Far Away, But Yet So Close. Urban Teacher Education and Rural Schools: Directors’ Point of View

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Educational Research and Administration




© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Policymakers and teacher educators have long discussed whether specialised preparation of teachers who work in rural areas is necessary. The objective of this research is to learn more about teacher educators’ perspectives on the efficacy of urban-based teacher education in preparing elementary school teachers for rural contexts. The research was undertaken in a city in the Araucanía region of Chile. We conducted semi-structured interviews with the directors of three teacher education programmes. Those interviewed reported concerns about multi-grade classrooms often found in rural schools, which were understood to be an anomaly of proper elementary education. They also reported that the teacher education programmes they directed, though not aligned with teaching in rural schools, were sufficient in preparing new teachers. Preparation in teaching children in rural settings was not offered, or, in some cases, offered on the periphery as a programme option. This research reveals a disconnect between urban-based, urban-oriented teacher education programmes and the rural communities they aim to serve. It also adds to the broader discussion surrounding the preparation of teachers for diverse contexts.

Publication Title

International Journal of Inclusive Education

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