ERIC Number: ED316364
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Sep
A Changing Rural America: The Context for School Participation in Community Development.
Community development depends on capable, visionary local leaders and on informed and active citizens. Thus, in the long run, education for all citizens may be the most critical ingredient to the success of rural community development programs. Schools can further contribute to the development of rural communities by providing an explicit community focus to educational programs. This paper describes the declining economics of rural America in the 1980s, manifested in lost farms, closed businesses, unemployment and underemployment, eroding tax bases, and the inability of local governments to provide needed services. These changes are not just cyclical, but part of a broader restructuring of the national economy. Community capacity to alter this process can be affected by investment in education, with students benefitting through higher earnings and communities benefitting from improved schools and the increased productivity of better educated individuals. Schools can also make explicit contributions to community development by delivering quality education to all students, expanding their mission to include meeting the community's broader educational needs; teaching about the community and how it works; focussing on modern technology; leadership skills, and entrepreneurial abilities; and increasing public awareness of community educational needs. This paper contains 34 references. (DHP)
Descriptors: Community Action, Community Change, Community Development, Community Study, Economic Development, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Relevance (Education), Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Economics, Rural Education, School Community Relationship, Social Responsibility
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Regional Conference on the Role of Education in Rural Community Development (Roanoke, VA, September 23-25, 1989).