Conflicting Worldviews in the Classroom: The 'Holdeman' Mennonite School Trial 1978

Andrew Pemberton-Pigott

Abstract


Many historians and sociologists have noted that the classroom often becomes the battleground for conflicting social values. The 1978 Regina vs Wiebe trial in Alberta was a clear example of stress caused by changing values in a pluralistic society. Regina vs Wiebe reveals a struggle between three contrasting worldviews: Mennonite traditionalism, Mennonite modernism, and state secular humanism. The result forced provincial approval of independent schools on the grounds of religious freedom. This study outlines the legal, religious, and philosophical themes of the trial and uncovers underlying denominational tensions.

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