Rural Exposures: An Examination of Three Initiatives to Introduce and Immerse Preservice Teachers into Rural Communities and Rural Schools in the U.S. and Australia
One ongoing challenge that educator preparation programs frequently encounter is their limited ability to authentically expose preservice teachers (PSTs) to rural schools and potential careers in rural school districts. To remedy this concern, faculty at three institutions in both the United States and Australia have developed targeted initiatives designed to provide initial exposure to rural schools, build a rural-intensive element within a practicum course, and establish rural immersion experiences for PSTs. A detailed look at the structure of these programs, a comparison of these three diverse approaches, and recommendations for the expansion and sustainability of these efforts are highlighted within this narrative. Through this comparison of activities being advanced in both countries, the authors provide a better understanding of the options and effectiveness related to initial rural school exposure.