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Ruraling Education Research

Connections Between Rurality and the Disciplines of Educational Research

  • Expands rural education research engagement with broader education disciplines

  • Provides insights from rural education on considering place and context in research

  • Deconstructs problems of standardization and placelessness in education research

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  • ISBN: 978-981-16-0131-6
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Softcover Book USD 129.99
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Table of contents (19 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xi
  2. Ruraling Education Research

    • Philip Roberts, Melyssa Fuqua
    Pages 1-11
  3. Charter Schools and the Reconfiguring of the Rural School-Community Connection

    • Karen Eppley, Annie Maselli, Kai A. Schafft
    Pages 91-105
  4. Erasing Rurality: On the Need to Disaggregate Statistical Data

    • Philip Roberts, Michael Thier, Paul Beach
    Pages 107-127
  5. Pathways, Principals, and Place

    • Melyssa Fuqua
    Pages 129-143
  6. Harnessing Social Capital in Rural Education Research to Promote Aspiration and Participation in Learning

    • Sue Kilpatrick, Jessica Woodroffe, Robin Katersky Barnes, Leanne Arnott
    Pages 219-231
  7. The Invisible Cohort: Remote Students’ Engagement and Success in Higher Education

    • Louise Pollard, Judy Skene, Grady Venville
    Pages 233-246
  8. Valuing the Rural: Using an Ethical Lens to Explore the Impact of Defining, Doing and Disseminating Rural Education Research

    • Natalie Downes, Jillian Marsh, Philip Roberts, Jo-Anne Reid, Melyssa Fuqua, John Guenther
    Pages 265-285

About this book

This edited volume brings together a collection of chapters from leading scholars in rural education with the purpose of linking knowledge from the rural education field to the wider discipline of education studies. Through addressing significant issues in the rural education field, the book gives insights from rural education that have general relevance for the wider disciplines of education, and provides up-to-date scholarship in research in rural contexts.

This book aims to be a definitive and comprehensive edition of contemporary rural education scholarship that works as a guide for those new to researching in and for rural contexts, as well as actively expand the other sub-fields of education from a rural perspective. It examines the connection between rurality and the other domains of educational research, exploring what a rural perspective might bring to the broader fields of educational research, and how it might evolve them. In its unique approach, this book brings the concept of ‘rural’ to the disciplines of education; chapters regarding the ethics of research in the rural context speaks to a gap in rural education, and provide tools for engaging marginalised communities more generally in educational research.


  • Education in Rural Areas
  • Disciplines of Education
  • Future of Education Research
  • Knowledge and Education
  • Education Research Ethics
  • Improving Rural Community Outcomes
  • Developing Rural Communities
  • Rural-regional Sustainability Education
  • International Perspectives on Rural Education
  • Place and Context in Education
  • Place and Context in Rural Research
  • Intersections of Educational Sub-fields
  • Rural Perspectives in Education Research
  • Rurality and Education Research
  • Socio-spatial Awareness in Education
  • Education Research Ethics in Rural Contexts
  • Insights from Rural Education Research
  • Understanding Rurality


"True to its title – read it again - this book proposes the ruraling of education research: all of it. Once digested, this proposal is difficult to ignore. The theme of “‘ruraling’, used as a verb, to reframe metrocentricity and metro-normativity in education research”, is explained and developed throughout this coherent, yet wide-ranging, collection. The authors go beyond a mere proposal. They build on Roberts and Green’s 2013 accusation of the “symbolic violence against rural people, places and communities” perpetrated by those who fail to engage with the concept of rural. If Corbett once exhorted researchers to find a rural sociological imagination, these authors provide an activist handbook. 
The book envelops multiple disciplinary perspectives, venturing beyond sociology via geographical, linguistic, psychological and socio-ecological domains to show how ruraling brings new insights to teaching, ethics, gender identity, tertiary education, and inclusion, for example. Leading scholars, including Roberts, Green, Reid, Guenther, Beach and White, challenge rural education researchers to create rural theory: to subvert the unquestioned application of urban-grounded theory to understanding rural contexts. Fear not, the terminological debates are discussed, while the research studies reported are paradigmatically diverse and well-designed.
This edited collection is an outcome of rural education researchers’ fora in the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE). Its relevance is global." — Linda Hargreaves, University of Cambridge

"A comprehensive, in-depth collection of rural education research that is a must read for anyone interested in rural education. Philip Roberts and Melyssa Fuqua have compiled and edited a collection of work that is at the cutting edge of contemporary understandings of the rural that challenges the reader to rethink and reposition what it means to work, live and research in the rural. Roberts and Fuqua contextualise the rural and acknowledge the complexities and disproportionate impact of COVID 19 on rural communities. Simultaneously this collection reclaims the rural as a strength and embraces the learnings from within rural communities that have much to offer to all contexts. Reimagining of rural places as ‘ruraling’ allows the reader to engage and reengage with rural research that disrupts and reframes these places away from the ‘metrocentricity and metro-normativity in education research’. A timely and welcome addition to the debates and provocations for all scholars, students and policy-makers." — Bernadette Walker-Gibbs, La Trobe University

Editors and Affiliations

  • University of Canberra, Moss Vale, Australia

    Philip Roberts

  • Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

    Melyssa Fuqua

About the editors

Dr. Philip Roberts is Associate Professor in Curriculum Inquiry and Rural Education at the University of Canberra, and leads the Rural Education and Communities research group within the Centre for Sustainable Communities. He was Chief Editor of the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education (2015–2018), is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Research in Rural Education (2014–current) and currently Associate Editor of the international journal, Curriculum Perspectives (2018–current). He has served as the national convener of the Rural Education Special Interest Group of the Australian Association for Research in Education 2015–2018 and as the co-convenor 2013–2015. Dr. Roberts is at the forefront of the rural education field in Australia, and internationally. Utilising a plurality of methods, he has been leading innovation in rural education through links with the international field of rural studies (incorporating rural sociology and rural geography) and numerous leading international rural studies organisations. His work is orientated towards trialling new approaches to researching rural education and engaging with rurality in education.

Dr Melyssa Fuqua has a PhD from Monash University. Her thesis explored through narrative inquiry how rurality shapes the work and experiences of Australian pathways advisors. In addition to having taught at a K-12 school in rural Australia, Melyssa has taught in the Education Faculties at Monash University, the University of Melbourne, and Federation University. Melyssa is also in a number of research-related leadership roles with a focus on rural education and engagement. She is a co-convenor of the Australian Association for Research in Education’s (AARE) Rural Education Special Interest Group and is on the Executive Committee of the Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA). Additionally, she represents SPERA in the Australian Alliance of Association in Education (AAAE) and is an elected member of their Board of Directors. Melyssa is a co-manager of the Rural Education Research Student Network that connects research students, early-career researchers, and experienced scholars who have an interest in rural education research. While this network is mainly digital, it also holds annual International Emerging Rural Scholars Summits in conjunction with major rural research conferences around the world. She is also on the editorial team of the Australian and International Journal of Rural Education.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Ruraling Education Research

  • Book Subtitle: Connections Between Rurality and the Disciplines of Educational Research

  • Editors: Philip Roberts, Melyssa Fuqua

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2021

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-16-0130-9Published: 16 May 2021

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-16-0133-0Published: 17 May 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-16-0131-6Published: 15 May 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 304

  • Number of Illustrations: 5 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Educational Policy and Politics, Educational Philosophy, Sociology of Education, Curriculum Studies

Buying options

eBook USD 99.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-981-16-0131-6
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 129.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)