“Growing Our Own Teachers”: Rural Individuals Becoming Certified Teachers

  • Dianne GerelukEmail author
  • Roswita Dressler
  • Sarah Elaine Eaton
  • Sandra Becker


Attracting and retaining teachers for rural and remote areas are pervasive global problems, and Canada is not immune to these issues. As recommended by the Northern Alberta Development Report (2010), communities need to make an increased priority of local teacher recruitment, by “growing our own teachers” (p. 11). One way to do just that is to allow students to stay in their communities for preservice teacher education, thereby increasing access to potentially qualified individuals who might not otherwise be reached. In light of this provincial directive, this paper will examine the provision of blended preservice teacher education by examining student and instructor perspectives in one community-based program. While the emphasis of the study highlighted how alternative provisions of teacher education programs may better support students who live in rural regions, the results gave rise to the ways in which shifts in our delivery of programs may alter notions of relationality and at an institutional level, the evolving nature of the university itself.


Rural teachers Blended delivery Online Teacher education programs Relationality 


  1. Bamford, J., & Pollard, L. (2018). Developing relationality and student belonging: The need for building cosmopolitan engagement in undergraduate communities. London Review of Education, 16(2), 214–227. Scholar
  2. Canter, L. L. S., Voytecki, K. S., & Rodríguez, D. (2007). Increasing online interaction in rural special education teacher preparation programs. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 26(1), 23–27. Scholar
  3. Chelliah, J., & Clarke, E. (2011). Collaborative teaching and learning: Overcoming the digital divide? On the Horizon, 19(4), 276–285. Scholar
  4. Corbett, M. (2020). Place-based education: A critical appraisal from a rural perspective. Chapter 14 in M. Corbett & D. Gereluk (Eds.), Rural teacher education: Connecting land and people. Toronto: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Danyluk, P., Burns, A., & Scott, D. (2020). Becoming a teacher in a rural or remote community: The experiences of educational assistants. Chapter 9 in M. Corbett & D. Gereluk (Eds.), Rural teacher education: Connecting land and people. Toronto: Springer.Google Scholar
  6. Dibbon, D. (2001). Teacher demand in Newfoundland and Labrador. Retrieved from
  7. Downing, J. J., & Dyment, J. E. (2013). Teacher educators’ readiness, preparation, and perceptions of preparing preservice teachers in a fully online environment: An exploratory study. The Teacher Educator, 48(2), 96–109. Scholar
  8. Eaton, S. E., Dressler, R., Gereluk, D., & Becker, S. (2015). A review of the literature on rural and remote pre-service teacher preparation with a focus on blended and e-learning models. Calgary, AB: University of Calgary.
  9. Eaton, S. E., Gereluk, D., Dressler, R., & Becker, S. (2017, April). A rural education teacher preparation program: Course design, student support and engagement. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  10. Faulk, N. (2010). Online teacher education: What are the results? Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 3(11), 21–28. Scholar
  11. Huss, J. A. (2007). Administrator attitudes toward online teacher preparation programs: Are principals logging on—Or logging off? International Electronic Journal for Leadership in Learning, 11. Retrieved from
  12. Interorganizational Committee on Teacher Supply and Demand. (2002). Teacher supply and demand in Manitoba: Report of the Interorganizational Committee. Retrieved from
  13. Kitchenham, A., & Chasteauneuf, C. (2010). Teacher supply and demand: Issues in Northern Canada. Canadian Journal of Education, 33(4), 869–896. Retrieved from
  14. Kriewaldt, J. (2015). Strengthening learners’ perspectives in professional standards to restore relationality as central to teaching. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 40(8), 83–98.
  15. Learning, S. (2007). Educator supply and demand in Saskatchewan to 2011. Regina, SK: Board of Teacher Education and Certification.Google Scholar
  16. Looker, E. D., & R. D. Bollman. (2020). Setting the stage: Overview of data on teachers and students in rural and urban Canada. Chapter 3 in M. Corbett & D. Gereluk (Eds.), Rural teacher education: Connecting land and people. Toronto: Springer.Google Scholar
  17. Martin, C. (2020). On the educational ethics of outmigration: Liberal legitimacy, personal autonomy, and rural education. Chapter 4 in M. Corbett & D. Gereluk (Eds.), Rural teacher education: Connecting land and people. Toronto: Springer.Google Scholar
  18. Mueller, R., Carr-Stewart, S., Steeves, L., & Marshall, J. (2013). Teacher recruitment and retention in select First Nations schools. Education, 17(3), 56–71. Retrieved from
  19. Northern Alberta Development Council. (2010). Rural and remote education report. Retrieved from
  20. Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2012). Nova Scotia public education teacher supply and demand: Update report. Halifax, NS: Author.Google Scholar
  21. Ontario Ministry of Education. (2008). Teacher supply and demand survey report: Executive summary. Retrieved from
  22. Scott, D., & Louie, D. W. (2020). Reconsidering rural education in light of Canada’s Indigenous reality. Chapter 5 in M. Corbett & D. Gereluk (Eds.), Rural teacher education: Connecting land and people. Toronto: Springer.Google Scholar
  23. Smith, C., & Peller, P. (2020). “You can’t get there from here”: Maping access to Canada’s teacher education programs (Chapter 3, pp. XXX).Google Scholar
  24. Spriggs, J. (2018). An exploration of persistence among successful low-income community college students in North Carolina (Doctoral dissertation).
  25. Stelmach, B. (2020). Rural, secondary school parents’ discourses about feeling in community in their children’s schools: Insights to shape teachers’ and principals’ questions. Chapter 10 in M. Corbett & D. Gereluk (Eds.), Rural teacher education: Connecting land and people. Toronto: Springer.Google Scholar
  26. Talivaldis Ozolins, J. (2017). Creating the civil society east and west: Relationality, responsibility and the education of the humane person. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 49(4), 362–378. Scholar
  27. Thiel, K. (1984). The gap between needs and services for adult students in higher education. Retrieved from
  28. West, E., & Jones, P. (2007). A framework for planning technology used in teacher education programs that serve rural communities. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 26(4), 3–15. Scholar
  29. Wubbels, T., den Brok, P., van Tartwijk, J., & Levy, J. (2012). Interpersonal relationships in education: An overview of contemporary research. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dianne Gereluk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roswita Dressler
    • 1
  • Sarah Elaine Eaton
    • 1
  • Sandra Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Werklund School of EducationUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations