Teaching English in Rural Communities
Toward a Critical Rural English Pedagogy
Robert Petrone, Allison Wynhoff Olsen
Showcasing the voices, perspectives, and experiences of rural English teachers and students, Teaching English in Rural Communities promotes equity, diversity, and inclusivity within rural education. Specifically, this book develops a Critical Rural English Pedagogy (CREP), which draws attention to issues of power, representation, and justice related to rurality. Based on the assumption that “rurality” is a social construct, CREP critiques deficit-laden stereotypes and renderings of rural places and people that circulate in media, popular discourse, and even education at times. In doing so, CREP opens up possibilities for educators and students to use the English classroom as a space to better understand the complex issues they face as rural people and ways to promote more nuanced and comprehensive representations of rurality. In particular, this book highlights English rural classrooms whereby students examine representations of rurality in literary and media texts; decenter dominant settler-colonist narratives of rural spaces, places, and people; develop understandings of Indigenous perspectives and cultural practices, particularly related to land stewardship; and engage in local outreach to promote inclusivity within rural communities. This book also gives special attention to ways race and racism may factor into literacy education in rural contexts and possibilities for rural educators to attend to these issues.