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Tuesday, March 08, 2011


AERA Rural Education SIG Newsletter - Spring 2011


A Special Interest Group Affiliated with the

American Educational Research Association

Vol. 9, Issue 1-------Spring 2011

Letter from the Rural Education SIG Chair


I hope you are planning to attend the AERA annual meeting in New Orleans, April 8-12. I’m looking forward to renewing old acquaintances, meeting new researchers and potential colleagues, and learning about new research in rural education. I hope you
are as well!

The Rural Education SIG has a very interesting series of sessions on the program. See the SIG program later in this newsletter. One of our sessions is the annual SIG business meeting, which will take place Sunday evening, 6:15-7:45pm in the Sheraton
Hotel’s Edgewood Room. This will be followed, as has been our practice in recent years, by dinner out at a near-by restaurant, with the cost partially subsidized by the SIG.

Three years ago, in New York City, we had a discussion at the business meeting of “Areas of Future Interest in Rural Education Research.” At the business meeting this year, I’d like to revisit the list of topics we identified in 2008, and see where
we think we are on each of them. What have we learned that has moved our research forward? What still needs investigation? If these topics have not been addressed in the last three years, what is holding back investigations in these areas? What new
areas of interest have emerged in the past three years? The areas we identified in 2008 were (in the order in which they were brought up at that meeting):

• Positive work in rural schools: What are the characteristics of effective teachers, and of students who are successful despite the odds?

• People who stay vs. people who leave: What are rural schools doing for people who stay, and for those who leave?

• Place-based education: What is the trajectory of place-based education projects, and what does it take to sustain them?

• New immigrants in rural areas: What were schools like in the places they left, and what are the schools in their new communities doing to address their present needs?

• Rural education in other nations and continents: What are the primary issues in rural education elsewhere around the globe?

• The sacred and the secular: To what extent do the cultures of rural communities tend toward the sacred vs. the secular, and what effects does this aspect of community culture have on schools?

I invite you to participate in this discussion.

This is my third and last annual meeting as Chair of the Rural Education SIG. I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have served with me in various capacities in the leadership of the SIG – see list of current officers and
committee chairs later in this newsletter. Thanks also to those who have served in the last three years and have passed their responsibilities on to current officers and committee chairs: Pat Hardre, Kai Schafft, Kathleen Jorissen, Paul Theobald,
and Kristine Reed. All of these people have contributed to the continuing success of our SIG. Thank you!

One of the current areas of need for our SIG is the website. Michael Barbour has served us as webmaster for six years, and has indicated a desire to pass this responsibility on to someone else. Michael has done an outstanding job, as you can see by
going to [ http://ruralsig.blogspot.com/ ]http://ruralsig.blogspot.com/ We now have the opportunity to move our website onto the AERA server, and we need someone to explore that option and decide whether or not that is the best way to move our
website into the future. We also need more people to send items of interest to the webmaster. Would some members be willing to share these responsibilities?

Finally, it is my pleasure to announce the results of the recent election to choose the next chair of our SIG. Kim Jones has been elected to serve a three-year term (2011-2014). Kim completed the EdD at Ohio University, and received the Rural
Education SIG dissertation of the year award (1st place) in 2005. Her study, which was subsequently published in Education Policy Analysis Archives, uncovered significant contextual influences on superintendents’ leadership practices. Previously a
teacher and then middle-school principal, Kim currently serves as superintendent of the Trimble Local School District in Glouster, Ohio, in the Appalachian part of the state. As a lifelong resident of Glouster, she is devoted to her town and its
schools—and to helping sustain them both in the face of threats of either consolidation or state takeover. She’s also devoted to the idea that reading and writing and thinking—and “reading the world”—is a utility in that struggle. Kim will bring a
simultaneously thoughtful and practical approach to sustaining the SIG.

Looking forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

John Maddaus

Chair, Rural Education SIG (2008-2011), and

Associate Professor of Education, University of Maine



Rural Education SIG Presentations for the Annual Meeting

AERA opens the annual meeting in New Orleans on April 8 and continues through April 12. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Inciting the Social Imagination: Education Research for the Public Good.” The following list of Rural Education
presentations appear in order of date presented.

Rural Education Special Interest Group (SIG) Presentations

1. Current Issues in Rural Education-Paper Session

Beyond Place-Based Education: The Need for a Critical Lens in Rural Classrooms by Amy Azano, University of Virginia.

Debunking the Myth of the Consensus Rural Connumity: Implications for Politics, Policy, and Practice by Erin Carol McHenry-Sorber, The Pennsylvania State University.

Making Rurality Visible on the Educational Policy Landscape: A View from Canada by Michael J. Corbett, Acadia University.

Making the Best of It: Literacy and Learning in a Rural Elementary School by Kely Reffitt, Mercer University.

Time: Sunday, April 10, 8:15am-9:45am; Place: Sheraton, Edgewood.

2. Curriculum and Teaching Issues in Rural Schools-Roundtables

An Investigation into the Curriculum Delivery Challenges Confronting Small Rural High Schools in Newfoundland and Labrador by Dennis M. Mulcahy, Memorial University, Newfoundland.

The Instructional Practice Inventory in Rural Settings: Testing the Student Engagement-Standardized Test Performance Relationship by Jerry Valentine, University of Missouri-Columbia and Justin Collins, University of Missouri.

