The integration of educational theory and teaching practice based on networked rural schools

  • Ken Stevens Victoria University, Wellington

Abstract

In the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, rural schools are increasingly organised within digital environments, facilitating synergy between in-service and pre-service teachers. The integration of educational theory and teaching practice that is integral to the preparation of teachers for initial positions in rural schools is also facilitated by the digital environment in that face to face university classes can be extended to include virtual visitors who are practising teachers in the province’s schools. At the end of their teacher preparation program most pre-service teachers thought access to practising teachers in this way was of value to them as it enhanced their understanding of educational theories as they apply to the classroom. This paper reports on the use of technology to allow interactions between rural and preservice teachers and to bridge the gap between educational theory and practices as they relate to rural and regional settings.

Author Biography

Ken Stevens, Victoria University, Wellington
Ken Stevens is a New Zealander who is currently a Professor of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he was appointed to a chair in e-learning, funded by Industry Canada. His previous appointments were at James Cook University in Queensland and at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. In Australia, New Zealand and Canada he has specialized in the provision of education in rural communities and the application of information technologies for teaching and learning in and between schools in sparsely-populated areas. He is cross-appointed from his Canadian position as Adjunct Professor of Education at Victoria University of Wellington. He lives in Canada and New Zealand and is a frequent visitor to Australia.

References

Barter, B. (2008). Rural education: Learning to be rural teachers. Journal of Workplace Learning, 20(7), 468–479.
Coady, A., Churchill, R., & Stevens K. (2012). From classrooms to lecture rooms - professional associates and the professional education of teachers. Bulletin of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association, 55(6) 20–21.
Cruise, R. J. (1991). A report on satellite education in the north-west of Victoria, Education in Rural Australia, 1(2), 1–6.
Ertl, H., & Plante, J. (2006). Connectivity and learning in Canada’s schools. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, Government of Canada.
Eppley, K. (2009). Rural schools and the highly qualified teacher provision of No Child Left Behind: A critical policy analysis. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 24(4), 1–11.
Furey, D., & Stevens, K. (2008). New systemic roles facilitating the integration of face-to-face and virtual learning. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration 11(4), Winter. http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (2000). Supporting learning: Report on the ministerial panel on educational delivery in the classroom. St John’s, NL, Department of Education.
Herrington, A., Herrington, J., Kervin, L., & Ferry, B. (2006). The design of an online community of practice for beginning teachers. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 6(1), 120–132.
Kline, J., White, S., & Lock, G. (2013). The rural practicum: Preparing a quality teacher workforce for rural and regional Australia. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 28(3), 1–13.
Kynaslahti H., Stevens, K.J., & Salminen J. (1996). Some preliminary outcomes from networked classes in Finland and New Zealand. Kasvatus - The Finnish Journal of Education, 27(2), 196–205.
Lock, G. (2008). Preparing teachers for rural appointments: Lessons from Australia. The Rural Educator, 29(2), 24–30.
Page, J. (2006). Teaching in rural and remote schools: Implications for pre-service teacher preparation pedagogies of place and their implication for pre-service teacher preparation. Education in Rural Australia, 16(1), 47–63.
Poole, M. J. (2000). Developing online communities of practice in pre-service teacher education. Retrieved from http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/update/508413
Prain, V., & Booth, T. (1993). Using interactive television to deliver professional developments in rural Victoria. Education in Rural Australia, 3(2), 5–10.
Stefansdottir, L. (1993). The Icelandic educational network – Ismennt. In G. Davies & B. Samways (Eds), Teleteaching – Proceedings of the IFIP TC3 Third Teleteaching Conference (pp. 829–835), Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers.
Stevens, K.J. (2013a). Teaching teachers to teach together between high schools. International Journal of Instruction, Vol. 6 (2), 5–14.
Stevens, K.J. (2013b). The integration of theory and practice in the education of Canadian teachers. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education, 4(3), 1251–1255.
Stevens, K.J. (2011). Online learning communities for Canadian teachers. Distance Education Quarterly, 11(7), 6–7.
Stevens, K.J. (2002). Minnkandi heimur -Rafrænt net smárra skóla- Óvænt tengsl Íslenska menntanetsins við Nýja Sjáland og Kanada (Making the world smaller -the electronic networking of small schools - some unseen connections of the Icelandic educational network in New Zealand and Canada), Skólavarðan - Málgagn Kennarasambands Íslands 2 (2), 22–24 [Introduction and translation into Icelandic by Karl Erlendsson].
Stevens, K (2001). The development of digital intranets for the enhancement of education in rural communities. Journal of Interactive Instruction Development, 13(3), 19–24.
Stevens, K.J. (1995). Geographic isolation and technological change: A new vision of teaching and learning in rural schools in New Zealand. The Journal of Distance Learning, 1(1), 32–38.
Stevens, K.J. (1994a). Some applications of distance education technologies and pedagogies in rural schools in New Zealand. Distance Education, 15(4), 318–326.
Stevens, K.J. (1994b). Australian developments in distance education and their implications for rural schools. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 10(1), 78–83.
Stevens, K.J. (1994c). Distance education and open learning in Australia: A New Zealand perspective. Open Learning – The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, Vol. 9(2), 29–35.
Stevens, K., & Stewart, D. (2005). Cybercells – learning in actual and virtual groups. Thomson-Dunmore Press, Melbourne.
Tella, S. (1995). Virtual school in a networking learning environment. Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Department of Teacher Education.
Thompson, J., Bakken, L. & Clark, F.L. (2001). Creating synergy: collaborative research within a professional development school partnership, The Teacher Educator, 37(1) 49–57.
Trinidad, S., Sharplin, E., Ledger, S., & Broadley, T. (2014). Connecting for innovation: Four universities collaboratively preparing pre-service teachers to teach in rural and remote Western Australia. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 29(2), 1–13.
Wenger, K., & Dinsmore, J. (2005). Preparing rural pre-service teachers for diversity. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 20(10), 1–15.
Published
2017-04-25
Section
JOURNAL PAPERS