Peabody Journal of Education
Rural schools are vulnerable to imitating the reform standards of national and urban school. Urban schools, to which much of the research on current reform efforts has been directed, are not rural schools writ large. Neither are rural communities like urban neighborhood communities. Hodgkinson and Obarakpor (1994) declared "rural poverty is not the same as urban poverty in a different setting" (p. 2). Rather, the context of rural has its own set of community identifiers that make rural schools dramatically different from their metropolitan counterparts. The goals and purposes of schooling and educational renewal processes appropriate for urban and suburban schools may be inappropriate for rural schools. As aptly expressed by Theobald and Nachtigal (1995),"The work of the rural school is no longer to emulate the urban or suburban school, but to attend to its own place" (p. 132). Rural students face many challenges in gaining a sound education, but one of the advantages they have is that their schools are set in a community context that values a sense of place and offers a unique set of conditions for building the social capital important for helping students succeed in school.
Bauch, Patricia A., "School-Community Partnerships in Rural Schools: Leadership, Renewal, and a Sense of Place" (2001). Special Topics, General. 49.