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ERIC Number: ED377996
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Forces Supporting Consolidation and Some Alternatives.
Theobald, Paul
The economic decline of rural communities and the accompanying trend toward rural school consolidation are intimately connected to the American liberal and individualist world view. In general, liberalism has meant having a representative government, an economic arrangement that maximizes the freedom of accumulation, and an educational system that legitimizes the pursuit of truth rather than preparation for an occupation. However, liberalism has not always been a desirable cultural standard. For example, the classical and feudal periods were marked by a communal orientation as opposed to an individualist orientation. Communality was replaced by liberalism in the 17th century when Christianity and a salvationist theology became dominant. Modern liberalism has led to a heavily individualized worldview that has resulted in a competitive milieu dominating most economic, political, and educational thinking. Some effects on education have been a focus on efficiency and the role of the school in determining the winners and losers in society. Rural schools also have become the vehicle for a powerful cultural message: success in school means leaving the rural community. What is needed is a return to a communal orientation, which would end the focus on efficiency achieved through rural school consolidation, and might address some of the reasons why rural America is in decline in the first place. Equally important, rural communities should have input concerning the status of their schools, and schools must begin to serve their communities in new ways. School districts need to consider alternatives to consolidation including sharing arrangements, telecommunications, and alternative school financing. (LP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A