ERIC Number: ED339552
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Rural Education in a Period of Transition: Are the Public Schools Up to the Task?
Rural public schools can be perceived as economic drains on community resources; they also can be perceived as being of inadequate quality, hence demanding more support. Educational critics, however, are questioning the notion that more is better and are recommending teaching fewer, more integrated courses, in longer time periods. In analyzing indicators of input, process, and performance, rural secondary schools are closer to these recommendations than large or urban schools. They offer fewer courses with teachers often teaching more than one content area. Teaching strategies such as cooperative learning and peer teaching are an integral part of multi-grade teaching assignments of the small, rural school. These are being recognized as good instruction, particularly for at-risk students. Despite these rural strengths, the evidence for rural schools' better outcome is not clear. One reason for such obscurity is that education is dominated by urban values and standards. To recapture the relevance of learning, a style of schooling and classroom organization is needed to actively engage students with the natural and human world around them, not just in the context of science or social studies, but as subject matter for artistic expression, mathematical analysis, astronomy, history, and reading and writing. Because of their small scale and ready access to the environment, rural schools are able to implement these activities more easily than large urban schools. Rural schools have the opportunity to be leaders in redesigning schools for the future. Includes 25 references. (ALL)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Objectives, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Integrated Activities, Public Schools, Relevance (Education), Role of Education, Rural Education, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, School Effectiveness, School Restructuring, School Size, Small Schools
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: National Rules Studies Committee: A Proceedings (Cedar Falls, IA, May 17-18, 1990) p95-102.