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Oral traditions, changing rural landscapes, and science education


This forum response extends the argument made by Avery and Hains that oral traditions can be useful for including the cultures and contexts of rural areas within science instruction. To buttress the oral expressions presented in Avery and Hains, I compare oral expressions of a second rural area, 600 miles to the South, in Eastern North Carolina. I explore similarities and differences in expressions from the two areas and consider the changing rural context within Eastern North Carolina. I add a consideration of larger demographic shifts impacting many rural areas—particularly in the US South—and close with a discussion of implications for science education.

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Author information

Correspondence to Sarah Riggs Stapleton.

Additional information

Lead Editors: L. Avery and D. Long.

This paper is part of the special issue Cultural Studies of Rural Science Education.

This review essay addresses issues raised in Leanne Avery’s and Bryan Hains’ paper entitled: Oral traditions: A contextual framework for complex science concepts. doi:10.1007/s11422-016-9761-5.

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Stapleton, S.R. Oral traditions, changing rural landscapes, and science education. Cult Stud of Sci Educ 12, 189–198 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-016-9749-1

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  • Rural education
  • Oral traditions
  • Place
  • Equity