Australian rural educational research: A geographical perspective

  • Barbara Pini Griffith University
  • Robyn Mayes

Abstract

This paper brings a rural geographical lens to the study of education and rurality. Two key interrelated notions underpinning Australian educational scholarship on rurality are explored. That is, the concepts of the rural and of community. The adoption and mobilisation of these terms in a large proportion of rural educational research as unproblematic is at odds with contemporary theorising in rural geography. In order to advance studies of rural education, we point to the contestability, fluidity and fundamentally political nature of these core concepts. In doing so, we draw on a selection of extant geographical research and educational research concerned with the rural. In concluding the paper we highlight that as well as challenging orthodoxies in relation to notions of rurality and community, more recent rural geographical scholarship has also engaged a greater diversity of methodological approaches. We suggest that more robust and nuanced approaches to terms such as 'the rural' and 'the community' in educational research could be garnered by reference to this dynamic body of methodological writing.
Published
2015-12-02