ERIC Number: ED368538
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Preparing Teachers for Rural Education Settings in Australia: Issues of Policy, Practice and Quality.
Gibson, Ian W.
This paper analyzes current policy and practice relating to the preparation and selection of teachers for rural areas of Australia, and contrasts these to perceptions of rural teachers concerning the adequacy of their preservice preparation. Nine recent Australian national and state reports and policy statements were analyzed. National policy recognizes the uniqueness of Australian rural schools, and the need for specialized training for future rural teachers in such areas as rural culture and society, Aboriginal culture, climate, mechanisms for adapting to local limited resources, and multigrade teaching methods. By contrast, the pervasive attitude in state education department documents appears to assume no need for specialized training or selection practices for rural and isolated personnel. Interviews with representatives of state and regional teacher recruitment offices revealed no standard approach to selection of rural teachers and little effort to match appropriate skills with rural placements. In-depth structured interviews were conducted with 24 teachers newly appointed to small communities in "outback" regions of Queensland. Most had requested rural placement. Half were in one-teacher schools, and 79 percent were teaching three or more grade levels. Three-quarters of interviewees were dissatisfied with their preparation for rural teaching, and indicated the need for better training in multigrade classroom strategies and teaching methods, organization, student evaluation and placement, school administration, and dealing with the community. (Contains 33 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).