The reformation of education for Native Americans was based on ideals of individualism, industry, and the acceptance of Christian doctrine and morality (Wallace Adams 15). The set of European values that were prevalent in American culture saw to it that the Native Americans could never live in harmony due to Euro-centric hegemonic views. In the 19th century it became clear that the Native Americans would either face extermination or “civilization”. In the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Americans built an all-encompassing system of Indian academies. These academies were largely funded by Congress and increasingly controlled from Washington. These schools were primarily residential, boarding institutes. Their goal was to instruct Indian children in white ways or to get rid of native tribal cultures (Fear Segal). This movement to transform native children into American citizens appeared to represent a clear affirmation of faith in the equality and educability of the Indian. Two schools which pioneered the cause of Indian education were Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, in Virginia, and Carlisle Indian Industrial School, in Pennsylvania. By carefully comparing the policies and philosophies of these two schools we can explain how the Native Americans experienced the “Americanization” process from the 1870s to 1910.
Today, Native Americans are one of the most underrepresented groups in the hierarchy of American culture. In the past they have been viewed as savages and lower level members of society. Attempts to educate the Indians were based on the ideals of assimilation or nothing at all. Policymakers never took into account that Native Americans had their own set of skills and intellect that they could bring to the table. In general, the system of mass education, not only for Native Americans but for other immigrants has been based around deculturation and not integration. This process is successful in creating a mostly unified nation but it fails to account for aspects of ethnic identity that cannot be drawn out and erased. Hampton School and Carlisle School were both somewhat successful in the process of educating the Native Americans during the 19th century. The attitudes and practices that these two schools shared have a lot common, but the schools have also exhibited significant disagreements which were vitally important at the time and which continue to animate the issue of cultural difference and assimilation today (Fear Segal 325). The ideals found at Hampton were based on a biological theory of social development while the ones found at Carlisle were based around an egalitarian view of society. These differing viewpoints crucially affected the way the students were taught and the way they experienced the American education process. Although the two schools taught the same things Carlisle may have been a better experience because they got the students at a younger age and the school’s underlying theory was based around a belief in universal human capacities.
The 19th century saw the rise of the common school movement, which changed American education forever. The common school movement led to the collective socialization of the American population. Samuel Chapman Armstrong and Richard Henry Pratt, the founders of the two Indian schools we will examine would both become pioneers in the common school movement for their efforts in education of the Indians. Samuel Chapman Armstrong was the founder of Hampton Institute. He was the son of a Hawaiian missionary and was awarded American citizenship after leading an all colored troop in the Civil War. His participation in the platoon of colored men aroused his interest for the welfare of blacks. After his time in the war he felt like colored people had enough mind power and determination and that they were capable of doing well in school and furthering their lives. This interest inspired him so much that he started up Hampton Institute in 1868 to educate freed blacks in the south. In 1878, a party of seventeen Indians was brought from St. Augustine, Florida where they had been prisoners of war. This became the nucleus for the Indian Department at Hampton (Armstrong, M F). The man who brought the Indian prisoners to Hampton was Captain Richard Henry Pratt who would soon become the founder of the Carlisle Institute. During Pratt’s time with the Indian prisoners of war Segal explains, “he used these warriors to develop a simple set of rules for educating Indians and then elaborated a code which he adhered to tenaciously for the rest of his life. (Fear Segal 326)” Segal further explains, “Every step Pratt took to ‘civilize’ the prisoners was guided by his belief that they were essentially no different from whites. (Fear Segal 326)”. Pratt’s belief in equality would provide a more enjoyable experience for Indians in education in the 19th century.
Pratt and Armstrong shared an interest in Native American education. Both agreed that the best answer to the age-old “Indian problem” lay in education (Fear Segal 327). After a lot of collaborative work Pratt began to defer because he didn’t share some of the same ideals as Armstrong. A year after the first Native American program started at Hampton he moved on and started the Carlisle Indian School. Pratt picked the right time to leave because politicians in Washington were looking for something to do with the Indians. By 1885, the United States made a clear effort to try and educate the Native Americans. Hampton Institute reported “120 Indians are provided for by the United States Government” (Armstrong, M F). Carlisle also received grants so that they could start their school in some abandoned military barracks in Pennsylvania.
