Cultivating Rural Education

A People-Focused Approach for States

Edited by:
Caitlin Howley, ICF
Sam Redding, Academic Development Institute

A volume in the series: Opportunity and Performance. Editor(s): Pam Sheley, Academic Development Institute. Sam Redding, Academic Development Institute.

Published 2021

Rural life is more complex than it is perhaps credited. This edited volume explores several themes that highlight such complexities, particularly in terms of what they imply for rural teaching and learning. These themes include the geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic diversity within and across rural communities; the notion that rurality is not a deficit but rather a context; and the array of novel and interesting ways to build upon rural assets and overcome challenges so that rural students are not afforded fewer educational opportunities simply by virtue of their zip code. More practically, this book offers counsel for readers who may be interested in learning more about rural circumstances so that they can make informed and responsive decisions about policies and programs targeting rural students, educators, and schools.

Praise for Cultivating Rural Education:
"Making appropriate decisions about policy and practice in rural education settings demands an understanding of rural communities and the nuances of rural lifeways that are not standard fare in most decision-makers’ professional backgrounds and preparation. This book clearly and insightfully helps guide readers to those understandings, offering a valuable resource both for individuals with nonrural backgrounds (as a thorough introduction to the salient contexts of rural education) and for those with rural backgrounds (as a guide for framing/reframing and clarifying their existing understandings)."
Jerry D. Johnson, Professor and Lydia E. Skeen, Endowed Chair in Education
Kansas State University

"Howley and Redding have co-edited a book that brings to life the complexity of rural people and places and helps readers understand what this complexity means for rural education. The range of voices and research in Cultivating Rural Education demonstrates how varied rural places are, how real the educational challenges rural schools and districts face are, and how much strength and ingenuity rural people bring to the table to address those challenges."
Robert Mahaffey, Executive Director Rural School and Community Trust

The book Cultivating Rural Education gives an actionable planning process to understand, define, and cultivate our rural schools and communities. The community and school are so closely tied together, it is time for our stakeholders and community members to highlight what is right and adjust the areas that need adjusting to help save and establish a true path(s) to sustainability for Rural America."
Allen Pratt, Executive Director
National Rural Education Association

About the Authors. Cultivating Rural Education, Caitlin Howley. Clear View of Rural Education, Jennifer Seelig. Strong Rural Educators, Karen Eppley. Hubey Rides the Bus, The Editors. Strong Rural Learners, Sheneka Williams. Strong Rural Communities, Erin McHenry-Sorber. A Rural Call to Action, Sam Redding. Poems and Poetic Prose Included. Rural Movies and Novels.

"This was a refreshing, well-rounded book, with a variety of authors with varying expertise areas who provided honest discourse and suggestions to improve the rural education system. This book could easily be infused into a field experience class at the university level, designed to expose students to the benefits of living and teaching in rural areas." Kathleen Randolph University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in Teachers College Record (Read full review)