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Forgotten Places

Critical Studies in Rural Education

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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 Nineteen: Reconstructing the Deficit Discourse in a Multi-Remote School in far North Queensland (Jon Austin / Amelia Jenkins)

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CHAPTER NINETEEN

Reconstructing THE Deficit Discourse IN A Multi-Remote School IN far North Queensland

JON AUSTIN AND AMELIA JENKINS



One of the long-standing images and identity markers of the continent of Australia in the international imagination is of large open spaces [“the Bush”], housing remote and sparsely populated communities or settlements. The image of the remoteness of Australia has sustained national narratives of an enduring frontier-type lifestyle, embodied in the mythic construction of the Drover, for example. To a lesser degree, notions of remoteness also anchor myths and narratives regarding the indigenous population of this place, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

With a current population somewhere in the order of 24 million located within an area of 7.6 million square kilometres (approximately 3 million square miles), Australia is indeed a land of large space and relatively small population. In reality, it is a highly urbanized place, with somewhere around 90% of the population living in large metropolises and sizeable provincial cities and towns in very close proximity to the coast, such that around 85% of the country has a population density of no more than 1 person per square kilometre. Geographically, remote here is very remote, and those who live in these areas find themselves with the challenges of distance insofar as the provision of and access to public facilities, transport and other infrastructural amenities, and central social services such as health and education.

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