Cracks in Education: Alternative Schooling in Cultic Groups

Keywords: cultic groups, education system, alternative schooling, home schooling


The breakdown of cross-social values characteristic in a cult, expressed in limiting its members’ contacts with people from outside their own community, manifests itself in its critical attitude towards the common education system, and therefore in establishing its own schools, with a formula of education that is different from that found in traditional educational institutions. Some groups also use legal provisions enabling the implementation of home education, which allows them to protect children against the harmful, in their opinion, impact of the external environment. All this leads to a kind of gap in the cult’s relationship with the education system, causing it to lose both external and internal control mechanisms to limit potential abuse, making children from cultic milieu more vulnerable and defenseless than their peers growing up in a society equipped with the mentioned mechanisms, even if they are sometimes insufficiently implemented. Pupils taught in the mainstream school system maintain regular contact with their peers from different families and social groups. Similarly, teachers and other employees of the education system are embedded in different social contexts, which provides them with a perspective that lets them notice an occurring problem and offer help to the child.


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