Local Solutions for Local Problems
Addressing Teacher Supply in Rural Communities
Keywords:teacher recruitment, local solutions, pre-service teacher education
Teacher shortage in rural localities is a long-standing issue in New Zealand. This paper reports on an attempt to reduce the impact of shortages by redesigning the way preservice teacher education was delivered. Called the Mixed Media Programme (MMP), this is a primary (elementary) teacher education programme that was established in 1997 in New Zealand by the University of Waikato. It was initially introduced to rural areas of the North Island of New Zealand. It continues now as a viable and accessible flexible option for teacher education and is a significant means of ensuring better teacher supply in numerous rural areas. The programme uses a combination of face-to-face teaching; school based learning activities and electronic communication. There is an annual intake of about 60 student teachers, most of who study at home in their local area. Now in its tenth year, the programme has produced more than 400 graduates, many of whom are still teaching in schools throughout New Zealand. This paper reports on a small-scale study, which sought to examine the way that student teachers, teachers and school principals from two communities perceive the programme and its effects on these communities. School principals, teachers, graduates and current student teachers were asked about the way that the programme has enabled people from local ommunities to firstly study to become teachers in these communities and then to teach in them. Their views show that student teachers have found this approach to teacher education very beneficial to local communities for a number of reasons, including stable staffing for schools, commitment to teacher education programmes, confidence about the quality of the raduates they employed. The student teachers reported that they were able to become teachers without having to leave their local communities, were exposed to university education as mature student teachers and that their study has had a range of effects on them and their families. It can be concluded from the evidence that the Mixed Media Programme has had important positive effects upon the two small communities of the study, at individual, school and wider community level.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Russell Yates
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors contributing to The Australian and Internation Journal of Rural Education agree to publish their articles under a Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 license, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
Authors retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to The Australian and Internation Journal of Rural Education.
Manuscripts submitted for publication should not have been published or submitted for publication elsewhere. It is the responsibility of authors to secure release of any copyright materials included in their manuscripts, and to provide written evidence of this to the editors.
Papers are accepted on the understanding that they are subject to editorial revision. The Editorial Committee cannot guarantee that all contributions will be published nor give definite dates of publication. However, contributors will be advised if their papers are not accepted or if there will be a long publication delay.