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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 Eighteen: A small town with long roads: Wyoming as a Post-Western curriculum (Mark Helmsing)


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A Small Town WITH Long Roads

Wyoming as a Post-Western Curriculum



“What is one thing you think someone new to Wyoming should know about this place?” I pose this question as an icebreaker to my students during our first day in the teaching methods course I teach at the University of Wyoming. What has turned out to be a fascinating discussion prompt began as a simple way to break the ice and take roll; I had given the question no thought prior to asking it. In my first year, as a new member of the faculty recently arrived from Michigan, I began my first day with my students displaying my limited knowledge about Wyoming, which mostly included things I learned the previous week during a post-move-in road trip throughout the state to sightsee my new home. My students, given the charge that they could not repeat any previously stated responses, began with the obvious pearls of wisdom newcomers to Wyoming are quickly told by quasi-welcoming strangers: you need a four-wheel drive car, you need snow tires (a subject of much debate), you need a well-insulated, downy, thick coat (not a simple winter overcoat that would have gotten the job done for me in the Midwest); when you are inevitably stuck off the side of the road in a snowdrift wait for a passerby to dig...

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