Many sociological issues within society can have both short and long term impacts on students and their school communities, this essay will focus on how rural location can affect learning communities, classroom interaction and student learning outcomes as well as provide recommendations to cater for diversity in regards to location. When discussing location it is important to know what is meant by the term rural; “The Commonwealth Government recently defined rural as all non-metropolitan places with fewer than 100,000 people.” (Stokes, H. 2011.) Examples of rural locations within Australia include Gatton and Dayboro.
Being apart of a rural school community can have both advantages and disadvantages, it can mean that because there are fewer children within the community that there are less students in the school leading to more one on one time with the teacher so students cannot get lost in the system. Angus Lloyd discusses the benefits of one on one teaching “The student benefits immensely from the personal attention inherent in a one-on-one teaching ratio. Because of the intimate environment, the teacher can accurately monitor how well the child is mastering the lessons, and can adapt the pace and targeting of skills accordingly. Children and teens have less fear of making mistakes when taken out of a group situation, and flourish in a safe learning environment.” (Lloyd, A. 2004) Another advantage of being a student within a rural community school is that the smaller environment is more secure and supportive and students are known more individually this then leads to a closer community where parents and teachers know each other personally and have remarkable partnerships. Although being rural has many rewards the community can also be hindered, as many rural families do not live in close proximity to schools, which leads to a large travel time. Having a large travel time to school means less family time, which in turn affects the community, less rest and study for the students. “Studies have shown that sleep deprivation has caused adverse effects in students such as an increase in inattentive behavior and daytime sluggishness.” (Chalmers, F. 2010). Not only does location have an impact on the community but also interaction and practices inside the classroom.
Being apart of a rural community with a bush location means students learn more about nature and have a greater respect for the land, however due to having a remote location schools may have less access to resources such as school excursions (libraries and museums) and incursions (guest speakers or activities); as well as no access to the appropriate resources. The Rural and Remote School Education Report gives the following as an example of having appropriate resources available, “A rural school that is comprised of all Aboriginal children in a community where English is not the first language and yet all the teaching resources are based on an assumption of English as the first language.” (Stokes, H. 2011) Many rural locations do not have consistent Internet, which can make teaching and using technology in the classroom difficult. Avan Levasseur discusses the importance of teaching technology to students in his article ‘Teaching Without Technology’ “The pedagogy that's emerging to deliver 21st-century skills is student-centered and inquiry-based. It is a crucial part of modern day learning” (Levasseur, A. 2011). Therefore living in a rural location can affect student’s ability to use technology, something that is everywhere around us in many workforces. Living rurally can also mean a lack of afterschool tutoring and afterschool services as there are a limited number of teachers providing education in rural areas and often there are one teacher schools. Australian Journal of Teacher Education says “Teacher shortages in rural schools have been an problem for many decades in Australia (Lyons, Cooksey, Panizzon, Parnell, & Pegg, 2006) and the last decade...
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