A Blueprint for Rural Mathematics
Connecting Social Space, Identity and Teacher Pedagogy
Keywords:rural, mathematics, social space, identity, teacher pedagogy
This paper reports on the development and use of a Blueprint for Rural Mathematics (herein referred to as the Blueprint) in a study of middle-primary mathematics teaching. The study presented a counter-narrative to the deficit discourse around rural education outcomes through an emic perspective of middle-primary mathematics on Yorke Peninsula, a rural district in southern Australia. This study defined ‘rural’ as being both a sociological and a geographical phenomenon. It takes a sociological stance acknowledging the situatedness of the rural, and the social and cultural uniqueness of the people and their communities. Geographically, the rural locations in this study were those distanced from, and outside the commuting zone of, large urban areas and major cities. This study claimed that rural schools of Yorke Peninsula are unresearched, under-theorised and underestimated in their teaching of mathematics. Hence, very little was known about the experiences of the Yorke Peninsula teachers, or the pedagogical practices they employ in their teaching of mathematics. Yorke Peninsula people have an identity of deficit imposed on them with no opportunity to negotiate it. In understanding and addressing the accuracy of this pervasive negative framing, this study involved investigating Yorke Peninsula teachers of mathematics, and concluded that the rural social space, the identity of its members, and teacher pedagogy are essential considerations in the teaching of mathematics. The Blueprint provides a framework with which to explore these key components of rural education.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Annette Morphett, Lisa O' Keefe, Kathryn Paige
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