ERIC Number: EJ1099140
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Rural Aspirations, Rural Futures: From "Problem" to Possibility
Tieken, Mara Casey; San Antonio, Donna M.
Peabody Journal of Education, v91 n2 p131-136 2016
Young people aspire, make choices, and develop within a particular place and historical context. Recently, federal and state governments, policy and research institutes, and advocacy organizations have shown a growing interest in the aspirations and transitions of rural youth--and, in particular, the role that schools play in shaping and supporting them (National Education Association, 2012; Strange, 2011; Strange, Johnson, Showalter, & Klein, 2012; White, 2011). These leaders and officials recognize that the future of rural communities--and, indeed, the country itself--depends upon the aspirations of rural youth and the life course trajectories they choose. Mara Tieken and Donna San Antonio present an overview of this issue of the Peabody Journal of Education, which focuses on the aspirations of rural youth. This issue hopes to make the discussion about the aspirations and futures of rural youth more nuanced and more contextual, more realistic about the challenges facing rural communities and more optimistic about the futures of youth and their families. Authors were invited to bring different methodological, disciplinary, and theoretical perspectives--to think broadly about the following 4 questions: (1) What does economic, environmental, demographic, and social change mean for rural schools and their work with rural youth? (2) How do rural students think about their futures? How do schools shape and respond to this thinking? (3) How do the aspirations of rural youth develop? What micro-level (e.g., peers and families) and macro-level (e.g., economies and educational policies) influences matter? How does the rural context shape aspirations? (4) What role can rural schools play in rural revitalization and sustainability? Authors were sought out who would not only speak to the challenges facing rural youth and communities, but also illuminate the resources and resilience of rural spaces and people. Their contributions explore a variety of transitional points in the lives of rural youth, and they illuminate various contextual strands--economic, cultural, demographic, social, and environmental--that shape rural youths' aspirations for their futures and the skills, values, and beliefs they will bring to their adult lives. The articles also engage the developmental concerns of rural youth as they look toward the future, addressing the unique and varied ways they construct their identities, think about the values they've grown up with, feel attachment to rural places, and imagine the contribution they can make toward a public good. The following articles are contained in this issue: (1) Rural Education As Rural Development: Understanding the Rural School--Community Well-Being Linkage in a 21st-Century Policy Context (Kai A. Schaft); (2) Place-Based Stewardship Education: Nurturing Aspirations to Protect the Rural Commons (Erin Gallay, Lisa Marckini-Polk, Brandon Schroeder, and Constance Flanagan); (3) School Characteristics and Experiences of African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American Youth in Rural Communities: Relation to Educational Aspirations (Matthew J. Irvin, Soo-yong Byun, Judith L. Meece, Karla S. Reed, and Thomas W. Farmer); (4) College Talk and the Rural Economy: Shaping the Educational Aspirations of Rural, First-Generation Students (Mara Casey Tieken); (5) Perceived Local Job Prospects and School Connectedness in a Struggling Rural Economy: A Life-Course Perspective (Karen T. Van Gundy, Cesar J. Rebellon, Eleanor M. Jaffee, Nena F. Stracuzzi, Erin Hiley Sharp, and Corinna Jenkins Tucker); (6) The Complex Decision-Making Processes of Rural Emerging Adults: Counseling Beyond Dualism (Donna M. San Antonio); and (7) Rural Futures: Development, Aspirations, Mobilities, Place, and Education (Michael Corbett).
Descriptors: Rural Youth, Aspiration, Rural Schools, Economic Change, Social Change, Influences, Development, School Role, Rural Development, Sustainability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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