Many of us think of rural life as hard and insular, constructed of repertoires of behavior and patterns of reasoning that are socially and culturally obsolete. The tion of a peculiarly rural form of education seems patently self-defeating. Why prepare students for an outmoded existence that will inevitably be eliminated by the salutary forces of modernity? In sharp and convincing contrast, the editors of Rural Education for the Twenty-First Century present rural life as uniquely nurturing and capable of calling forth and developing the most humane and creative impulses of rural people. Rural education that enriches this process is a salutary institution, indeed. However, the organization and outcomes of the rural world are under siege by the omnipresent and overwhelming forces of globalization. Until I read Rural Education for the Twenty-First Century, I thought the destruction of the best of rural life was inevitable. Now, however, I can entertain a faint glimmer of hope, for which I am grateful. --Robert Bickel, Marshall University. Rural Education for the Twenty-First Century is a must-read for any serious student of rural education. Co-editors Schafft and Jackson have brought together some of the preeminent scholars on rural education, and the result doubtless will be embraced as a significant and long-lasting contribution to the essential literature in this discipline. --Theodore Coladarci, University of Maine. Rural Education for the Twenty-First Century is the best recent statement on rural education available. --Frank M. Howell, Senior Research Associate, Office of Research and Policy Analysis, Board of Regents, University System of Georgia. This volume is a comprehensive examination of the understudied topic of rural education. The aptly placed emphasis in each chapter on the role of globalization and demographic change in contemporary rural America brings cohesiveness to the diversity of topics. The volume will likely have broad appeal to rural scholars and social scientists both within and beyond the field of educational research. --Julie N. Zimmerman, University of Kentucky.Rural places and their schools have a long history of community-based traditions, political and cultural conservatism, and intergenerational construction of local and community identity. However, the face of rural communities, both in the U.S. and abroad, is being radically transformed by the ecomic effects of multinational free trade agreements, the proliferation of mass media and information techlogy, and educational reforms such as No Child Left Behind. These changes have presented new opportunities for rural people, as well as new challenges. Rural Education for the Twenty-First Century explores the practices that offer both problems and possibilities for the futures of rural schools and communities. . In addition to the editors, the contributors are Genevieve Brown, Rebecca Bustamante, Gretchen Butera, Thomas Butler, Michael Corbett, Lisa Humphreys Costello, Stephen Crump, Jacqueline Edmondson, Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Susan Faircloth, R. Evely Gildersleeve, Sarah Giroux, Susan Groenke, Aimee Howley, Craig Howley, Beverly Irby, Fatou Jah, Kieran Killeen, Patricia McDough, John Morrissey, Jan Nespor, Paul Theobald, John Tippeconnic III, Kylie Twyford, and Kathy Wood.
Kai A. Schafft is Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Policy Studies at The Pennsylvania State University.Alecia Youngblood Jackson is Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies at Appalachian State University.