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Rural education csse 2018.compressed

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Paper presented by Dianne Gereluk on behalf of the research team during a panel on rural education during the 46th Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) annual conference on May 27, 2018.

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Rural education csse 2018.compressed

  1. 1. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary “Growing our own teachers”: Rural individuals becoming certified teachers Dianne Gereluk, Roswita Dressler, Sarah Elaine Eaton, and Sandra Becker 2018 CSSE Conference
  2. 2. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Research Issues § Current teacher education programs in Canada do not adequately serve rural populations. —B.Ed. Programs mostly in urban centres —Satellite programs still require students to leave their communities. § When aspiring teachers leave rural areas to attend post-secondary institutions, 77% will not return to their communities (Dupuy, Mayer, & Morisette, 2000) 2
  3. 3. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Northern Alberta Development Report (2010) recommended that: Communities need to make an increased priority of local teacher recruitment by “growing our own teachers”. (p. 11). 3
  4. 4. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Teacher Education programs in Canada 4
  5. 5. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Research Question § What are the optimal design features of a community-based Bachelor of Education program designed to increase equity and access for rural1 teachers? 1. Rural is defined as living outside of one hour of a center with 10 000+ inhabitants (Statistics Canada) 5
  6. 6. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Participants § First year cohort of the newly launched Community-Based B.Ed. Program (n=18) § Instructors in the program (n=5) 6
  7. 7. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Data sources § Demographic survey § Focus groups with students § Interviews with instructors § Document analysis of institutional program and course documents 7
  8. 8. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Relationality § The quality of the interpersonal relationships is a necessary precondition of learning, and; § a requisite responsibility to model and foster those dispositions in a blended teacher education program. 8
  9. 9. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Initial Concerns and Anxieties “I think a disadvantage for [the instructors] is they don't get to really see us, or know if something's personal going on, or so they don't really get that connection.” “Assignments … may be easier to do in class, in a face-to- face class where it’s a little bit trickier to do with us online… we’ve been doing a lot of in-class little side projects, and that, you might not be able to do that online.” 9
  10. 10. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary A strong feeling of relationality was indicated despite online provisions An interesting manifestation of relationality occurs, not in the physical presence of on campus courses, but in the attention of being known in a small cohort of instructors and students. "I definitely feel like we have a lot more support with this program than I have in past post-secondary institutions on campus. Here I feel that I'm not just a number. The staff actually know my name. My classmates know my name.“ 10
  11. 11. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Relationality § relationality emerged initially as a challenge and later as an affordance § relationality occurs beyond the parameters of the class; it occurs in the supports and networks that surround the individuals in and around their localities. § One's place and location fosters the relationality of feeling by one’s connection to the program and one's own community. § power differentials experienced in a face to face environment, may actually reshift the gaze in an online environment where there are moments of pause and attentiveness to both oral and written language given the mode of instruction and learning 11
  12. 12. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Finding two: Program Design Students and faculty expressed concerns that online education had connotations of being less rigorous. “When people hear any kind of newly-developed program, they think it’s going to be watered down… It’s important for the people in [rural] schools to see the rigorous nature of this program”. “One of my concerns, even applying for it too, was how it would be perceived. As someone taking it online. Like, when I get hired, would principals and superintendents see it was something less because it was taken online?” 12
  13. 13. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary § Using synchronous and asynchronous learning technologies increased student engagement. “I think I have replicated the multi modality that I have used in the face-to-face classes.” 13
  14. 14. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary § Student and instructor support programs were developed to address emerging needs to ensure robust learning supports: “I started a blog so I had some strategies for doing some of the assignments. A lot of it has been reaching out to particular students…. We need to… demystify academic writing.” 14
  15. 15. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Online challenges § A limited range of supports and online learning environments from other institutions § Technological limitations 15
  16. 16. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary The Use of Technology and Quality of Learning Broad category Technology considerations Notes Individual aspects 1.Student technology literacy and competence Students and instructors build their levels of competence and comfort using learning technologies as they engage with a variety of technologies used in online teaching and learning. 2.Instructor technology literacy and competence System aspects 3.Learning Management System (LMS) limitations Both the asynchronous and synchronous LMSes have limitations. Instructors and students learn to work within imperfect learning environments. 4.Connectivity Internet speed, connectivity, connection stability can present themselves as limitations beyond the control of students or instructors. 16
  17. 17. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Major Challenge: institutional barriers § How financial assistance is determined based on where you take your courses (Full Load Equivalent FLE count) —Disincentives for potential partnerships and collaborations across institutions § How student supports are offered —E.g. dental plans —Wellness centers —Student Academic Support Centres How student bursaries and awards are evaluated by central services 17
  18. 18. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Key Take Aways § Relationality does not hinge on whether there is a physical presence, but rather on whether relationality is at the core of the learning environment § Program Design is central to how Teacher Education programs create robust learning asynchronous and synchronous learning environments § Technological limitations create particular barriers § Systemic institutional barriers create significant challenges for ensuring comparable student supports 18
  19. 19. Gereluk, Dressler, Eaton & Becker – University of Calgary Creating land based opportunities § Connecting Land to Pedagogy 19

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