Science education success in a rural Australian school: Practices and arrangements contributing to high senior science enrolments and achievement in an isolated rural school

Steve Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Science education is essential for sustainability and prosperity. However, students from rural communities, arguably the future custodians of our environment and significant drivers of our economies, underperform in science education. In Australia, rural students generally lag behind metropolitan students in science achievement and engagement. However, this is not the case for all rural schools. This paper reports on one case study of a rural school performing much better than expected in senior science subjects. Counter to trends of lower expectations, limited resourcing and restricted pathways afflicting rural science education, this school maintained high expectations backed by proactive support, used local resources to offer rich science learning and creatively maintained a broad array of science learning pathways. Further, the school actively raised the profile of science, and built the capacity of their science teaching team. This case study demonstrates that rural schools, by capitalising on their local resources, relatively small size and strong community relationships, can succeed in science education. This case, along with similar cases, has implications for school leaders, teachers and policy makers seeking to improve rural science education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-337
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Science Education
Volume52
Early online date09 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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