Department Profs. Craig Albers and Andy Garbacz have teamed up with the Wisconsin Center for Education Research to create a new program that will focus on “rigorous, sophisticated, and interdisciplinary research that is responsive to needs identified by rural schools and communities.”
According to a WCER article announcing its creation, the Rural Education Research & Implementation Center, or RERIC (rare-ik) — is “a first-of-its-kind center in Wisconsin dedicated to improving educational outcomes for rural students, families and schools through rigorous, partnership-based research.”
The article continues: “In building capacity for RERIC, the co-directors have operated on two guiding principles: establish trust with rural residents and education leaders, and to listen. ‘We know from Katherine Cramer’s book, ‘The Politics of Resentment,’ how crucial it is to establish trust with rural communities. We’ve made it a priority to talk to people in rural Wisconsin, get to know them and hear their challenges.’ Albers says the response has been very positive. “People tell us, ‘Thanks for recognizing that we’re here.’
“According to UW‒Madison’s Applied Population Laboratory, 77 percent of Wisconsin school districts are rural or town districts. However, their unique needs have mostly been overlooked in policy and research, says Jennifer Seelig, RERIC’s assistant director whose award-winning, year-long ethnographic study of a rural school and community in Northern Wisconsin helped inform the approach that RERIC has taken to establishing rural research partnerships.”
Read the entire WCER article here.