Teacher experience of rurality
Preparing for a rural career
Module 1: Understanding rurality
Module 2: Understanding place
Module 3: Understanding rural teacher identity
Module 4: Working with communities
Module 5: Getting to know rural students' lives
Module 6: Professional experience
menu 4.4.1
menu 4.4.2
menu 4.4.3
menu 4.4.4
Module 7: Advice in getting a job

Simulations and scenarios

Simulations and scenarios provide a realistic context without actually visiting a rural or regional school and community.  Teacher educators and their students can create a virtual community to explore and discuss.

Simulations and scenarios can be used by the teacher educator to:

  • Structure subjects or sessions around hypothetical places and situations
  • Provide a realistic context for the development of understandings and place-based skills for teaching in rural and regional places
  • Invent details of a school, its classes and family background to provide pre-service teachers with the opportunity to create place-based programs for “real” classes of students
  • Present background information about a community, including its location, climate, history, economic base, commercial and social facilities to set a realistic context for exploring community issues including those associated with rural decline

Pre-service teachers can be “appointed” to the simulated school and activities can be developed that enable them to consider their reactions to the appointment and explore the considerations associated with taking up the position, including:

  • Locating the place
  • Researching its background
  • Organising accommodation
  • Preparing for the journey
  • Considering what they need to take for the personal wellbeing, professional life and to enable them to participate in the life of the community.

The following resources can be included in simulations and scenarios:

Bilby Simulation (Deakin University) 

Karen Le Rossignol, Deakin University - Bilby simulation


Bilby is a simulated Victorian country town. Originally designed for an undergraduate writing unit, Bilby has been adapted for use by pre-service teachers to increase their familiarity with regional contexts.

Embedded in the web-based simulation are job advertisements, profiles of community members and organisations, information about local services, radio broadcasts, Shire Council documents, photo galleries and newspapers. These can be used to identify and explore the local issues and guide activities around preparing for professional experience and engaging with community resources. 

To find Bilby schools open the simulation and select 'Bilby Shire Council' from the signpost. From the council homepage select the 'Educating the Bilby Region' tab from the horizontal menu at the top of the page.

Before using this resource, please refer to the copyright information.


See: Le Rossignol, K. (2009). Designing Blended Learning in Higher Education: The neomillenial learner and mediated immersion. International Journal of Humanities 6(10). Available from: http://www.deakin.edu.au/dro/eserv/DU:30017517/lerossignol-designingblended-2009.pdf

Jan Page, Charles Sturt University - Girraween Flat Public School Simulation 

Download Girraween Flat PDF (667Kb)

Girraween Flat is a simulated town designed to introduce pre-service primary teachers to teaching in rural and remote areas.

The simulation invites pre-service teachers to imagine that they have been appointed to Girraween Flat Public School, a small two teacher primary school. Pre-service teachers are given:

  • a locality map of the town
  • an overview of local history
  • information about the school
  • a class list
  • family profiles

Using this information, pre-service teachers explore preparing for a rural or remote placement. The teacher educator introduces additional information as appropriate to encourage students to reflect on various opportunities and challenges.


See: Page, J. and M. Novak (2009). Enhancing the preparation of students for teaching in rural and remote locations. Australian Teacher Education Association Conference. Albury, September 29