Conflicting messages: Sustainability and education for rural regional sustainability

Philip ROBERTS, Natalie DOWNES

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)
    4 Downloads (Pure)


    This article brings together the fields of rural education research and other rural social sciences and humanities to advance the notion of rural-regional sustainability. Literature suggests rural schooling may at times work against the interests of rural communities because of the different knowledge and value systems in operation. Through survey analysis of community understandings of sustainability in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, and a content analysis of sustainability in the curriculum documents of educational justifications servicing the same bio-region, the article outlines how conflicting meanings are often in use. These meanings, it is suggested, can work against the sustainable futures of rural communities and potentially put the missions of schools and communities in conflict. Recognizing that sustainability is a broad term used in often competing ways, the article suggests the idea of rural-regional sustainability is a positive, future-orientated term that can connect schools and communities working together to sustain rural regions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)15-36
    Number of pages22
    JournalRural Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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