ERIC Number: ED344719
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan-20
Reference Count: N/A
Critical Issues in Rural Education, Writ Large: Aims, Curriculum and Instruction, and School Finance.
Howley, Craig B.
This paper examines issues in rural education related to aims, curriculum, and finance. It questions the notion that educational restructuring is necessary for the purpose of improving economic competitiveness. Wigginton, a rural educator, proposes that the aims of education should be: (1) to provide a firm grounding in the basic skills; (2) to develop an understanding of how the world works; (3) to cultivate an appreciation for the arts; and (4) to foster a determination to make a contribution. Another rural educator, Keizer, feels schools should do more than mirror and foreshadow the real world. Rural education should help students to construct meaning out of and in their lives. In terms of curriculum and instruction, rural schools tend to be small-scale, enabling them to be more responsive to students. Research shows a small but consistent advantage of small schools over large schools in terms of achievement when the effect of socioeconomic status is controlled. Although the use of technology is often advocated for rural school improvement, technology as a tool to achieve efficiency may not be so attractive; it may do more to refine the "one best system" model than to help responsive teaching. American school finance typically focuses on efficiency rather than effectiveness. There is a need for better funded schools. Rather than trying ineffectively to provide social services in schools, the aim should be to guarantee that every child will learn in school. (KS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Indian Nations At Risk Task Force.
Identifiers: Culturally Relevant Curriculum; Indian Nations At Risk Task Force
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Western Leadership Conference of the National Education Association (Omaha, NE, January 20, 1990).