The two institutions developed a pattern of schooling rooted in a general view of what was needed to convert wild Indians into American citizens (Fear Segal 326). At both Hampton and Carlisle, it was essential to teach the Indians how to work. The division of the day was split into two parts, one part was for study and the other part was for practical work. During these two time periods the children learned their lessons, were taught a trade and concurrently provided most of the goods and services necessary to run the schools. This process kept the costs down and made it easier for the schools to thrive financially. At both schools the students wore uniforms and were taught discipline. It was imperative that the students were taught agricultural work. Hampton particularly taught industry and the necessity of becoming good workers in the capitalist system for both blacks and Native Americans. Hampton was a normal school and it’s goal was to create teachers that would go on to educate minority students about the American values of both hard-work and perseverance that they internalized at Hampton. This process would effectively pass down white American values from generation to generation for both blacks and Indians. It is important to remember that the goal of these schools was to eradicate Indianness so it was vital to teach the students colonial trade. The course load focused on “the fundamentals of political economy and civil government” ( Armstrong, M F). Not only did the schools teach students the American way but they also stripped the students of their culture. The students had their hair cut, were put into American clothes and had their names changed to become assimilated.
Pratt believed that the process of eradicating Indianness could happen in a few years while Armstrong thought that it would take a few generations before change occurred. Particularly at Hampton Armstrong recalls, “For a majority of cases the three years’ Normal course is preceded by a year in the Night School, during which time the students work eight or ten hours daily and study two hours in the evening an arrangement which…weeds out effectually the incapable or unwilling.” Brief glances at Armstrong’s writings on his colored students show a general uncertainty about his colored students. When he says things like “Will Indians study? Can they learn” or “Will Indians work? Can they be broken in to civilized pursuits” it shows that he has a certain negative perception towards these students (Armstrong, M F). In comparison Pratt had a firm belief that the Indians could learn. He compared the situation of the Indians to that of the immigrants in that “they both needed to be absorbed into American society to achieve full participation” (Fear Segal). This positive viewpoint allows for a more liberal education where the Indian would not have to fear being disenfranchised.
Segal cites that Pratt was a Universalist and Armstrong was an evolutionist. For Armstrong, “education was necessary, but it was not sufficient alone (Fear Segal)”. Segal states that in Armstrong’s opinion “Indians would have to be guided step by step up the evolutionary ladder, from hunter to herder to farmer.” Armstrong didn’t believe that the Native Americans could make any progress on their own or without guidance. It is reasonable to infer that their experience at Hampton wasn’t a polite one. Armstrong’s colleague Helen Ludlow talks about how she visited the Hampton Indians when they went back to Dakota. Her article asks about whether or not it was useful sending students to Hampton and how a good percentage of the students went back to the traditional dress of the Indians after receiving education at Hampton. Her testimony shows that the process was somewhat unsuccessful (Armstrong, M F). Many of the downfalls of Indian education at Hampton might be due to the fact that it was a black school for freedmen. Carlisle didn’t have to deal with this problem because their school was based solely on the education of Indians. Armstrong was uncertain about mixing the two races at Hampton because he believed that their strengths and weaknesses were very different.
In comparison, Carlisle’s procedures were much less focused on race. “At Carlisle he insisted on a set of principles rooted in a fundamentally different attitude to the Indian (Fear Segal 329).” Carlisle’s different structure allowed for a better Indian experience. In this testimonial to the Institutional experience some Indian children expressed excitement in “dressing up like whites” (Wallace Adams 108). “How proud we were with clothes that had pockets and boots that squeaked! We walked the floor nearly all that night. Many of the boys even went to bed with their clothes all on.” (Wallace Adams 108). This testimonial shows a certain positive attitude towards the Indian experience at Carlisle that is partially due to the theory of Universalism that Pratt instilled in the school.
Carlisle was such an open and accompanying campus that it even put together a football team. Pratt wanted to bring Indians into direct competition with Americans and show they could win (Fear Segal). One of their goals was to become one of the best football teams in the country. They aqcuired a good coach and after a while the Carlisle team was known as one of the better teams in the country. Just the fact that Pratt wanted to do this shows a differing approach to the way Carlisle and Hampton went about the Indian experience. Pratt was “utterly opposed to what he called ‘race school'”(Fear Segal). He wanted his students to count as more than just Indians but as equals. In comparison at Hampton, Indian graduates weren’t encouraged to settle amongst white people. At Hampton the most important task was to train “Indian leadership.” This perspective is very significant and it insists upon self-sufficiency amongst the Indians. Armstrong of the Hampton school pushed for segregated environments which in his words would, “afford the best conditions to prepare the red race for citizenship.” (Fear Segal). Hampton Normal may have produced some of the same results as Carlisle Industrial but its methods didn’t provide as gratifying an experience for Indian students.
Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, in Virginia, and Carlisle Indian Industrial School, in Pennsylvania were the foremost schools in the education of the Native Americans during the 19th century. The founders of the two schools believed in the education of the savages but went about it in very different ways. The approach that Armstrong from the Hampton Institute took was evolutionist and less encompassing. The approach that Pratt at the Carlisle Institute took was based around Universalism and it allowed for a better experience for the Indians.
Armstrong, M. F. Hampton Institute. 1868 to 1885. Its Work for Two Races. Hampton, Va: Normal School Press Print, 1885.
