Promoting Rural and Remote Teacher Education in Australia through the Over the Hill Project

By Denise Beutel, Lenore Adie and Suzanne Hudson.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Attracting quality teachers to rural areas is an ongoing international concern. Teacher education institutions have been criticised for contributing to this problem by failing to raise an awareness of teaching in rural areas in their teacher education programs. This study investigates preservice teachers’ perceptions towards teaching in rural areas after participating in a rural experience through the Over the Hill project. A self-selected group of second and third year preservice teachers from a regional campus of an urban Queensland university participated in a six-day rural experience, which included being billeted with local families, attending local community events and observing and teaching in rural primary and secondary schools. Data collected from the preservice teachers before and after the rural teaching experience were analysed to reveal positive perceptions towards teaching and living in rural communities. The findings revealed that even a brief immersion into rural schooling communities can positively influence preservice teachers’ attitudes towards seeking rural teaching placements. These findings have implications for the ways in which teacher education institutions can promote rural teaching opportunities in their teacher education programs.

Keywords: Rural Teaching, Teacher Education, Rural Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp.377-388. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 790.190KB).

Dr. Denise Beutel

Lecturer in Education, School of Learning and Professional Studies, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Denise Beutel is a lecturer in education at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Her research interests are teacher education, mentoring, teacher induction and middle years of schooling. Prior to commencing at QUT, Denise was a teacher with over twenty years experience teaching in secondary schools. Her doctoral studies were completed in 2006 and her thesis, “Teachers Understandings of Pedagogic Connectedness” interrogated the nature of teacher-student engagements in the middle years of schooling.

Dr. Lenore Adie

Lecturer, School of Learning and Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Lenore Adie is a lecturer with the Queensland University of Technology. Her research focuses on assessment and moderation processes as these contribute to supporting teachers’ pedagogical practices and student learning. Lenore has worked as a primary school teacher and in administration positions in state and private schools within Queensland, Australia.

Dr. Suzanne Hudson

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Caboolture, Queensland, Australia

Suzanne Hudson has been involved in teaching and teacher education preparation for the past 29 years. Research interests include teacher induction, mentoring, community engagement and the middle years of schooling. Currently, Suzanne is the Academic Coordinator for the Faculty of Education at Queensland University of Technology’s Caboolture campus, which is located one hour north of Brisbane, Australia.

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