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Who Matters? Perceptions of Mattering and Marginalization Among Rural Preservice Teachers at a Flagship University

Sat, April 10, 9:30 to 10:30am EDT (9:30 to 10:30am EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Rural Education Roundtable Sessions


This qualitative study explored how undergraduate students experience mattering in higher education. A spatial approach was used to explore influences student development. Participants included seven undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory College of Education course. Three waves of interviews were collected within a semester. Data incorporated a digital story submission, and two waves of semi-structured interviews via Zoom. Data analysis and interpretation was aided by Schlossberg’s (1989) Theory of Marginalization and Mattering. Constant comparison analysis (Corbin & Straus, 2015) resulted in the emergence of three patterns regarding the intersection of rural life identity and mattering: (1) missed opportunities at home and on campus (2) frustration with a lack of validation (3) intrinsic motivation.