Adams, David Wallace. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding-school Experience, 1875-1928. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1995.
Fear-Segal, Jacqueline. Nineteenth-Century Indian Education: Universalism Versus Evolutionism. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Lindsey, Donal F. Indians at Hampton Institute, 1877-1923. University of Illinois Press, 1995.
Generation Gap occurs when there is a considerable difference of age (an entire generation) between two people. It often becomes a cause of conflict between parents and kids.
Generation Gap is explained as the difference of ideologies and opinions between people belonging to two different generations. It may be a difference in the political views, religious beliefs or general attitude towards life. Here are essays of varying lengths on Generation Gap to help you with the topic in your exam. You can select any generation gap essay according to your need:
Essay on Generation Gap
Generation Gap Essay – 1 (200 words)
People born in different ages are different from each other in various aspects. The world is changing at a rapid pace and thus the difference between people born in different times is inevitable. For instance, if we talk about India, people born before independence are different from those born today. There is a huge difference between the thinking of the two generations and why not? There is a drastic difference between the whole cultural, economic and social environment the two have been a part of.
Generation gap is the term given to the difference between two generations. The society changes at a constant pace and hence the lifestyle, ideologies, opinions, beliefs and the overall behaviour of people also undergoes change with time. This change gives way to newer ideas and breaks the unreasonable stereotypes and this in turn has a positive impact on the society. However most of the times it becomes a cause of conflict between two generations.
The parent child relationship is often affected due to their generation gap. It has been observed that the parents try to impose their values and ideologies on their kids while the later want to explore the world on their own. Many relationships have suffered due to generation gap. Several parents and children have conflicts because of their difference of opinions which they must understand is natural as there is a generation gap between them.
Generation Gap Essay – 2 (300 words)
Generation Gap is referred to as the difference of beliefs and ideas between people from different generations. This is a common phenomenon and has continued for ages. The term is often used to state the difference of opinions between children and parents or grandparents.
Origin of the Term – Generation Gap
The theory of generation gap was introduced in the year 1960s. Around this time it was observed that the younger generation questioned and went against almost everything their parents believed. This included their religious beliefs, political views, moral values, relationship advice and even the type of music and shows they prefer. Noted sociologists such as Karl Mannheim observed the differences across generations and how generations separated themselves from each other in different situations.
Generation Gap – An Interesting Concept
While generation gap is usually a cause of conflict between the children and their parents, it is actually an interesting concept. The world would have actually been quite dull if it had not been for this gap. Each generation sets its own fashion trends, introduces its own slangs, influences the development of science and technology and comes up with fresh ideas and so on.
Generation gap has led to several changes in the society especially in India where the joint family system was prevalent since ages. The concept of nuclear families has been introduced in India off late and this is also a result of the generation gap. People these days crave for privacy and want to lead their life their own way and the joint family system is a hindrance to it. Many people are thus going for nuclear families. Similarly, many changes happening at various levels in the society are a result of the generation gap.
As is the case with almost everything/concept on earth, generation gap also has its own sets of pros and cons. There is a need for developing understanding and acceptance in order to bridge this gap.
Generation Gap Essay – 3 (400 words)
The fields of science and technology are constantly evolving and so is the way of living of the people, their beliefs, notions and their overall behaviour. Thus, people belonging to different generations behave differently and have their own set of ideologies which is referred to as generation gap.
How is the Generation Gap Evident?
The people belonging to different generations have been given different names for instance those born before independence have been termed as the Traditionalists, the generation after that is called the Baby Boomers, those born between 1965 and 1980 are called Generation X and those born between 1980 and 1999 are known as the Generation Y. There are a few things that clearly show the gap between these generations. Here is a look at the same:
- Family System
People belonging to the older generations lived in a joint family system and believed in sharing and caring. However, this concept has deteriorated over the generations. The current generation wants freedom and there is hardly anyone who follows the traditional way of living in the joint families. The overall lifestyle of people has changed drastically.
The Hindi spoken by people belonging to the pre-independence era is quite different from that being spoken today and the change did not occur all of a sudden it occurred over a period of time – generation after generation. Each generation adopts a new group of slangs thereby creating some division from the earlier one. Communication between people belonging to different generations at home as well as workplace sometimes becomes quite difficult due to this change in language.
- Workplace Attitude
While people belonging to the earlier generations were good at taking directions and were loyal to a single employer, people these days get bored quite quickly and seek new jobs within a few years or at times even months of getting a job. The Gen Y people are innovative and want to share and implement their own unique ideas rather than blindly taking directions from their boss.
- Attitude towards Women
Women belonging to the older generations were mostly confined to home. They were only seen as someone who should take care of the house, going out and working was the thing of the men of the house. However, society’s attitude towards women has changed over the generations. Today, women are allowed to enter any field of their choice and work just as men.
