Five more readings on rural education

Educational Research: Five Further Reading on Rural Education

We share five rural education resources. © kwanchai.c / Shutterstock

Welcome to this month’s edition of Educational Research: Five More Reads. In this series we take a look at some further reading on a specific topic, including open access research papers from various online databases, and Teacher Archive content you may not have come across yet.

What are the most pressing challenges you face as an educator in a rural community that are directly related to the location of your school? Is professional learning an area where you need support? What about staff turnover or opportunities for students? Here we present five reports that analyze the experiences of teachers and students in rural schools across the country.

  1. Collaboration: Supporting students, staff and executives in Queensland’s rural and remote schools. In this Queensland Department of Education paper, the authors summarize the results of reviews conducted in 125 rural schools and 37 distance schools in 2019. They discuss the strengths of these schools, such as their strong community relationships and an overall positive culture. In addition, potentials for improvement and common challenges of these schools are shown.

    “The size and location of a school can pose unique challenges,” the report said. “Most often these are limited professional development opportunities, high staff turnover and the need to teach outside of their specialist area.”

  2. Education in remote and complex environments. Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training of the House of Representatives. The House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training prepared this report after examining how the education system is currently meeting the needs of students in regional, rural and remote communities. The research uncovered some of the barriers students face in these areas and provided 14 recommendations for improving student outcomes.
  3. Spotlight: Professional learning for rural, regional and distance teachers. A Teacher infographic recently highlighted some of the findings of this AITSL Spotlight report. The report shows how difficult it is for teachers to access professional learning in rural, regional and remote areas; the most frequent professional learning activities they have participated in in the past year; and the role of in-service learning.

    “A greater focus on job-related, relevant and collaborative learning for rural, regional and distance teachers could reduce long-distance burdens and high costs,” the report said.

  4. Contextualizing Policy Implementation in Regional, Rural, and Remote Australian Schools: A Review of the Literature. This magazine article analyzes why schools in regional, rural, and remote communities across the country – facing geographical disadvantages – are missing out on policy implementation. The article’s author, Alice Herbert of James Cook University, conducted a literature review which found that policy implementation is influenced by situational context, professional context, material context, and external context. “Policies need to be enacted locally to use community participation to be effective,” she writes. “This research is a fruitful endeavor, as not only politics, but also education and practice need to be contextualized.
  5. Boarding off and on Country: An education study in a remote community in the Northern Territory. Researchers at the Australian National University’s Center for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research have observed educational opportunities for students living in a remote community in the Northern Territory. Students here have to go to boarding school in secondary school, and the researchers found that the places available for students are less than the number of students in the community. The report also looks at other barriers to secondary education, such as social factors and post-school outcomes.

You can find some of the resources featured in this article in the Cunningham Library Catalog and EdResearch Online. Use the links below to search these two online databases for additional resources on rural education.

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