Teaching in Rural Secondary Schools – Business Plan Example

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The paper “ Teaching in Rural Secondary Schools” is an excellent example of a business plan on education. Rural and isolated communities in Australia continue to suffer under-representation in Australian higher education. This is against the backdrop of the apparent successful Federal policy initiatives designed to facilitate access, retention and participation for other equity target groups. Place-based education is a recently emerging trend in the field of environmental and outdoor education hence a relatively new term along the corridors of education. Place-based education is particularly valuable in revitalizing rural communities where "place" has a profound meaning.

The achievements of place-based education are contained in the improved access to education, providing a holistic approach to environmental education and efficient coordination of resources in line with the needs stipulated in the NSW Learning for Sustainability Plan. In understanding the community ethos and the various place-based education approaches, a proposal is therein presented with the purpose of reconnecting students to their communities as well as redirecting learning into local issues. The formation of an Environmental Club at Hendricks High School is proposed so that students at the school will have the opportunity to reconnect with their community through extracurricular activities.

Through these activities, 40 students in Grades 11 and 12 will be able to interact with community members and discuss matters touching on environment, agriculture and the Aboriginal culture. Part A: Description of a Rural School and CommunityProposal on the Formation of an Environmental Club: A Place-Based Project to be implemented at Hendricks High School. The way remoteness and rurality are defined and understood are very crucial when dealing with issues of access to education.

In Australia, there are different classifications that have been developed to define rurality and remoteness. These classifications tend to define rurality and remoteness in terms of community size, access to services and the distance from population centres. Consider the following classifications; Rural Remote and Metropolitan Areas Classification (RRMA)This classification is based on population size and direct distance from the nearest service centre. In this line of thought, seven categories are determined namely capital cities, other metropolitan centres, large rural centres, small rural centres, other rural centres, remote centres and other remote areas. Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA)This classification uses Geographical Information System (GIS) to define road distance to service centres with the aim of producing a sliding scale of remoteness.

ARIA defines five categories namely highly accessible, accessible, moderately accessible, remote, and very remote. Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)The ASGC defines remoteness by Census Collection Districts on the basis of the average ARIA score within the district. The remoteness of local areas is then assessed and classified by the ARIA categories as major cities, inner regional, outer regional, remote and very remote. The task here is not to put forth an alternative definition that is superior to those outlined above.

The preference at this stage is to put emphasis on fluidity and flexibility in conceptualization and not get obsessed with unchanging, fixed definitions. This argument resonates with Cameron-Jackson’ s (1995) sentiments that “ the supposed rural/urban dialectic is actually diffuse” (p. 1). Secondly, rural areas in Australia are located far away from nearby cities and are characterized by a poor network of transport and communication systems. The small population size, which is scattered across the massive landscape, makes the delivery of basic amenities very difficult.

The absences of these basic services have therefore made rural areas less attractive for settlement and investment.          

References

Boylan, C. R. & Bryden, J., (2004). Infusing pedagogy into place-based education. Paper Presented at the 20th Annual Joint National Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia and Western Australian District High Schools Administration Association Conference, Fremantle, WA,

Cameron-Jackson, F. (1995). Semantic complexities in defining rurality: Towards a definition based on human considerations. Education in Rural Australia, 5(1), 1-7.

Gough, N. (2008). Ecology, ecocriticism, and learning: How do places become 'pedological'? Transitional Curriculum Inquiry, 5(1), 71-86.

Gruenwald, D. A. (2003a) Foundations of place: A multidisciplinary framework for place-conscious education. American Educational Research Journal, 40 (3), 619-654.

Gruenwald, D. A. (2003b) The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 32(4), 3-12.

Gruenwald, D. A. (2008). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher, 14(3), 308-324.

Moriarty, B., Danaher, A. D., & Danaher, G. (2003). Situating and interrogating contemporary Australian rural education research. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 18(3), 133-138.

Smith, G. (2002) Place-Based Education: Learning to be where we are. Phi Delta Kappan, 88 (8) 584-594.

Stewart, A., & Muller, G. (2009). Toward a pedagogy for Australian natural history: Learning to read and learning content. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 25, 105-115.

Woodhouse, J. L., & Knapp, C. E. (2000). Place-based curriculum and instruction: Outdoor and environmental education approaches. Charleston, WV: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools.

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