"Rural" schools and universities: The use of partnerships as a teaching strategy in enhancing a positive response to rurality

  • J Pennefather
Keywords: Rural schools, partnerships, active learning, deficiency discourse, service learning


This article explores a range of partnership approaches used in a PGCE programme in order to challenge a deficiency framework many teachers have regarding rural contexts and to develop a more positive orientation to the possibility of working in such contexts. This constitutes a response to the national imperative to educate teachers for rural contexts
(Pandor states that more than 75% of newly trained teachers move to urban areas) and to challenge the dominant discourses based on a deficiency framework which many preservice teachers exhibit in their interactions with one another in their responses towards contexts
viewed as rural and by implication inferior and undesirable. These partnerships include the case of PGCE students making an annual field-trip to a deeply rural, underresourced school; the contribution a rural teacher and her learners have made within the lecturing programme of the students; the development of mentors and the placement of students in these partner rural schools. These approaches have been initiated within a broad understanding of what is meant by rurality, acknowledging that there is no agreement on what constitutes urban and rural contexts.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0258-2236