ERIC Number: ED495031
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Saving the Children of the Poor in Rural Schools. Working Paper No. 28
Howley, Craig B.; Howley, Aimee E.; Howley, Caitlin W.; Howley, Marged D.
Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment, and Instruction in Mathematics (ACCLAIM)
This study closely examined interview transcripts collected in six rural schools to describe how educators and community members viewed issues of social class. Data came from an SEA-funded project investigating high-poverty schools honored for serving all students well. This study is one of several drawing on data gathered for this project. Findings demonstrate three distinct approaches to engaging the poor. The major tendency is "saving the poor," a benign middle-class attempt to support impoverished families and intending to help children from such families enter the local middle class. Four of the six schools embrace this approach. The other two schools were different. In one, the poor were repudiated and even demonized. In the other, the poor were not even identified as a group; instead, interviewees described all residents as "common people," and the school exhibited a strong community purpose and a strong concern for the common good. Such close connection permitted educators to convince skeptical rural parents of the value of a prominent reform mathematics curriculum, which this school adopted. The discussion considers several theories potentially useful in explaining the findings: educational leadership, cultural values, community type, economic structure, and historical views of schooling. Examination of issues of economic structure, however, offers unique causal insights. The discussion concludes with an interpretation of the relevance of a deeper understanding of social class issues to the future of rural schooling. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 17 footnotes.) [Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA, April 2006.]
Descriptors: Economically Disadvantaged, Middle Class, Values, Instructional Leadership, Rural Schools, Mathematics Curriculum, Educational Research, Educational Change, Poverty, Interviews, Social Class, Socioeconomic Influences, Educational Environment, Cultural Influences, Economic Factors, Educational Quality, School Role, Academic Degrees
Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment, and Instruction in Mathematics (ACCLAIM). Research Initiative, McCracken Hall, College of Education, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45710. Tel: 740-593-9869; Web site: http://www.acclaim-math.org/clearinghouse.aspx
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Ohio Univ., Athens. Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment, and Instruction in Mathematics.