ERIC Number: ED401059
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct-13
The Rural Experience of Nation-Building: Implications for Educational Research and School Improvement in the Latest Era of "Globalization."
This paper explores changes needed in the focus and commitment of educational research to better reflect issues relevant to rural schools and their communities. Historically, educational researchers have focused on national or cosmopolitan concerns in efforts to develop widely applicable procedures for school improvement. However, improving rural schools also meant reshaping and redirecting them into a national system--of schooling, trade, politics, and culture--that has ensured the depopulation of rural areas and a failed rural economy. As the 21st century approaches, it appears that the major educational project of the 19th century, nation-building, is over and the sovereignty of nations is being undermined by globalization. The shift in focus and values that accompanies globalization thus undermines the purpose of mass education as well, leading to a need for new commitments in educational research. To focus on issues applicable to rural schools and their communities, educational research must consider local concerns such as attachment to rural places; the relationship between school and community sustainability; and the cultivation of appropriate local meanings, knowledge, and commitments. The paper also suggests that for rural researchers to change their focus they need to read rural sociology, rural community development, history, and fiction about rural places; be genuinely interested in rural matters; live or work in a rural community; and bring a critical framework to the research experience from their dual roles as educator and researcher. Contains 17 references and a list of recommended books related to rural educational research. (LP)
Descriptors: Economic Change, Educational Change, Educational Needs, Educational Philosophy, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Global Approach, Higher Education, Local Issues, Nationalism, Politics of Education, Research Needs, Research Problems, Role of Education, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, Values, World Views
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Rural Education Association (San Antonio, TX, October 13, 1996).