Teachers going bush made easier with new book

Published 16 November 2015

Left to right: Mrs Kathy Jenkins, Dr Judy Miller, Dr Genevieve Noone, Dr Linley Cornish and Dr Paul Reitano.

For over a decade nine academics from the University of New England has been researching the lived experiences of rural teachers, recently publishing their findings in a book called Bush Tracks: The Opportunities and Challenges of Rural Teaching and Leadership.

Bush Tracks covers the personal and professional challenges of living and teaching in isolated, small communities.

It looks at the supports needed for teachers to continue working in rural contexts, as well as the opportunities for leadership roles whilst living in the “fishbowl” of a rural community.

According to co-editor, Associate Professor Judy Miller, Bush Tracks offers innovative ways to rural teachers to cope with Australia’s increasingly city-centric education policies.

“The book appeals to the interests of all teachers who have ‘gone bush’, or are planning to, and to teachers who want a text that is nuanced in discussing the challenges and opportunities of teaching in rural schools,” A/Prof Miller said.

The book is very timely as the prime minister and the federal government considers new policy on education in rural settings.

“Commonwealth and state governments generally recognise the need for better support to our teachers. A number of incentives for teachers to work in rural and remote locations have existed for a long time, but there has generally been little understanding of what challenges lie ahead for such choices.

“Working in rural, remote locations offers great professional experience, and something many young teachers will do to begin their careers. It is to them in particular that this book will greatly benefit.”

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For more information, please contact Judy Miller on jmiller7@une.edu.au or (02) 6773 5071.