Journal article

The smaller the better? : A review of research on small rural schools in Sweden


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Publication Details

Subtitle: A review of research on small rural schools in Sweden

Author list: Åberg-Bengtsson, Lisbeth

Publication year: 2009

Start page: 100

End page: 108

Number of pages: 9

ISSN: 0883-0355



This review of 30 years of research in small rural schools in Sweden includes projects focusing directly upon rural education and rural schools, reports from national agencies, and official statistics. Two main foci were found: (i) the quality of education and pupils’ academic performance, and (ii) the economics of running schools in different types of demographic areas. A concordant picture stands out: (a) there are no indications that small rural schools do not provide an equally good education as other schools, but (b) the higher expenditure per pupil and decreasing population in sparsely populated areas increases the risk of school closures. The importance of the small rural school to the community receives peripheral attention at best in this body of research.


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