Contextualising Policy Enactment in Regional, Rural and Remote Australian Schools: A Review of the Literature.
Education policies are enacted differently according to school contexts and geographies. This is particularly the case in large countries such as Australia where context and geographies for schooling differ greatly. Within regional, rural and remote Australia, schools are witnessing a trend in geographic disadvantage in that as distance from urban centres increase, nationally benchmarked scores tend to decrease. Overcoming this geographic disadvantage has become a national goal for policy makers; however, policies fail to fully consider regional, rural and remote context. This study aims to review literature regarding the contextual factors that affect policy enactment in regional, rural and remote Australian schools. 54 journal articles, national reviews, books and policy documents were identified, read and reviewed. The literature confirms that context is an important consideration in policy enactment. Findings reveal that educational policy enactment is impacted by four major contextual factors: (1) situational context, (2) professional context, (3) material context and (4) external context. These factors have been used as a thematic organiser in this review to understand policy enactment in RRR schools specifically. This literature review concludes that context needs to be at the forefront of policy enactment in RRR areas. Policies need to be enacted within place, using community participation to be effective. This research is a fruitful endeavour as there is a need to contextualise not only policies, but also pedagogy and practice.
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