ERIC Number: ED390602
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Rural Schools, Rural Communities: An Alternative View of the Future. Keynote Address.
Nachtigal, Paul M.
The urbanization and industrialization of a society based on commercial competitiveness has resulted in the marginalization of rural communities and the disempowerment of rural people. An alternative view of the future is needed, and rural schools have a part to play in creating it. Four sets of forces are driving society toward a different future: (1) emerging realization that the concentrated economic power of multinational corporations has run amok, creating insecurity for many workers; (2) transition from an industrial to an information society, creating a need for information generalists and a shift in social values and tastes from standardization to diversity; (3) recognition of the ecological limits of the planet; and (4) yearning by many people to become a part of"community" and to reestablish control of their lives. Sustainable rural communities are a part of the alternative future. If rural schools are to contribute to community development, they must reconsider the purposes of schooling, shift the focus of curriculum to the local community context, provide students with the skills to create their own jobs, and maximize benefits to the community from investments in educational facilities and resources. Rural schools can function as information resources for community development, support economic development directly and indirectly, and make real contributions to the physical and cultural health of communities. Various examples are presented of student entrepreneurial projects and school activities supporting community development. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Issues Affecting Rural Communities. Proceedings of an International Conference Held by the Rural Education Research and Development Centre (Townsville, Queensland, Australia, July 10-15, 1994); see RC 020 376.