Rural Education

September 21, 2004 1 min read

On the Web

Research on rural education is about to meet online technology.

The Journal of Research in Rural Education, the leading academic journal on the subject, has published its last paper copy. The publication is about to go online.

“It just makes sense for any journal, really,” said Ted Coladarci, an education professor at the University of Maine in Orono and the editor of the journal since 1992.

The university’s college of education and human development has published the quarterly journal since its founding in 1982. But the online version will offer several benefits, Mr. Coladarci said.

Articles will appear when they’re ready to be published.

There will be no more waiting for months between issues for the latest research on small schools, student achievement, and other rural education topics.

Also, the easy availability of the journal may encourage more research. Many experts on rural education say that not enough scholarship has been done in their field.

“That’s true, and I think it will always be true,” Mr. Coladarci said of the relatively limited extent to which scholars have explored rural education.

For instance, some scholars have shown possible links between smaller schools and high student achievement for children whose families are poor. Those results have led to calls in many states for smaller schools, but researchers say more work needs to be done.

Roughly one in five American students attends school in a community of fewer than 2,500 residents, and one in three U.S. public schools serves rural or small-town areas, according to Rural Matters, an annual report published by the Rural School and Community Trust, a research and advocacy group in Arlington, Va.

The journal’s online version also will allow for a much broader audience, its editor hopes.

Access to the online journal is free, and the first article should be posted in August, with more research in the weeks and months to follow, Mr. Coladarci said.

Alan Richard

A version of this article appeared in the July 28, 2004 edition of Education Week