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ERIC Number: ED318604
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov-16
Pages: 75
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Economics and Education: Instrumentalism and the Dilemma of Learning in Rural Areas.
Howley, Craig B.
While most economists agree that educational attainment contributes to national economic performance, studies have not generally confirmed a similar conclusion with respect to rural areas. This paper examines the relationships between rural education and economics. The new aim of American education, restoration of national economic competitiveness, is based on human capital theory and promotes the instrumental view that wise investments in this resource will strengthen the economy. Available evidence, however, suggests that rural schools are expected to carry out this mission with meager financial support. Increased efficiency is hardly possible in a system already operating very efficiently. The paper explores a number of analyses of rural economics and the causes and conditions of rural poverty. It proposes that the macroeconomy requires the marginality of rural enterprises. The paper demonstrates that human capital theory cannot explain the economic plight of rural areas, vocationalism has not provided the promised economic development, and the technology of school improvement is problematic for rural schools. Two contemporary proposals are considered: entrepreneurship as the new vocationalism and the nurture of minds that construct meaning. The latter views rural education as a cultural act, preserving and extending culture, against education as an economic end. This paper contains 109 references. (DHP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A