People belonging to one generation are very different from the other which is natural. However, the problem arises when people from different generations try to impose their ideas and beliefs on the other while totally condemning that of the others’.
Generation Gap Essay – 4 (500 words)
Generation gap is basically the gap between different generations. The theory of generation gap launched in the 1960’s states that the younger generation is always seen questioning and challenging the ideas, viewpoint and beliefs of the older generations.
Classification of Generations
It has been observed that people from different generations behave differently in any given situation. Based on their point of view, beliefs, ideas, and over all behaviour generations have been classified into different categories. Here is a look at this classification in detail:
- The Traditionalists
- The Baby Boomers
- The Generation X Group
- The Generation Y Group
Here is a brief about each of these generations:
These people belong to the group that was born before 1946 and are now above 70 years of age. These are said to be the ones who take orders well and get satisfaction when a job is accomplished efficiently. They love sharing their experiences with the younger generations and like to be around people who appreciate their knowledge and experience. They are known to be loyal to a single employer. Most of them spend their entire life working for the same organization and look forward to the same loyalty in return.
The Baby Boomers
These people were born between 1946 and 1965. People from this generation are hard working but mostly not open to feedbacks. They want monetary rewards as well as promotions. Since most of them did not grow up in luxury, they make sure their children have everything they want. They also have an urge to feel appreciated. They want their employers and children to tell them that they are valued and needed. A lack of the same creates dissatisfaction among them.
The Generation X
People belonging to this generation were born between 1965 and 1980. Generation X wants their space. The best reward for them is in the form of time off. They want to do things their own way and don’t like going by any rules. They want to be told that they can do things the way they want. Most of these people saw both their parents working and the impact it had on them was not good. Hence, they give preference to their family life over their job. This generation is known to have pushed for flexible working hours.
The Generation Y
This is the group of people born between 1981 and 1999. Most of them have just entered the workforce. This group is interested in indulging into meaningful work and also looks forward to quick feedback. People from this generation are quite creative. They like working with creative individuals and at places where they are allowed to explore their creativity. This is a source of motivation for them and keeps them alive. This is also a generation that tends to get bored very quickly. Unlike the traditionalists, they change their jobs quite frequently.
The human race is constantly evolving and hence there is a change in the ideologies of people belonging to different generations. While it is completely alright to have an opinion different from the other however it should never turn into a cause of conflict.
Generation Gap Essay – 5 (600 words)
Generation gap is a natural phenomenon. The studies conducted in this direction state how one generation is bound to be different from the other. It is something that comes naturally to them and it is in a way a good thing as this is how the human species is evolving.
Generation Gap – Impact on Relations
Fresh ideas and view points are always good. This is how the world around us evolves at different levels. However, the difference of opinions and ideas between two generations, especially parents and children, often becomes a point of clash. This clash has resulted in numerous strained relationships.
Parents have huge expectations from their kids. They have a set image of how their child should behave based on their tradition, values as well as the way the other kids in their extended family are doing. They think they know best about how and what their kids should do in life. Now, the problem arises when the child has a different bent of mind (which happens in most of the cases). This is when the conflict begins. This is not to say that the parents are absolutely wrong each time. They are elders and are certainly a great guidance and at times take the right decision for their kids. However, the younger generation seldom understands this. It is sad how generation gap has been a cause of numerous estranged relationships.
How to Bridge the Gap?
Parent-child relationship is the most beautiful relationship in the world. It should be nurtured with love and handled with care. It is unfortunate to see how these relationships are strained at the hands of something as trivial as difference in opinion.
It is seen that the older generation always claims to be a better judge and a better decision maker and the younger generation is often made to feel like the culprit. It is time to understand that neither is completely wrong or completely right in what they do. In fact, the definition of right and wrong in this case is different for different generations. There is a need for acceptance and understanding here.
People from the older generation must understand that their children are born in a different age and hence their mindset is different from them. Parents and grandparents need to pay attention to why their children are behaving in the way they are behaving and as to why they have an opinion different from them rather than blindly imposing their rules and ideas on the later.
Parents must become friends with their children to understand their psyche. Children, on the other hand, must respect their parents. They must trust their parents and share their thoughts with them. Children must be open to feedback and understand that the advice coming from their parents is not wrong. It will only help them progress in life.
Parents must not judge their children and allow them the space to do things on their own rather than poking in everything. While parents give their children space, they must define certain boundaries that the later should respect the same. Two-way communication is the basis of a strong relationship and both parents and children must ensure they maintain the same. Any issues must be discussed and both the parties must try to understand each other’s point of view rather than debating against it.
Generation gap occurs because the world is constantly changing. It should be understood that people born in different ages are bound to be different from one another. People must respect each other for their individuality rather than imposing their ideas and beliefs on each other.
Speech on Generation Gap