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Forgotten Places

Critical Studies in Rural Education


Edited By William M. Reynolds

Forgotten Places: Critical Studies in Rural Education critically investigates and informs the construction of the rural, rural identity and the understanding of the rural internationally. This book promotes and expands the notion of critical understandings of rural education, particularly in the areas of race, class, gender, and LGBTQ, with conceptualizations of social justice. While there have been many volumes written on critical issues in urban education, only a small number have been produced on rural education, and the majority of those are not critical. By contrast, Forgotten Places not only discusses "schools in the country," but also expands conceptualizations of the rural beyond schools and place as well as beyond the borders of the United States. It also tackles the artificial duality between conceptualizations of urban and rural. Forgotten Places includes scholarly investigations into the connections among the symbolic order, various forms of cultural artifacts and multiple readings of these artifacts within the context of critical/transformational pedagogy. This book fills a significant gap in the scholarly work on the ramifications of the rural.

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Chapter One: The Rural is Nowhere: Bringing Indigeneity and urbanism into educational research (Kelsey Dayle John / Derek R. Ford)


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The Rural IS Nowhere

Bringing Indigeneity and Urbanism into Educational Research


Although the term “urban” seems to be everywhere in educational policy and research, there is little interrogation into precisely what the term “urban” means. One thing that is apparently clear, according to common sense in education, is that the urban is not the rural. Rural education is thus defined in the negative sense that it is not urban education, and yet the positive referent here—urban education—is itself ill defined, is itself a victim of undertheorized in educational literature. In this chapter, we want to begin addressing this double-lack in educational research. We do this by weaving together two narratives about the historical production of space. One narrative is that constructed by Marx and critical geographers, which begins with the town/country dialectic inherited by capitalism and ends with a conception of urbanism that is not bound to any particular place or spatial arrangement. The other narrative is one lived by Indigenous peoples in the U.S., and this is a history that has always worked against the division between the town and country. These narratives come into agreement concluding: that there is no such ontological thing as the rural or the urban.

We begin the chapter with a brief orientation to urban educational research in the U.S., which prompts us to question what the urban...

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