Pedagogy of the Rural: re-conceptualisations of rural

Year: 2015

Author: Walker-Gibbs, Bernadette, Ludecke, Michelle, Kline, Jokie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper proposes a concept of Pedagogy of the Rural that draws together current rural education theory and practice to illustrate the complexities of rural space and place often overlooked in teacher education more broadly. We firstly examine notions of size and how this impacts on the ways in which beginning teachers in rural locations are positioned in terms of identity at a macro, meso and micro level. We further explore Pedagogy of the Rural through various case studies undertaken as part of a large-scale research project on examining the effectiveness of teacher education in preparing teachers for a diversity of settings. The concept of Pedagogy of the Rural considers some of the underlying assumptions, ‘truths’ and ‘realities’ about rural education and teaching, and in turn offers an alternative to current teacher education practice that is responsive to local conditions and traditions. Finally Pedagogy of the Rural examines what it means to ‘be rural’ and conceptualises rural understandings as a pedagogy that is not a pedagogy ‘for’ or ‘about’ but rather ‘of’ the rural. We provide a way forward for valuing rural contexts for what they bring to teacher identities beyond traditional deficit positionings dominant in current discourses on rural.
Keywords: pedagogy; rural; teacher education