and many residents. In New Mexico’s rural communities, clergy and laity began cooperating during the early twentieth century. Despite a history of disagreement between them, a Hispano population disadvantaged by state educational policies found common ground with a Church preoccupied by the loss of parochial students to the public system.

Keywords: Hispano; Hispanic; New Mexico; education; public schools; Catholic Church; Catholicism; nonsectarian; non-sectarian; nineteenth century; Protestant

Chapter.  12628 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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