ERIC Number: ED308051
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Dec-13
Reference Count: N/A
Tapping the Strengths of Rural Schools: An Exemplary Staff Development Model.
Killian, Joyce E.; Byrd, David M.
This paper describes the Renewal Institute for Practicing Educators, a staff development program designed specifically for rural teachers. The institute is a state-funded cooperative effort between school districts and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. It provides tuition-free spring and summer workshops for rural teachers in science, math, and language arts. The focus of each Renewal Institute teaching program is determined by a steering committee of local teachers, administrators, and university faculty. The institute's summer 1987 language arts program is described with particular emphasis on the cooperative aspect of the program and the high degree of teacher involvement. Obstacles and incentives for teachers to implement workshop ideas are also described and discussed in detail. Among the factors influencing change in the classroom are: money, administrators, colleagues, parents, students, and professional self-improvement. The paper concludes that rural teachers and teaching positions differ from their urban and suburban counterparts in several aspects, both positive and negative. Rural staff development programs lack some incentives often associated with effective change in larger schools, including external pressure to try new approaches, organizational structures conducive to change, and ongoing technical and resource support. The close-knit quality of rural schools, on the other hand, provides a different set of advantages that can be used by staff developers. Contains 14 references. (TES)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, College School Cooperation, Cooperative Programs, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Inservice Teacher Education, Participative Decision Making, Rural Education, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, Teacher Education Programs, Teacher Improvement, Teacher Workshops
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois