Mathematics education in rural Georgia
Sloan, Margaret Hall
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The purpose of this study was to explore the ways in which social, political, and economic factors impact the teaching and learning of mathematics in a small rural school in Georgia. In particular, this research focused on a charter school that seeks to theducate approximately 275 pre-K through 12 grade students and is the only public school in the county. Using qualitative ethnographic methodology, the study was intended to give voice to the residents of the county with an emphasis on those who are most affected by the school: students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Additionally, county officials, employers, and other members of the community shared their thoughts about the school and the ways in which students are being prepared for the future. To some extent, this study was constructed within a critical framework to examine how a small rural school operates within the bounds established by state and federal policymakers. The data collected and analyzed in the study suggest that small rural communities can establish effective and, by most definitions, successful schools. In turn, these schools can provide students with rich and varied academic experiences, including mathematical experiences. More importantly, the data reveal ways in which the mathematics programs of even the smallest schools can be enhanced, but only when faculty, staff, and policymakers work collaboratively in that effort.