Research and Reports
Rural-school educators and researchers nationwide say that research on effectiveness, governance, and finance issues for rural schools should lead the research agenda for those schools.
The National Rural Development Institute of Western Washington University asked a geographically representative sample of 1,500 rural educators and researchers to rate the importance of 46 research questions in 13 areas of study.
Besides the issues related to school effectiveness and finance, the 461 respondents cited, in order of importance, the need for more research on staff training and utilizing advanced technologies; teaching styles and incentives; field-based personnel preparation; preservice preparation; personnel recruitment and retention; school-community interaction; and comparative study on rural and nonrural schools.
The report was funded by the rural institute to develop a research agenda for the National Rural Education Research Consortium, according to Doris Helge, the director of the consortium, which operates a computer network that links researchers with rural districts.
Besides defining an agenda for the consortium, the report also provides the first empirical data on national rural research needs for the U.S. Education Department, which in a 1983 policy statement agreed to provide equitable information, services, assistance, and funding for rural schools, Ms. Helge said.
Copies of the study, "Establishing a National Rural Education Research Agenda," are available for $6, including postage, from the National Rural Development Institute, School of Education, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash. 98225.