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ERIC Number: EJ890251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-1036-0026
Youth Exodus and Rural Communities: Valorising Learning for Choice--(SPERA Keynote 2009 Conference Address)
Halsey, R. John
Education in Rural Australia, v19 n3 p1-11 2009
One of the common characteristics of rural communities globally, and especially those in the developed countries of the world, is the exodus of youth in search of "greener pastures." While this exodus of youth has been happening for centuries and has often been spurred along by fundamental changes in the way societies organise themselves, such as occurred during the Industrial Revolution, it is now one of the most challenging issues confronting rural communities. This is because "youth are fundamentally future-oriented and, as such, are a critical human resource for rebuilding and re-energising rural contexts." This article explores "learning for choice" as a contribution towards addressing the decline of youth in rural areas and in doing so commences with a section on rurality to illustrate some of the diversity of understandings about the concept and to provide locational and contextual dimensions for the article. The author then introduces the concepts of "strong choice" and "weak choice" and amplifies Bernstein's (1971) message system theory about how schools realise their purposes. This is followed by some theoretical framing based on Corbett's (2007a) research in a fishing community in Nova Scotia. The final section of the article attempts to bring together the problem and the theorising using a modified case study to show how learning for choice constitutes a way of helping retain youth in rural areas. (Contains 1 figure.)
Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia. P.O. Box 659, Wembly, Western Australia 6913, Australia. Tel: +08-9264-5809; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada