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Tools of the Trade: Effective Strategies To Support the Collaboration of Educators in Rural Schools.
(2002)
  • B. Keith Salyer
  • Alberta Thyfault
  • Christina Curran
Abstract
This paper discusses strategies with the potential to enhance student learning, teacher collaboration, building management, and joy within the rural school setting. With the goal of fostering education that makes sense to students, three general categories of strategies are considered: curriculum, classroom management, and building management. Contrasts are drawn between an empirical approach to teaching in which the teacher constructs information and transmits it to students and a rationalist approach in which the teacher creates an environment in which students can construct their own knowledge. Creating an educational environment where students are comfortable, part of a learning community, challenged appropriately, and engaged in developing their own sense of content mastery is not a textbook-based program. Teacher collaboration will be smoother if teachers maintain an awareness of the classroom environment: level and quantity of open-ended activities, student stress, ways stress is handled, and integration of nontraditional learning tools. Classroom techniques include physical arrangements and student grouping to combat isolation, teacher cooperation on homework loads and consideration of whether homework is appropriate, behavior management through "wait time" and active student participation, and planned sequence of instructional "events." Examples of building-level arrangements that promote collaboration in rural schools include staff efforts to "validate" every child, multiage grouping, and horizontal and vertical team planning sessions.
Publication Date
March 1, 2002
Citation Information
B. Keith Salyer, Alberta Thyfault and Christina Curran. "Tools of the Trade: Effective Strategies To Support the Collaboration of Educators in Rural Schools." (2002)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/christina-curran1/11/