The papers and authors in this Special Issue ultimately bring alive the complex and interwoven layers of education, globalization, and rurality/regionality, both for themselves as researchers and for the places and people they research. They explore, compare, and contrast how the concepts of identity, place, space, and notions of community are played out in the international literature and applied to their specific contexts in the world. They do this, all the while providing insights into how educational research and rural researchers themselves are situated within and for, their rural/regional-global place. In this way, the Special Issue offers new knowledge into ways for understanding and mediating the impacts of globalization in local contexts as well as the important role rural education researchers can play in better framing the challenges and affordances for rural/regional communities.
The impetus for this Special Issue came as a result of the convening of the 2018 International Symposium for Innovation in Rural Education (ISFIRE) co-hosted by the National Centre of Science, Information and Communication Technology, and Mathematics Education for Rural and Regional Australia (SiMERR), University of New England, Armidale, AU and the Center for Research on Rural Education, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. This gathering was designed to bring together rural educators and researchers from around the globe, a group arguably more likely to be marginalized within the larger education research community, to celebrate the importance of rural education, discuss common challenges, explore how research informs rural practice, and share innovative solutions to address collective concerns. The researchers and educators who gathered at ISFIRE 2018 found many more similarities than they did differences in the ways in which global forces and policies are playing out in their regional and rural educational contexts. For this Special Issue, authors were asked to illuminate their local and regional/rural research by paying particular attention to the international field. Thus, in this Special Issue you will find five such papers that draw from quite diverse international contexts and countries, and demonstrate ways in which a global rural lens can be applied in diverse contexts in various provinces or states and territories within any one country.