Knowing myself as a teacher: transforming the place of rurality in Scottish Initial Teacher Education

Morag Redford, Lindsay Nicol

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter challenges the view of preparation for rural teaching as a specialist provision. Through analysis of a one year initial teacher education programme delivered partly through a digital infrastructure, we explore rural teaching as a meaningful place-mediated identity. The programme is framed around a trajectory of learning and experience that supports the development of teacher agency, and we use the constructs of Activity Theory and place to analyse student engagement with the programme. We reflect on the ways in which collaborative programme activities and relationships empower students to work out their emerging teacher identity as it is shaped by their experiences of living in a rural area and while becoming a teacher. In particular we focus on how existing rural identities in the student community generate and use the resource of collaborative intentionality capital to facilitate the development of their teacher identities. From this we conclude that programmes preparing students for entry to the teaching profession should work with rural teaching as a place-attentive, self-expressive and embodied identity, and that rurality is important for emerging teachers as a shaping influence within their professional community. We present this as a critical pedagogy of place, nurturing the emergence of a collaborative, agentive teacher self, able to situate themselves willingly as a school community inhabitant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRural Education across the World
Subtitle of host publication Models of Inovative Practice and Impact
EditorsSimone White, Jayne Downey
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021


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