Teacher education for rural communities : a focus on 'incentives'

White, Simone, Green, Bill, Reid, Jo-Anne, Lock, Graeme, Hastings, Wendy and Cooper, Maxine 2008, Teacher education for rural communities : a focus on 'incentives', in ATEA 2008 : Teacher Educators at Work : What works and where is the evidence? Proceedings of the 2008 Australian Teacher Education Association. Conference, Australian Teacher Education Association, [Melbourne, Vic].

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Title Teacher education for rural communities : a focus on 'incentives'
Author(s) White, Simone
Green, Bill
Reid, Jo-Anne
Lock, Graeme
Hastings, Wendy
Cooper, Maxine
Conference name Australian Teacher Education Association Conference (2008 : Sunshine Coast, Qld.)
Conference location Sunshine Coast, Qld.
Conference dates 8 - 11 July 2008
Title of proceedings ATEA 2008 : Teacher Educators at Work : What works and where is the evidence? Proceedings of the 2008 Australian Teacher Education Association. Conference
Editor(s) Aspland, Tania
Publication date 2008
Conference series Australian Teacher Education Association Conference
Publisher Australian Teacher Education Association
Place of publication [Melbourne, Vic]
Keyword(s) teacher education
rural education
professional experience
Summary In Australia we face a national crisis in attracting and retaining teachers and other professionals with regard to rural areas. In response to this difficulty in ‘staffing the empty schoolhouse’ (Roberts 2004), the majority of state  education departments have initiated some form of rural incentive scheme designed to attract teachers to rural schools. This paper argues that such  schemes have little chance of success unless teachers taking up such  incentives have actually been prepared for teaching in nonmetropolitan   schools. Although many universities claim to prioritise rural and regional  education and community development as part of their vision statements, in reality relatively few education providers reflect this rhetoric in their practice  and only a handful have made direct links to such state-based schemes in  pre-service teacher education, or initiated their own rural incentives. A  preliminary study into pre-service preparation and rural incentive schemes, as part of a three-year ARC Discovery Grant, indicates that, nationally, the  majority of Faculties and Schools of Education have no easily accessible or  advertised incentive programs to encourage students to undertake a rural  practicum. Nor do many reflect rural education in their course-work.

This paper will introduce the ‘TERRAnova’ project, and then discuss findings of the preliminary work to date that has focussed on identifying incentives and their significance. Drawing on evidence collected from websites from   Australian Universities representing all pre-service teacher education programs in the nation, we argue that few Faculties and Schools appear to  see it necessary or desirable to provide students with links to information  about particular state-based rural funding opportunities. We show how some, either directly or indirectly, imply the importance of a rural practicum, and that  a few teacher education programs provide written advice to students who  are considering taking up a rural practicum. It is unclear, however, whether  follow-up advice is provided, so that the impact and effectiveness of such advice on students’ experiences and willingness to take rural education   seriously can be questioned. Our analysis so far indicates that it is the regional universities which are more likely to address rural education needs, and on this basis we question the metro-centricity of teacher education practice more broadly and suggest ways of expanding the options of teachers in their initial teaching appointments.
Language eng
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
ERA Research output type E Conference publication
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Australian Teacher Education Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018117

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Education
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