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ERIC Number: ED471920
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Dilemmas of Rural Life and Livelihood: Academics and Community. Working Paper.
DeYoung, Alan J.
This essay considers connections between rural American life, livelihood, academics, and community. Two major areas are addressed: curricular issues in rural high schools and the nature of community and its central influence on the rural school. Historically youth who stayed in their rural community did not require preparation for higher education. A pre-college, or academic, curriculum in local high schools was thought by many rural residents to smack of elitism. After World War II, the metropolitan model of preparing youth for postsecondary education was imposed on rural schools. Rural educators increasingly came to believe that their job was to export as many able students as possible via college preparation programs. Since universities required increasing numbers of college equivalency units that were expensive to provide in small schools, consolidated schools were seen as real progress among remaining rural elites. However, rural high schools are not only educational institutions, but community hubs. The emerging belief that high schools need to focus on academic standards and not on local sporting or cultural events often results in a traumatic confrontation between the rural community and the school. Rural educators have a choice. They can try to rebuild rural communities and help reconnect schools to places rather than using them as sorting machines for exporting children to metropolitan America. But in the cacophony of "globalism" today, this is a losing battle. The other choice is to understand that high schools today need to prepare youths for post-high school possibilities as well as whatever is locally possible. But local values and hopes for local livelihoods should not be deprecated as somehow inferior to academic interests. (TD)
For full text:
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Ohio Univ., Athens.