In rural Canada the issue of school closures and consolidations due to low enrollment and heightened fiscal constraints has become a contentious and highly-charged issue for citizens and communities. This literature review synthesizes the major effects of school closure on rural communities, identifying economic impacts, social impacts, and implications for students. The historical context of Canadian rural schools, notions of rurality, urbanormativity and local complexity, along with considerations of urban-centred educational policy, are overarching themes identified in the rural school literature. These concepts were found to subsequently perpetuate the economic, social, and student-centred impacts reported. A relative dearth of research focusing on the community-level impacts of rural school closure, particularly in the Canadian context, supports the need for further in-depth studies that address gaps in the literature. These findings could in turn be used in the development of future educational policy which acknowledges rurality for rural Canadian communities.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.