ERIC Number: ED366475
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jan-11
Reference Count: N/A
Researching Rural American Schools: Continuing Cultural Themes and Cultural Conflicts in the Countryside.
DeYoung, Alan J.
The "rural school problem" continues to plague current researchers, as it did school reformers of the past. There are basically two academic literatures focusing upon rural communities and their schools where rurality rather than ethnicity is the focus. The historical literature typically features tales of rural economic decline, changing demography, and emerging industrial culture from the Civil War through the Cold War. The second perspective also deals with major social transformations in economy, location, and occupation, but deals with the international scene rather than the domestic. Both perspectives address the role of formal schooling in transforming rural populations into modern citizens. Braxton County, West Virginia, fits the rural community types of "depressed rural" and "isolated rural." Sociologists hypothesize about the potential for rural schools to bridge the alleged chasm between rural Appalachia and the national culture. Observations in Braxton County schools suggest that instructional and extracurricular activities are intentionally compensatory, designed to offset some of the perceived cultural disadvantages of regional rurality, isolation, and poverty. However, cultural opposition to mainstream educational goals arises from a strong sense of place, the hunting subculture, the lack of role models seeking career goals, fatalist and fundamentalist beliefs, and the low value placed on high school and higher education. (Contains 25 references.) (KS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Appalachian People; Braxton County School District WV; Rural Culture