ERIC Number: ED307097
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Changing Context of Education in a Rural Setting. Occasional Paper 26.
Stephens, E. Robert
This paper examines trends that are currently reshaping rural America and rural education. It reviews the debate about how best to improve rural school districts, suggesting that what is needed is a better understanding of the changing context in which this country's public school enterprise is taking place. The paper begins by reviewing the work on several recent typologies of nonmetropolitan America which establish the nature of diversity there. This is followed by consideration of the equally important concept that rural schools differ among themselves, as indicated by early results of promising research. In the third section, a synthesis is provided of the major economic, social and political developments impacting rural America that appear to have the most significance for school improvement programs. Next, the paper provides a synthesis of the "first round" of education reform and a review of what is being suggested as the most meaningful direction for the next generation of reform. The emphasis in both instances, however, is on the seldom considered consequences of reform on small, rural school districts; these educational developments represent potentially significant changes in the environment in which rural systems function. The paper concludes with a discussion of potential policy implications of the economic, social, political, and educational trends for rural school improvement efforts. The focus here is on displaying the major dimensions of the changing context in which rural school improvement must take place. It is suggested that long-term rural school improvement should be specific to each state in recognition of the existing policies, traditions, and diversity of state systems. This document contains 123 references, 23 demographic tables, and 6 figures. An appendix contains an additional 8 maps. (TES)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Demography, Economic Factors, Educational Change, Educational Development, Educational Improvement, Educational Trends, Elementary Secondary Education, Population Trends, Public Policy, Rural Education, Rural Environment, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, School Districts, Socioeconomic Influences
Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc., P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 ($10.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.