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Rural Matters

Jun 13, 2022

In the final installment of our six-part series on continuing rural postsecondary education and workforce development, produced in collaboration with and supported by the Ascendium Education Group, Michael chats with two education leaders who are doing some amazing work with rural colleges: Jeb Puryear, the Suzanne and Dave Peterson Endowed Professor of Gifted Education at the University of Montana and a former secondary science teacher and program coordinator who primarily studies creativity, talent development mechanisms, and programmatic inequities in educational settings; and Jonathan Plucker, the Julian C. Stanley Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University and a former elementary school science teacher who studies education policy, creativity, and advanced learning in both K–12 and higher education settings.

Puryear and Plucker discuss place-based education and how it relates to rural education. They dive into the importance of data, the student shift from rural to urban settings, and how rural education programs can help to improve outcomes. Plus, they outline several examples of successful programs (e.g. Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State and The Nebraska Writing Project at the University of Nebraska). This episode, and the entire six-part series, is sponsored by the Ascendium Education Group, whose philanthropy aims to remove systemic barriers faced by certain learners, specifically first-generation students, incarcerated adults, veterans, students of color, and rural community members. For more information, visit