Future Directions for Rural Education Research: A Commentary and Call to Action


Beesley, A. D. & Sheridan, S. M. (2016). Future directions for rural education research: A commentary and call to action. In G. C. Nugent, G. M. Kunz, S. M. Sheridan, T. A. Glover, & L. L. Knoche (Eds.), Rural education research in the United States: State of the science and emerging directions ( pp. 291–302). Springer.


Research in rural education is alive and well; the chapters in this book demonstrate that researchers are doing rural education work that is both rigorous and responsive to (and inclusive of) the communities in which it takes place. They are addressing a broad range of meaningful research questions and using multiple methods to approach the challenges inherent in rural research. In addition, these chapters call us to action to continuously improve our own research work and dissemination. In this final chapter we suggest some lessons for rural researchers taken from the work presented in the book, including the importance of explaining how rural context affected the conduct of the research, considering multidimensional risk in rural environments, including a variety of stakeholders in research partnerships, trying rigorous designs even with small samples, being realistic about rural recruiting costs, and preparing for sustainability after studies end.

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