ERIC Number: ED390606
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Impact of Current Policy Trends in Education on Rural Communities and Their Small Schools.
Globally, the increasing breakdown of economic systems is resulting in decreased government responsibility for health, welfare, and education and is placing growing demands on communities. Government policies in Australia are moving toward self-managing schools that require strong community support and involvement. On the other hand, some policy statements suggest that self-managing schools must possess a degree of specialization in administration and curriculum delivery that depends upon a minimum size. The implication is that efficient self-managing schools must either be large, autonomous, and self-directing in administrative and educational arenas, or belong to a conglomerate of small schools linked in an organizational network. This paper argues that small rural schools have unique community-school links that may be destroyed when operations are combined with those of other small schools. However, the alternative of school closure can devastate the small rural community. Case studies of four small rural schools in Victoria (Australia) examine their relationships with their communities, the loss of teachers and school support services due to mandated staff reductions, community tensions and fears of school closing, and cultural and social issues affecting community responses to externally imposed change. Contains 10 references. (Author/SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Australia (Victoria)
Note: In: Issues Affecting Rural Communities. Proceedings of an International Conference Held by the Rural Education Research and Development Centre (Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 10-15, 1994); see RC 020 376.