Linda Farr Darling, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy, has been appointed to the Eleanor Rix Professorship for Rural Teacher Education, a position made possible by the Rix family's recent donation of two and a half million dollars to the Faculty of Education. Dr. Rix named the Professorship after his wife who was a British Columbia teacher with a strong commitment to the future of K-12 education in the province. The Professorship is intended to shine light on the challenges and possibilities found in educating students in small and rural communities, including remote villages and islands in B.C. where just getting to school everyday is a long struggle.
Research and initiatives will focus on better understanding rural resources, strengths and needs, so we can better prepare, recruit and support teachers to work effectively with students in these communities. As with so many research and teaching projects in the Faculty, the Professorship is rooted in a commitment to providing equality of educational opportunity to students so they have a chance to grow and flourish, wherever they live.
The landscapes (geographical, social, cultural and economic) of the province are diverse, and the sustainability of our rural communities depends on productive partnerships between people working in areas of health, education, social services, business, and so on. Linda is looking forward collaborating with colleagues in areas like aboriginal education, community planning, and environmental education to help inform the work of the Professorship. She is also excited about traveling to communities throughout the province, and listening to people talk about where they live and about the education they want for their children. Linda plans to continue working with the West Kootenay Teacher Education Program (the Faculty of Education's rural satellite for teacher preparation) thoughout her two-year appointment as the Rix Professor.