The Role of an Authentic Curriculum and Pedagogy for Rural Schools and the Professional Satisfaction of Rural Teachers

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    Abstract

    Teachers in rural schools are often caught in a binary between a curriculum and 'official' pedagogies that value cosmopolitan ways of being and their own situated concerns for the interests of the students they teach and the communities in which they live. In this paper I draw on the example of two categories of (history) teachers, those who locate their practice in place and those who value a more bureaucratic approach to their work, in order to explore the question of an authentic rural curriculum (and pedagogy). The paper draws upon a series of semi-structured in-depth interviews with newly appointed teachers in rural school, experienced rural teachers and experts with systemic responsibilities or experience related to quality education in general. On a number of key issues of curriculum and pedagogy the data gathered grouped around two distinct views; that rural schools are different and that teachers need to be prepared for this difference and recognize it in their curriculum, or that all schools are the same regardless of location and what matters is the quality of the teaching. As a result of this study I suggest that teachers who reinterpret the curriculum and situate their pedagogy in the places they work are better placed to meet the educational needs of their students and their own professional goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-99
    Number of pages11
    JournalAustralian and International Journal of Rural Education
    Volume23
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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