Rural Stereotypes in the Classroom: A Teacher's Perspective

Open Access
Shellenberger, Lydia Eve
Area of Honors:
Secondary Education
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jamie Myers, Thesis Supervisor
  • Susan Mohammed, Faculty Reader
  • Jamie Myers, Honors Advisor
  • Rural
  • Stereotypes
  • Education
  • Agriculture
As part of a yearlong English teaching internship, I had the opportunity to observe the daily interactions of twenty-six eighth grade students enrolled a regular track English class co-taught by Philip Anderson and myself. As the year progressed, I observed behaviors indicating that one of my students from a rural background was being excluded from his peer group based on this background. With the goal of facilitating a cohesive classroom community, I began to investigate this apparent division among my students. This case study focuses on my encounters with rural stereotypes that threatened to hinder the harmony of one eighth-grade English class. Through direct observation I collected my data, and then triangulated it through written records from school educators and counselors, as well as the students’ own academic work. On this foundation, I began to examine how various students’ perceptions of rural life affect the classroom environment.