Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Harry M. Lindquist

Committee Members

Norbert F. Riedl, W. Lee Humphreys, Charles H. Reynolds


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the therapeutic approach to education which was instituted at Friendsville Academy in Friendsville, Tennessee, between the years 1970 and 1973. This particular approach was oriented toward helping children of middle and secondary school age to resolve their emotional conflicts which often put them at odds with their families, their communities, their teachers, and, in some cases, the law. Their problems ranged from drug addiction and sexual promiscuity to disruptive behavior.

Friendsville Academy is a Quaker school, historically supported and directed by the local Quaker Church. During the administration between 1970 and 1973, the school had little association with the Quaker Church, but was founded on the Quaker principles of "community" and "family." The Academy's headmaster during these years, Arthur Masker, attempted to create a sense of "community" spirit and "familial" reinforcement to the above students. It was his feeling that removal from the home environment would alleviate many of the pressures on the troubled students, but that removal had to be accompanied by such reinforcing agents as a surrogate "community" and "family."

One of the major failures of this therapeutic program was the lack of a knowledgeable and cooperative effort by staff, administration, students, parents, and the local town. This thesis intends to describe, through ethnographic data, the structure of the academic community at the Academy. It also intends to show that without a cooperative and knowledgeable effort by the above-mentioned parties, it is impossible to establish a school as a "community" and a "family," while, at the same time, maintaining academic integrity.

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