Understanding rural and remote schools, and facilitating school-community relationships
Hudson, S & Hudson, P 2009, 'Understanding rural and remote schools, and facilitating school-community relationships', in J Millwater & D Beutel (eds), Stepping out into the real world of education, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 133-154. ISBN: 9781442518636.
Rural and remote schools make up a significant portion of Australian schools. Although there are rural schools that exceed 500 students, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2008) reports that 2,188 Australian primary schools have enrolment numbers less than 100. Rural schools need a supply of good teachers; however many universities involved in teacher education are located in city areas. For example, Queensland University of Technology is city-based, generating the highest number of early career teachers for Queensland including teachers for rural schools. Given the number of graduates and the number of rural schools, it seems likely that early career teachers will have opportunities for teaching in these settings, which also means living within a rural community. This chapter will discuss the nature of teaching in rural and remote schools, the challenges, the rewards and the importance of working closely with the local community. It is hoped that by understanding rural and remote schools, early career teachers can make informed decisions that will influence their future career prospects.