Academic journal article Rural Educator

Comments from the Guest Editors

Academic journal article Rural Educator

Comments from the Guest Editors

Article excerpt

This issue of the Rural Educator has been some time in the making. It collects research and thought on current issues facing increasingly diverse populations in our rural schools and communities. There are those who believe rural schools are racially, linguistically, and culturally homogeneous, and locked in happier times devoid of the problems facing the rest of our educational system. Educators in rural settings know the truth. Rural America is far more diverse than most Americans know, and rural schools face challenges and opportunities that are unique, and are mediated by multicultural needs and strengths.

There was a time when our rural population wielded great political power in this country. At that time, a large percentage of Americans lived in rural areas and engaged in rural pursuits and avocations. That time has passed. Now, the majority of Americans live in suburban settings. While rural educators face the needs of language minority students, and the need to respond to varied learning styles, they are limited in their financial and political resources in pervasive ways. On the other hand, rural peoples often are uniquely welcoming to newcomer and multicultural groups. In the face of declining enrollments, rural educators and rural peoples often welcome diversity as a revitalizing influence on their communities.

This issue includes research on developing teaching styles and engendering attitudes and awareness in teachers that foster a true type of equity-allowing learners to transcend the narrowness of any artificially limited gender roles. The vehicle of science teaching is used to help ensure that all students with an interest in science and math can be successful, and can thoughtfully approach any future and career they wish.

Attachment is also examined by comparing rural and non-rural students on three domains: affective quality of the relationship, parents as facilitators of independence, and parents as sources of support. …

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