MERN Forum Presentation id=128
MERN Forum # 8
Session: 1B
Author: Dawn Wallin
Affiliation: University of Manitoba
Title : "Rural educational priorities and capacity in Manitoba: A summary of research"
Description : The viability and appropriateness of provincial educational initiatives for rural areas is a current international debate. This paper outlines the results of a study that examined the congruence between the priorities of the Manitoba government’s Kindergarten to Senior 4 (K-S4) Education Agenda for Student Success and priorities identified by stakeholders in rural Manitoba, and the capacity of school divisions to achieve them. Capacity was defined utilizing a model developed out of rural sociology termed entrepreneurial social infrastructure (Flora & Flora, 1993) which includes three components for success: (a) Legitimization of Alternatives; (b) Diverse Networks; and (c) Resource Mobilization. Findings suggest that school reform efforts have a tendency to generalize schooling across contexts, which provides many challenges to rural school divisions when they do not reflect local purposes, interests and/or capacities. A more localized and responsive conceptualization of school improvement strategies is advocated, as well as research that is tailored to the particular needs of rural communities.
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