Building a sense of community belonging: making mobile families welcome in a rural Australian school

Henderson, Robyn (2017) Building a sense of community belonging: making mobile families welcome in a rural Australian school. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 27 (2). pp. 18-30. ISSN 1036-0026

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Seasonal farm workers play an important economic role through their contributions to annual harvests and the fact that they spend income in the community where they sojourn. However, research shows that farm workers and other temporary residents are often socially marginalised in rural communities and feel as though they are outsiders who do not belong. This paper reports research that focused on a primary school in a rural community in Australia, where seasonal mobile farm workers arrived for the annual harvest. Using a single case study design, the research demonstrated that the school made a deliberate attempt to welcome newly-arrived students and their families into the school community. Using a whole school strategy, the school staff aimed to meet families’ and students’ social needs, thereby building a sound foundation for the academic work of schooling. However, the data and data analysis also suggested that the school’s strategy was helping to work against the deficit discourses that operated in the broader
community, thus demonstrating the school’s role as a hub for the community’s socio-educational development.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 02:52
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 00:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: rural education, belonging, socio-educational development, case study
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
13 Education > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130105 Primary Education (excl. Maori)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment

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