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The income status of students' families in central cities and rural areas are somewhat equal, but their schools are different in size, diversity, and culture. What obstacles to a good education may students face in these two different settings?

Students in city centers may be lost in a crowd and receive little individual attention from teachers. In rural schools, their peer group may lack diversity, leading to a narrow range of perspectives and ideas.

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The students in central city schools are more likely to be part of a large class in which their specific needs are not addressed. Teachers may have little time to help individual students, and the diversity of backgrounds, perhaps including first languages, means that scarce resources are even more thinly spread. With little supervision, these students risk losing direction and focus, perhaps neglecting their education and becoming caught up in subcultures of drugs and gangs.

Students in rural schools will largely avoid such pressures. However, they may suffer from lack of a peer group with which to interact and compete. In a very small school, they will be in classes with students of widely differing ability and perhaps from different age groups. A small teaching staff may also be called upon to teach a wide range of subjects, meaning that they will be working outside their areas of expertise.

A rural school may also be unable to offer its students a diverse personal and social education. All the students may be from similar backgrounds and from the same race, meaning that there is little diversity in their viewpoints, and the liberal arts subjects may be considered using only a narrow range of ideas. There may also be resource scarcity, though this has been ameliorated by the use of internet resources in teaching.

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