Theory & Practice in Rural Education

Journal Information
EISSN : 2641-7170
Current Publisher: East Carolina University (10.3776)
Total articles ≅ 30

Latest articles in this journal

Candy Skyhar
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 42-72; doi:10.3776/tpre.2020.v10n1p42-72

Despite the fact that they are all unique, rural school districts/divisions (in Canada and elsewhere) face similar challenges when it comes to providing effective professional development (PD) for teachers. Issues related to funding, geography, staffing, and contextual differences impact the availability of PD opportunities for educators in rural contexts; however, rural school divisions possess many strengths from which solutions to these challenges might be fashioned. The question of how rural divisions might construct local teacher PD models that draw on local strengths, mitigate local challenges, and support teacher professional growth is critical to the provision of quality education for rural students. Through a single-case study design, this study examined the effectiveness of a rural initiative, the Numeracy Cohort, that was locally constructed to mitigate challenges and improve mathematics instruction and student numeracy outcomes in a school division in Manitoba, Canada. Findings from the study suggest that (a) the Numeracy Cohort model was effective in accommodating contextual differences and mitigating challenges related to funding, geography and staffing through several promising practices; (b) the PD provided to teachers was effective in supporting teacher professional growth in several ways; (c) attention to the multiple nested and dynamic contexts in which teachers worked was an important and effective element of the model; (d) fostering social interaction (among teachers and with more competent others) was important for teacher learning; and (e) finding ways to foster human engagement through mediating tools for learning (e.g., dialogue, reflection, and action research) was critical to the model’s success.
Tena Versland, Kathryn Will, Nicholas Lux, James Hicks
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 103-118; doi:10.3776/tpre.2020.v10n1p103-118

Recruitment and retention of teachers in rural areas continue to dominate educational narratives across the country. School districts, state agencies, and university schools of education have instituted strategies including financial incentives, alternative standards and licensure criteria, and grow-your-own programs that target underemployed locals and paraprofessionals for accelerated licensure. While each strategy may enjoy situational success, none is a panacea for all circumstances. However, there is growing interest in the development of university and school district partnerships in creating innovative solutions to rural recruitment and retention issues. This study investigates the efficacy of a partnership between several small rural districts and a state university partnering to create and test a contextualized clinical practice model. The Montana State University rural practicum placed 13 preservice teachers in a week-long, immersive clinical practice in rural, remote schools in Montana, for them to authentically experience the rural context and for researchers to determine if such an experience might positively affect recruitment and retention efforts. The study used a community-based participatory research method to ensure equal participation of both university and rural school partners in co-creating the experience and in collecting and analyzing data. Results suggest that the rural practicum experience positively affected preservice teacher perceptions of rural teaching and rural communities. Rural school leaders and university personnel also agreed that the model held promise for recruiting and retaining teachers in rural areas.
Debra Jo Hailey, Michelle Fazio-Brunson
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 6-23; doi:10.3776/tpre.v10n1p6-23

Research into young children’s leadership skills is sparse and focuses on leadership in early childhood classroom contexts. Understanding of leadership development in young children can be expanded by studying parents’ perceptions of children’s leadership development as it is enacted in contexts outside of the school. This qualitative study examined beliefs, practices, and contextual relationships of families with young children who were identified by teachers within their schools as having strong leadership skills. Student leaders were identified according to the Leadership subscale of the Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students, 3rd ed. Four mothers and three fathers of identified first graders who met gender and ethnic selection criteria participated. Interviews were conducted with structured and unstructured open-ended questions, and parent journals were collected from participants. Using Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model of human development as a guide, parental perceptions of contextual influences on young children’s leadership development were investigated. Findings indicate that parents were intentional in trying to develop characteristics and dispositions in their children to help them become good citizens but did not necessarily consider their actions as also building early leadership skills. Information concerning contextual situations, relationships, tools, and characteristics of early leadership development is shared. As parents discussed opportunities for their first graders to develop leadership skills, an unexpected theme emerged regarding benefits of rural living for young leadership development.
Laura Levi Altstaedter
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 1-1; doi:10.3776/tpre.2020.v10n1p1

Lauren Davis, Rebecca Buchanan
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 24-41; doi:10.3776/tpre.v10n1p24-41

The overall wellness and well-being of today’s youth are of concern owing to high levels of stress, as well as other mental and physical health issues. Academic success can be negatively impacted because of the interconnectivity of these issues, along with traumatic childhood experiences and high numbers of adverse childhood experiences. In rural areas, these issues can be even more pronounced owing to issues related to socioeconomic status and high rates of poverty. Therefore, it is important to explore interventions in the educational setting that could mitigate the negative impact of these challenges. This pilot study examined the relationship between a trauma-informed approach incorporating yoga/mindfulness and academic, social, and emotional behaviors among fourth graders in a rural academic setting. Student and teacher pre- and postintervention survey data indicate the intervention had academic, social, and emotional benefits.
Kathleen Dorr
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 141-144; doi:10.3776/tpre.v10n1p141-144

A review of the book: No Longer Forgotten: The Triumphs and Struggles of Rural Education in America, edited by Michael Q. McShane and Andy Smarick. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-4758-4608-9. 177 pages.
Sarah Zuckerman
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 73-91; doi:10.3776/tpre.2020.v10n1p73-91

Rural schools play central roles in their communities, and rural education scholars advocate for rural school-community partnerships to support school and community renewal. Across the United States, including in rural areas, formal models for school-community partnerships have been scaled up. The literature on rural principals highlights their roles in developing school-community partnerships, yet questions remain as to how school leaders engage in such partnerships. Using boundary-spanning leadership as a theoretical lens, this descriptive study examines the role of district and school leaders in a regional school-community partnership, including as founding members, champions of collaboration, cheerleaders for the partnership, and amplifiers of often excluded voices.
Elizabeth J. Japczyk Schuler
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 2-5; doi:10.3776/tpre.v10n1p2-5

This article provides an overview of the contents of volume 10, issue 1 of Theory & Practice in Rural Education.
Karen S Voytecki, Marsha Craft Tripp, Kathi Wilhite, Sandra Hopfengardner Warren
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 119-140; doi:10.3776/tpre.2020.v10n1p119-140

Video Grand Rounds (VGR) were used at a rural university to prepare special education teacher candidates. Using the VGR structure, teacher candidates were taught to understand, observe, and articulate observations of classroom instruction through the use of authentic classroom videos created locally by K-12 rural special and general educators. The videos include teachers working with learners with disabilities and implementing instruction aligned with the general and adapted curriculum standards. In this paper, we report the effects of VGR on teacher candidates’ development of observation skills in an early experience course in this mixed methods study and share the design and development of templates for implementing this model.
Diane D Kester
Theory & Practice in Rural Education, Volume 10, pp 145-145; doi:10.3776/tpre.2020.v10n1p145

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