In an age of accountability and tenuous school funding, rural schools are particularly challenged to maintain the institution, contribute to the wider community, and imbue students with local pride. One promising instructional approach is place-based education, students studying the setting in which they live and learn. Participants in this qualitative study were 5 Kentucky teachers who covered issues of regional resource management with students. Participants recognized that curricular mandates affected their planning and deprived students of certain skills for success in school and the real world. In the results of the study, the essential nature of interaction between school and community is highlighted as an ingredient for student engagement and success. Teachers also recognized that students required a variety of instructional approaches, and that the tested core curriculum in classrooms requires a supplement of hands-on and real-world activities.
Occasional Research Paper, No. 15, May 2009.