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Learning to Leave: The Irony of Schooling in a Coastal Community


reviewed by Christopher Stapel June 04, 2008

coverTitle: Learning to Leave: The Irony of Schooling in a Coastal Community
Author(s): Michael Corbett
Publisher: Fernwood Publishing, Black Point
ISBN: 1552662292, Pages: 192, Year: 2007
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The rural studies literature is dominated by a tale of non-diversified economies, underdevelopment, and steep population loss. While a waning optimism is evident, volumes upon volumes tell of a pattern where the countryside’s “best and brightest” migrate to metropolitan centers. The centralized and bureaucratized rural school is often characterized as a mediating agent of this rural-to-urban migration. A competing educational literature romanticizes place-based pedagogy and local decision-making. Scholars from this tradition describe a culturally sensitive rural school responsive to the needs of local families and communities. At the intersection of these distinct yet complementary themes is Michael Corbett’s ethnographic account of schooling and migration in the fishing villages of Digby Neck, Nova Scotia. In Learning to Leave: The Ironies of Schooling in a Coastal Community, Corbett honors the place-based priorities of rural sociologists as he answers the question: “who stays, who goes, and what role did formal education play in... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 04, 2008
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15267, Date Accessed: 10/23/2017 4:07:42 AM

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About the Author
  • Christopher Stapel
    Boston Community Leadership Academy
    E-mail Author
    CHRISTOPHER STAPEL is a mathematics teacher and advisor at the Boston Community Leadership Academy, a pilot high school of the Boston Public Schools. He holds an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is currently constructing a toolkit and resource manual for organizations serving rural sexual minority youth. In addition to urban education reform, his research interests include college access for rural students, gay and lesbian issues in education, and race and class inequality.
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