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Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928
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Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  153 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The last "Indian war" was fought against Native American children in the dormitories and classrooms of government boarding schools. Only by removing Indian children from their homes for extended periods of time, policymakers reasoned, could white "civilization" take root while childhood memories of "savagism" gradually faded to the point of extinction. In the words of one ...more
Paperback, 396 pages
Published October 30th 1995 by University Press of Kansas (first published 1995)
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Nov 19, 2012 Orenda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic
This book looks at the boarding school experience in the United States, and is broken up into four primary sections: “Civilization”, “Education”, “Response”, and “Causatum”. "Civilization" looks at the policies and philosophies that resulted in the development of a residential school model. "Education" then focuses on the process and framework that developed as a result of these policies. "Response" looks in turn at resistance movements, resilience of the students, and how they were able to work ...more
Apr 16, 2015 Jeni rated it it was amazing
Adams, David Wallace. Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928. Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1997.

Education for Extinction by David Wallace Adams, who was an associate professor at Cleveland State University, has been one of the most authoritative books dealing with Native American boarding schools/education. Adams described the harsh conditions Native American children faced as they were sent to boarding schools controlled by whites with t
Aug 24, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: comps
4.5 stars to be exact. This is a fabulous overview of the entire boarding school system, its formation, faults and strengths. Crucially, it attempts to give equal weight to the perspectives of the government, Indian nations, parents, students, teachers, and administrators when covering this brambly subject in a particularly tragic era of Native American history. En route, Wallace covered the rhetoric and motivations of US Politicians and Christian Reformers that led to the formation of this ...more
Craig Werner
Jun 21, 2012 Craig Werner rated it it was ok
A barely adequate overview of a crucial topic in Native American history. Adams synthesizes a fair amount of material concerning the philosophical, political and institutional history of the boarding schools. But he doesn't add anything at all to his sources and he fails to find a consistent perspective on the contradictions that doomed the schools to failure. He gestures towards the problem at the outset, indicating that he's using the language of "savagery" and "progress" (etc.) because it was ...more
Oct 23, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it
Very good overview of the Native American boarding school experience, from its inception after the Civil War to the 1920's. (It should be noted that several boarding schools continued after the 1920's, so I was left wondering why the author stopped there.) The book is organized into sections: the first explores the reasons for the NA boarding schools formation and the history of that formation, the next describes what the schools were physically like, the next explores what was taught in the ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Taylor rated it liked it
Shelves: college
"He is born a blank like the rest of us. Left in the surroundings of savagery, he grows to possess a savage language, susperstition, and life. We, left in the surroundings of civilization, grow to possess a civilized language, life, and purpose."

With compelling anecdotes, letters between family members, and thorough research, David Wallace Adams tells a thoroughly disturbing account of the assault on Indian children by policy and actors like the unwavering Captain Pratt. For non-fiction, it was
Apr 18, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it
This book was a really interesting read for me because I didn't know much about the Native American education system of the late 1800's - early 1900's previously. It highlights the underlying problem of the painful compromise between preserving traditional lifeways and "civilizing"/modernizing indigenous peoples. As the daughter of two former teachers for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I found the topic fascinating. Adams offers a balanced and thorough examination of the historical context and ...more
Dec 23, 2015 Mitch rated it liked it
An important book for those who work with Native students, those are curious about American history, or have a passion for understanding how the educational system in the United States came into being. The book feels somewhat repetitive, disjointed, and alternates between historical record and biographical narrative. Perhaps choosing one style would have made the read more enjoyable. That said, this book taught me many things and I am better for reading it.
Mar 13, 2010 Aannedomm rated it really liked it
Adams explores many aspects of the boarding school system for American Indians throughout this work, touching on changing views towards Native American education and the actions of policymakers. The book is well organized and enjoyable to read and Adams takes the reader on a journey, placing them in the perspective of the student, teachers, and politicians. Throughout the book Adams' arguments are backed up through a solid use of historical sources.
Oct 04, 2009 Aramie rated it it was amazing
Very interesting (and heartbreaking) read. It is a history book, so some may find it a bit dry.
Boarding schools were set up for Indian children in the 1800s in an attempt to "kill the Indian and save the man." This book tells the story of how these schools came about and how they were received by the Indian nations who sent their children there to be schooled.
Feb 28, 2013 Sinistmer rated it really liked it
Very well written and engaging, this book is an excellent discussion of American policy toward Native Americans. I also thought it was a balanced discussion that did not take too many liberties with the available information.
Liz Simmons
Feb 16, 2016 Liz Simmons rated it liked it
A lot of important information on a topic that has been under-researched. I wish the writing was more readable and that the book was organized a bit differently. Still, one of the key works on the American Indian boarding school experience.
Oct 07, 2009 Jezcab rated it really liked it
My grandfather went to a Carlisle School, I was given the book by a teacher friend of mine and it's very enlightening thus far. I keep having to take a break from the aggravation, but it is extensive and informative!
Aug 02, 2009 Chow rated it really liked it
Interesting how Native Am children were put into white schools to take the "native" out of them. How they coped with being away from their normal lives, how the system changed through the years.
Jan 18, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it
An enlightening historical account that reminds us that even well-intentioned education is a form of paradigm hegemony.... sometimes blatantly and destructively, as is the case here.
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