ERIC Number: ED444790
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Bringing It All Back Home: Reclaiming the Rural Story.
Over the last 50 years, American attitudes toward rural areas have shifted from pride and concern to indifference and ultimately neglect. This shift in attitudes has accompanied the decline in rural population. The media tend to portray rural areas in extremes, depicting either poverty, neglect, and despair, or breath-taking scenery and an idyllic lifestyle. Such conflicting representations feed misconceptions about rural areas. A good example of our neglect is found in rural education. Rural schools are underfunded, and rural students have been neglected in educational studies and viewed from a deficit perspective. The urban model imposed on rural areas has resulted in consolidation, not just of schools, but of governments and farms. Consolidation, whose primary aim has been to save costs while improving rural education, has been described as the single most damaging policy for the quality of schooling and sustainability of rural communities in this century. Consolidation overlooks the wealth of knowledge, sensibility, and history embodied in the relationship between a community and its children, resulting in loss of valuable cultural capital. Successful rural school reform depends on rural community revitalization. Although the great diversity in rural areas complicates defining "rural," the rural life fosters democracy, egalitarianism, and independence, which are foundational ideological elements not only of rural life, but of the United States as a whole. Thus, to preserve rurality is to preserve the foundation of our society. (TD)
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A