Paying Attention to Rural Education Essay

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For many communities, particularly rural communities, schools serve as a source of identity. Because of this, the problems that plague rural schools become enough of a problem that they threaten the identity of the community; unfortunately, many lawmakers and policymakers in seats of power do not have an intuitive understanding of how rural schools work. Policies that work for urban schools, or even suburban schools, can not be assumed to fit the role of a rural school. It is suggested in this article that more attention needs to be paid to rural schools that fly under the radar or have misdiagnosed problems. Even though a greater number of people are moving to rural areas from urban environments, nationwide awareness of problems in…show more content…
A note on the last point: this is not a negative thing in and of itself, it is only a problem if the school does not have the resources or know-how to handle a growing diverse population. It helps nobody if a diverse school is teaching to only the majority population. On a broad basis, the discussion in this article of problems being handled in a ‘general’ way speaks volumes about our own pluralistic educational needs. We learn in class that it is important to not judge students based on their backgrounds, and that it is important to approach all cultures as unique. Using a broad stroke to try and cover diversity does not work. In a similar way, trying to solve the problems of rural schools using a broad stroke (using methods that normally apply to similar problems in an urban setting, for instance) will not work. As educators, it is important for us to consider the unique problems of the rural setting and to consider how these issues affect our students. “The interactions between teachers and students determine the quality of education. Teachers send messages that tell students that they have potential and that they can learn. Teachers who know their subject matter, believe that all students can learn, and care about students as individuals can have a great impact on students and their learning,” (379 Gollnick and Chinn). In absence of funding and resources, teachers can still take great strides in providing students
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