Understanding Teacher Instructional Decision Making in a Rural Appalachian Head Start Program: An Ethnography by Gretchen D. Butera, Indiana; Amber M. Friesen, Indiana University; and Angela Stone-Macdonald, University of Massachusetts-Boston.

Universal Prekindergarten in Rural New York State: Five Case Studies Highlight Programming in Rural Communities by Hope Casto, Skidmore College; Lisa McCabe, Cornell University; John W. Sipple, Cornell University.

Time: Sunday, April 10, 10am-10:35am; Place: Sheraton, Grand Ballroom D

3. Rural Education SIG Business Meeting

Time: Sunday, April 10, 6:16pm-7:45pm; Place Sheraton, Edgewood

4. Miscellany of Rural Issues-Roundtables

Island of Change: A History of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School by Kristen L. Kew, New Mexico State University.

One State’s Effort to Support High-Need Rural Districts and Remote Schools by Kathleen M. Budge, Boise State University.

The Role of Context in Preparing and Retaining Highly Effective Educators for High-Need Rural Schools by Katherine J. Mitchem, California University of Pennsylvania and James Burton, California University of Pennsylvania.

The Rural Superintendency and the Need for Critical Leadership of Place by Janeil C. Rey, University of Buffalo-SUNY.

Time: Monday, April 11, 4:05pm-5:35pm; Place: Sheraton, Grand Ballroom A

5. Reconceptualizing Rural-Regional Preservice Teacher Education in Australia-Symposium

Preparing toTeach All Our Children: Teacher Education for Rural and Remote Schools by Jo-Anne Reid, Charles Stuart University and Wendy Joan Hastings, Charles Stuart University.

Reconceptualizing Rural-Regional Preservice Teacher Education in Australia by Graeme Lock, Edith Cowan University.

Teaching and Leading in Remote Schools: Experiences from Western Australia by Graeme Lock, Edith Cowan University.

Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory Reports

Lessons Learned

The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory has published an article in the Lessons Learned news titled “Leveraging the Unique features of Small, Rural Schools for Improvement.” The author, Steve Nelson, has summarized five important features of
rural schools that educators should consider. His article is located at the following website:
[ http://educationnorthwest.org/webfm_send/1052 ]http://educationnorthwest.org/webfm_send/1052

The Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory has been working with rural schools in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington since 1966. Northwest educators work with schools, districts, and communities and use research based solutions for
difficult problems.

NREA Call for Papers: Annual Conference and

Research Symposium

National Rural Education Association (NREA) will hold the Annual NREA convention October 28 through October 30, 2011. The deadline for submission of proposals for this convention is June 15, 2011. Additionally, the NREA research symposium is held in
conjunction with the convention, and the deadline for submission for papers/proposals to this symposium is the same as the convention, June 15,2011. The best paper will receive the Howard A. Dawson Best Research Paper Award and $500. The recipient
of the award will present the best paper during the Research Symposium. For additional information concerning call and symposium: DS-Mccaw-at-wiu-dot-edu or pchance-at-mail-dot-sdsu-dot-edu .

New Conference offers New Opportunities

Directors of First Annual Conference sponsored by the Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, have announced conference times and the proposal deadline. As a member of this journal’s advisory board and a member of the Rural Education SIG, Sharon Spall
provides this information to members that may wish to participate. The Conference theme is “Fostering Civic Engagement: Revisiting the Role of the University and Aesthetics as a Language of Possibility,” and conference dates are May 20 and 21 in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Saint Joseph’s University. The deadline for proposals is April 2, 2011. Papers will be available via website and selected papers will be included in a themed issue of the Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly. For more
information, contact [ mailto:cberenat@sju.edu ]cberenat@sju.edu or 610-660-3352.


Settersten, Richard A., & Ray, Barbara E. (2010) NOT QUITE ADULTS: Why 20-Somethings are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It’s Good for Everyone. (Random House/Bantam, December 28). For information, see [ http://www.notquiteadults.com
]http://www.notquiteadults.com (can be shared via Facebook or Twitter) The book is based on nearly a decade of research conducted by the MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood.

Rural Education Special Interest Group

Officers and Coordinators

Chair (2008-2011):
John Maddaus
University of Maine
5766 Shibles Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5766

Chair (2011-2014):
Kimberly Jones
Trimble Schools
1 Tomcat Drive
Glouster, OH 45732

Secretary-Treasurer (2010-2013):
Ruth Heaton
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
5235 S. 75th St.
Lincoln, NE 68516-4351

Program Co-Chair (2009-2012):
Dennis Mulcahy
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland, A1B 3X8

Program Co-Chair (2010-2013):
Kimberly Cowley
Edvantia, Inc.
1031 Quarrier Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Newsletter Editor (began May 2003):
Sharon Spall
University of Western Kentucky
1 Big Red Way, Room 403A
Bowling Green, KY 42101

Webmaster (began January 2005):
Michael Barbour
Wayne State University
365 Education Building
Detroit, MI 48202

Outstanding Dissertation Awards Committee Chair (began May 2009):
Caitlin Howley
ICF International
300 Summers St., Suite 600
Charleston, WV 25301

Membership Committee Chair (began May 2010):
James Salzman
Ohio University
6925 Gura Road
Athens. OH 45701

Nominations Committee Co-Chair (began May 2009):
Jeanne Surface
University of Nebraska at Omaha
414 Kayser Hall
Omaha, NE 68182

Nominations Committee Co-Chair (Began May 2009):
Craig Howley
Ohio University
75619 Lively Ridge Road
Albany, OH 45710
(no phone listed)

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