Academic journal article Rural Educator

From the Editor

Academic journal article Rural Educator

From the Editor

Article excerpt

Welcome to the Fall 2013 issue of the Rural Educator. The articles in this edition focus on developing leaders in rural schools: principals and teachers. In rural schools, principals wear many hats and face challenges that are different from school leaders in larger school in urban and suburban areas. Therefore, it is important to realize the issues they face and ensure rural principals are well prepared to deal with them. Also, in rural settings, to ensure schools run smoothly, leadership is often distributed: the role of teacher leadership is vital. Three of the four articles in this issue involve school/university partnerships.

In the first article, Preston, Jakubiec, and Kooymans, in a comprehensive review of recent research, present common challenges associated with the role of the rural principal. Findings highlight that many rural principal candidates face a hiring disadvantage if they do not have a historical connection with the community advertising a position. Additional challenges include juggling diverse responsibilities, lack of professional development and resources, gender discrimination, and issues surrounding school accountability and change. They conclude that to be successful, rural principals must be able to nimbly mediate relations within the local community and the larger school system.

Looking at leadership preparation in rural districts, Versland explores the efficacy of "grow your own" principal preparation programs for hard to fill positions in both urban and rural schools. In particular, Versland explore principal perceptions of self-efficacy and concludes that conditions related to candidate recruitment, social isolation, changing relationships with former colleagues, and lack of mentoring support can negatively affect aspiring principals' self-belief and ultimately their actions in leading rural schools. Versland makes recommendations on how university/school district partnerships may work to develop effective recruitment, support, and mentoring practices for rural 'grow your own'principal candidates.

Further focusing on school/university partnerships, using a practicum supervision lens, Eargle investigates how social studies teachers in a rural high school in the American southeast are emerging as teacher leaders. …

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