Defining and Describing Rural: Implications for Rural Special Education Research and Policy

Leslie R. Hawley, Natalie A. Koziol, James A. Bovaird, Carina M. McCormick, Greg W. Welch, Ann M. Arthur, Kirstie Bash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

A critical aspect of rural research is carefully defining and describing the rural context. This is particularly important in rural special education research because different definitions of rural may influence resource allocation, grant funding eligibility, and/or research findings. In order to highlight the importance of operationalizing rural, we discuss the challenges of defining rural, provide descriptions of commonly used definitions to familiarize readers with standardized coding schemes, and summarize an empirical example demonstrating the implications different definitions can have on rural special education research and policy. We conclude by providing recommendations for both producers and consumers of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalRural Special Education Quarterly
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Keywords

  • rural definition
  • rural policy
  • rural special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development

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