Conceptions of Choice, Equity, & Rurality in Educational Research

Conceptions of Choice, Equity, & Rurality in Educational Research: A Review of the Literature on Rural Education and School Choice Policies

  • James Bridgeforth University of Southern California
  • Kate Kennedy University of Southern California
  • Jacob Alonso University of Southern California
  • Taylor Enoch-Stevens University of Southern California
Keywords: school choice, rural education, equity


School choice is often thought of as a rural issue, however, rural communities have also engaged in forms of school choice decision-making. Limited research has explored rural school choice and there is a need for further exploration of rurality and school choice. This review is not intended to advocate for an expansion of school choice policies. Rather, we call for additional research that seeks to better understand how school choice policies are currently operating in rural areas and their implications for educational equity. In this piece, we review the existing literature on school choice and rural education, provide key recommendations, and assert the need for additional consideration of the following: critical socio-political histories and theories; methodological diversity; issues of race, racism, sexual orientation, and equity; social-emotional learning and development; impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic; and broadened understandings ofrurality.


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How to Cite
Bridgeforth, J., Kennedy, K., Alonso, J., & Enoch-Stevens, T. (2021). Conceptions of Choice, Equity, & Rurality in Educational Research. The Rural Educator, 42(2), 1-15.
Reviews of Research