ERIC Number: ED404063
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Rural Scholars or Bright Rednecks? Aspirations for a Sense of Place among Rural Youth in Appalachia.
Howley, Craig; And Others
This study compares the attitudes of academically gifted rural students with those of their classmates with regard to their communities and their aspirations for a sense of place. Although West Virginia, a largely rural state in Appalachia, is considered by outsiders as a place of deprivation, despair, and backwardness, an aspiration for a sense of place clearly exists among its rural residents. But poor job prospects, along with economic decline, have motivated many West Virginia youth to leave their communities in search of better opportunities. In addition, many educators and community leaders report that students are not active in their communities, a trend believed to reinforce youth outmigration. A questionnaire about students' community satisfaction; ideal community; and perceptions of isolation, powerlessness, and normlessness was completed by 158 academically gifted high school students who attended the 1994 West Virginia Governor's Honors Academy and by 600 high school seniors from 7 rural West Virginia high schools. Results indicate that gifted students placed greater importance on quality of schools when imagining an ideal community than did the comparison group. Gifted students tended toward a more "modern" disposition, which makes it difficult to realize aspirations for a sense of place. In addition, ancillary analyses indicated that very rural gifted students were significantly less satisfied with their communities than gifted students living in more urbanized West Virginia communities. Contains 48 references. (LP)
Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Aspiration, Community Satisfaction, Employment Opportunities, High School Seniors, High Schools, Place of Residence, Relocation, Role of Education, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Youth, Socioeconomic Status, Student Alienation, Student Attitudes, Student Surveys, Values, Youth Opportunities
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: West Virginia