Teacher education for a rural ready teaching force? Swings, roundabouts and slippery slides

Philip Roberts, Natalie Downes, Jo-Anne Reid

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The preparation of teachers for rural schools has been a significant focus of research for many decades. In this paper we update previous reports of the extent of Initial Teacher Education courses that prepare teachers for rural schools in Australia. We found that despite significant and continued calls for rural teacher education, there are still very few rural-teaching units offered in teacher education courses, and there are no courses at all that seek this as an explicit outcome. As the Australian Professional Standards for Teaching claim the importance of teachers understanding students and their contexts, we argue that effective teacher education must not only focus on understanding rurality, and developing awareness of the affordances of place, but must also address the pedagogical requirements for present day rural teaching. We argue that the lack of teacher preparation for locational, geographic forms of social difference works to produce and sustain educational disadvantage when these intersect with economic and cultural difference. On this basis we call for government to address this major failing in the provision of education for Australian children through policy change to teaching standards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-111
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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