ERIC Number: ED467508
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-May
Understanding the Circumstances of Rural Schooling: The Parameters of Respectful Research.
This paper presents a researcher's view of the foundations on which to research rural schooling. Three sections each discuss a different parameter of rural education research into science and mathematics education. These sections advise a conservative approach to research methodology, a liberal approach to content, and a radical approach to application. One wants to conduct research that will make a difference. So one chooses a method that is comprehensible and accessible to a wide audience, and one should choose conservatively for this reason. A post-positivist perspective allows the researcher to establish relationships among contexts, processes, and outcomes using methods that are widely accepted and understandable. This increases the chance that findings will get a hearing. Second, one must approach the rural context liberally, meaning respectfully, to allow oneself to see clearly the object of investigation. This means avoiding certain biases--stereotypes of the rural context as fundamentally deficient or assumptions that "best practices" will work in any context. Finally, one wants to design provocative research that intends critical responses in the public domain, but without giving the researcher the voice of all-knowing expert. The desperate rush to find out what works and then to make "what works" work is futile, since evaluation findings mask substantial variability. Rather the radical perspective on application should support conversations by ordinary people about the processes and purposes of education. Examples of research questions that follow this counsel are offered. (SV)
Descriptors: Bias, Context Effect, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Mathematics Education, Research Methodology, Research Utilization, Rural Education, Science Education
For full text: http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~howleyc/arsi_speech.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Understanding Achievement in Science and Mathematics in Rural Schools. Conference Proceedings (Lexington, Kentucky, May 21-23, 2001); see RC 023 463.