Opportunities to Develop Programs and Engage Amish Youth in Safety Education

S. Dee Jepsen, Joseph Donnermeyer

Abstract


Understanding and designing appropriate educational youth safety programs for the Amish requires an appreciation of their history, their distinctiveness in an American society built on economic, social and cultural change, and how the Amish themselves have changed over the years. The qualitative research study highlighted in this paper sought to determine culturally and age-appropriate curricula useful to community educators interested in youth safety programs for Amish and other conservative Anabaptist groups. Researchers identified rural safety topics of interest to Amish families to include lawn mowers, string trimmers, chemicals, water, livestock, confined spaces, tractors and skid loaders. Parents regularly involved children in daily farm chores, where they made assignments based on the child’s physical development, maturity, interest in the task, and birth-order. Findings suggest opportunities for cooperative extension professionals to develop and engage Amish children in safety education programs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2012.138

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