Title page for ETD etd-08012012-091718

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Workman, Sr., Eric R.
Author's Email Address eworkman@bland.org
URN etd-08012012-091718
Title Historical Study of Burke’s Garden High School: 1915 to 1960
Degree Doctor of Education
Department Career and Technical Education
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stewart, Daisy L. Committee Chair
Brewster, Thomas M. Committee Member
Hillison, John H. Committee Member
Tripp, Norman Wayne Committee Member
  • Burke's Garden
  • Agricultural Education
  • Home Economics Education
  • Career and Technical Education
Date of Defense 2012-06-27
Availability unrestricted
Eric R. Workman, Sr. Abstract

Burke’s Garden High School was a small school established in 1915 that was located in a fertile farming community in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. The uniqueness of the geography of the area promoted a communal-based society whose citizens worked together for educational prosperity. This historical study documents the establishment of public education in Virginia, the demand for a public school in Burke’s Garden, the establishment, operation, and closing of the school, as well as identifies the two career and technical education programs offered at the school, agricultural and home economics education.

The remoteness of the community presented challenges to operating a school. Issues such as maintaining student enrollment numbers as well as qualified teachers required the school system and the community to work with neighboring communities for the benefit of the school and community. The practice of boarding students and teachers was employed to increase the number of students as well as to provide additional support for teachers. Eventually, due to improved transportation methods, construction of a new high school in the neighboring community of Tazewell, Virginia, and the modernization of the farming industry, there were fewer children in Burke’s Garden, which led to the closing of the high school in 1960.

Burke’s Garden High School was one of five high schools operated in Tazewell County Public Schools from 1915 to 1960. Tazewell County, Virginia, has two distinct areas of economic dominance, the mining of coal and the production of agricultural products. Two historical studies of public schools in Tazewell County outline the relationship between specific communities and their schools: A Historic Coal Mining Community and Its School: A Study of Pocahontas High School 1908-1991, by Thomas Brewster (2000) and A Coal Camp and Its Classroom: A Historical Study of a Virginia Coal Camp and Its School 1888-1987, by Terry Mullins (1996). The two schools in these studies were both located in coal mining communities compared to Burke’s Garden High School that was located in the agricultural section of Tazewell County.

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