Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

Anthropology, MA

Committee Chair

Markowitz, Lisa

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Parkhurst, Shawn

Committee Member

Parkhurst, Shawn

Committee Member

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Author's Keywords

Critical regionality; settlement schools; alternative pedagogy; educational inequality; educational attainment; Eastern Kentucky


This study examines the history of several Appalachian educational institutions, their approaches, and how that may influence contemporary Eastern Kentucky students (the Appalachian region in Kentucky). Eastern Kentucky today suffers from high rates of poverty and low rates of educational attainment, with a postsecondary attainment rate less than half of the nation’s average. This study proposes looking at Eastern Kentucky’s educational history and proposing ways to alter the current standardized pedagogies in secondary schools to cultivate higher rates of academic interest and motivation. I approach Eastern Kentucky’s complex history with the institution of education and its contemporary implications through a review of primary and secondary literature and interviews with secondary school educators in Eastern Kentucky. The overarching conclusion arrived at with this study is that pedagogical approaches that utilize the student’s experiences, such as critical regionality, are effective at cultivating educational motivation within a locale like Eastern Kentucky.