School & District Management

New Rural Education Center Launches Research Projects

April 05, 2005 2 min read

A new center established to research rural education is starting work on studies that could improve the ways rural educators engage their students in learning and help them to stay in school.

The National Research Center on Rural Education Support, financed by a five-year, $10 million federal grant, is beginning its work here at its home on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

Among other projects, the center will train teachers and other educators this summer from participating rural school districts as “intervention specialists” to help students with academics and behavioral and social skills.

School psychologists and education professors Thomas W. Farmer and Lynne Vernon-Feagans, the co-directors of the center, said in a recent interview that the center’s work will help rural educators incorporate techniques gleaned from psychology and related fields into helping rural students do better in school and aspire to higher levels of education.

The National Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, chose the UNC professors’ proposal last year over those of leading organizations and service providers for rural schools.

The choice of the UNC scholars reflected the federal government’s focus on scientifically based education research. But the decision made waves among some national leaders on rural education, who argued the professors lacked an adequate record of work on rural issues. (“Critics Question Research Center on Rural Schools,” Nov. 17, 2004.)

Moving Forward

Now that controversy over the grant has cooled, Mr. Farmer said he has met with leaders of rural education organizations and expects to find ways to work with such groups as the project proceeds.

Mr. Farmer, who grew up in tiny Belle Spring, Va., said his own research into students’ transitional years at the start of middle school and high school also has led him to create an early-adolescent support program for 6th graders.

The professor said that the program has trained 10 educators from rural schools in ways to support such youngsters in academic study and social skills, and that researchers will monitor their work.

The center’s scholars will consult long-term with educators in the participating schools.

Later, the center plans to launch research studies on the effectiveness of online learning in rural schools. Mr. Farmer said that the center also will offer Web resources and plan national conferences.

Ms. Vernon-Feagans, who spent much of her childhood in Columbia, Tenn., said the center’s goal is “to make a difference for rural schools.”

Related Tags:

Events

School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Strategies & Tips for Complex Decision-Making
Schools are working through the most disruptive period in the history of modern education, facing a pandemic, economic problems, social justice issues, and rapid technological change all at once. But even after the pandemic ends,
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Education Funding Webinar
From Crisis to Opportunity: How Districts Rebuild to Improve Student Well-Being
K-12 leaders discuss the impact of federal funding, prioritizing holistic student support, and how technology can help.
Content provided by Salesforce.org
Classroom Technology Online Summit Technology & the Pandemic: What’s Next for Schools?
When it comes to the use of technology, what’s next for schools?  Join the discussion to tackle issues surrounding this important question.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Florida Commissioner Says ‘We Made Sure’ Teacher Who Hung Black Lives Matter Flag Was Fired
A Duval County teacher who hung a Black Lives Matter flag in her classroom says she heard she was fired through a YouTube video.
Emily Bloch, The Florida Times-Union
2 min read
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks during a bill signing ceremony at St. John the Apostle School on May 11, 2021, in Hialeah, Fla.
Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran speaks during a bill signing ceremony at St. John the Apostle School on May 11, 2021, in Hialeah, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
School & District Management Opinion Stress, Anxiety, Initiative Fatigue … Oh My! Perhaps It’s Time to 'De-Implement'?
We see an increase in stress and anxiety that educators feel but never do anything about it. It's time to talk about de-implementation.
6 min read
De implementation
Shutterstock
School & District Management Video Education Week Leadership Symposium: Resource Center
Resource Center for K-12 education’s premier leadership event.
1 min read
School & District Management Cash for Shots? Districts Take New Tacks to Boost Teacher Vaccinations
In order to get more school staff vaccinated, some district leaders are tempting them with raffles, jeans passes, and cash.
8 min read
Illustration of syringe tied to stick
Getty