NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED421311
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Place Value: Experiences from the Rural Challenge.
Nachtigal, Paul
In 1993, Ambassador Walter Annenberg gave $500 million to address issues of school reform in the United States. A portion of this, known as the Rural Challenge, was dedicated to rural school reform. The four aspects of the Rural Challenge--a grants program, public policy initiative, public engagement effort, and large evaluation--provide a framework for reexamining some fundamental questions about the purposes and processes of education. Three central issues are addressed: "what is education for?", "whose interests are being served?", and "who gets the say about what happens in public schools?" Current thinking holds the purpose of education to be economic competitiveness and gain, which benefits those who play the stock market. The agenda for public education has increasingly moved away from local communities to the state and national level. The overall effect has been to educate rural students to leave their communities to find work. The Rural Challenge proposes that the purpose of education should be the health of the community, rather than individual career achievement. This requires place-based education, which connects schools and communities to local natural and cultural resources, thus grounding the curriculum in that local place. The 24 Rural Challenge projects are developing place-based education. These projects show that when students learn in and about their community, they contribute directly to the viability of that community. The real challenge lies in using these experiences to shape public policy in order that the rules and regulations that stifle a more powerful approach to learning may be changed. (TD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A