"Over The Hill" is not so far away : crossing teaching contexts to create benefits for all through rural teaching experiences.

Hudson, Sue M. & Millwater, Jan (2009) "Over The Hill" is not so far away : crossing teaching contexts to create benefits for all through rural teaching experiences. In Proceedings of : Teacher Education Crossing Borders : Cultures, Contexts, Communities, June 28 - July 1, 2009, Albury.

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Attracting and retaining quality teachers to rural and remote areas has been a challenge over the last decade. Many preservice teachers are reluctant to experience a rural and remote practicum and may not consider applying to teach in such areas when they graduate. Education departments and universities need to explore innovative ways that will encourage graduates to consider undertaking a teaching position in the bush. As a way forward, preservice teachers from a regional campus of a Queensland University were invited to participate in a six-day rural experience entitled ‘Over the Hill’ that included being billeted with local families, participating in community activities and observing and teaching in classrooms.

Fifteen preservice teachers were accompanied by two university academics who returned to work in a classroom as teacher for their own rural and remote professional experience. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore and describe the perceptions of a rural and remote teaching experience from the perspectives of the preservice teachers, the accompanying academics and the school staff hosting the program. Data were collected from the preservice teachers and accompanying academics in the form of written reflections while fourteen school staff completed a related questionnaire.

The results indicated that a six-day rural and remote teaching program can provide professional benefits for all involved, preservice teachers, accompanying academics and the school staff hosting the program. Indeed, this study indicates that short experiences such as “Over the Hill” not only assist preservice teachers to make informed decisions about teaching in rural and remote areas but can provide professional benefits for accompanying academics and the schools.

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ID Code: 27781
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The conference paper can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see Official URL).
ISBN: 9780975232446
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
Deposited On: 06 Oct 2009 23:29
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:20

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