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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 Twelve: Nowhere to Somewhere (Randy Hewitt)


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Nowhere TO Somewhere


Autobiography is an architecture of self, a self we create and embody as we read, write, speak and listen. The self becomes flesh in the world. Even when authentic and learned, it is a self we cannot be confident we know, because it is always in motion and in time, defined in part by where it is not, when it is not, what it is not. The self who welcomes the dawn is a self constantly expanding to incorporate what it fears and resists as well as what it desires. The self who rows with golden oars is a self constantly contracting, losing its gravity so it may rise, expansive toward the sky. Full of tears and full of laughter may we teach and may we learn; may we become gods of our own lives, servants to others.1

I got my first teaching job during the 1991–1992 school year on the Navajo Reservation at 5,307 feet up on the Colorado Plateau. My assignment was to teach 10th grade English at a public boarding school located on a federal compound, operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The school served as the heart of a remote community 85 miles south-southwest of the Four Corners Plaque and 104 miles north-northwest of Gallup, NM, both by way of US 191, a road that runs from the Mexican border up the edge...

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