Networking The 'Bush' - Is There Anyone Out There?
Keywords:rural networks, equity, access, professional practice, pedagogies, rural sustainability
Local rural communities and individuals are increasingly disarmed by the socially transforming processes of post modern times including the globalisation of rural production systems and trade. There is a new climate 'in the bush' that is imbued with a deep suspicion that globalisation processes will continue to threaten the sustainability of agrarian practices and continue to impose relentless 'restructuring' of both rural customs and industrial capacities. Networks between rural communities of widely separated social and cultural landscapes are as challenging to achieve as the possibilities of networking across the cultural, political and economic divide that stands between local rural jurisdictions and empowered and enriched national and global spheres. These 'higher' jurisdictions more closely reflect metropolitan social, economic and environmental needs and aspirations, and tend to overlook the validity and value of the local social and cultural places 'below', even as these might mysteriously maintain vital landscape and industrial assets.
How then do we connect the multiplicity and variety of increasingly disabled local places when the networks between these local places have been weakened by both social and physical disconnections, leaving them sporadic and incomplete? Rural networks are dependent not only on an equal and equitable access to the infrastructure of interpersonal connections - communication, transport and education - but also on the human capacities and perceptions that motivate (or reject) the seeking out and maintenance of such networks.
In attempting to network more widely and deeply between local rural communities and national and global spheres, educators must address the reality that the shallow and incomplete networks that lie across and between rural landscapes must first be re aligned and interconnected. The recognition that an inter community network is largely missing might also illuminate the need for rural education advocates and practitioners to take a more courageous stand in the facilitation of relationships between separate rural locales by employing education practices that connect locally relevant issues and teach for the intellectual re arming of potential rural leaders and their communities. The deployment of sympathetic and appropriate actions by educators to disarm the persistent and pervasive deficit paradigm in rural schooling, and the development of a critical rural education paradigm focused on excellence, equality and equity is urgently needed. Transformative practices in education and a political commitment to funding crucial communication and transport networks and a rural education 'revolution', are the precursors to building networks to connect local, national and global spheres.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Janice Franklin
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.