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Pedagogy of the Rural as a lens for understanding beginning teachers’ identity and positionings in rural schools
journal contributionposted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, M Ludecke, J Kline
Pedagogy of the Rural is an approach to capture the complexities of rural space and place by challenging simple understandings of what it means to be a teacher in rural settings. Using Harré’s positioning theory, Baudrillard’s concepts of simulation and simulacra, and Lefebvre’s space and economic geographies to form a composite theory through which we analyse longitudinal data from interviews with three graduates and their principals in two rural Victorian schools in Australia. We identify the intricacies of beginning teachers’ understandings of, and positionings in, rural space and place. We highlight how size matters in the way these teachers value their rural educational experiences within the liminal space of identity formation. It is in this liminal time and space that concerns around retention and attrition of beginning teachers in rural schools are compounded by factors such as access to professional learning and resources, and isolation and visibility within communities.