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Understanding the Relational Dynamics of Chilean Rural Teachers: Contributions from a Narrative-Generative Perspective

Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Sociales, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Temuco 4810101, Chile
Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Arturo Prat, Victoria 4721189, Chile
Programa Doctorado Ciencias Sociales, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Santiago 7500912, Chile
Departamento de Educación Física, Deportes y Recreación, Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco 4780000, Chile
Departamento de Didáctica de la Expresión Musical, Plástica y Corporal, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: David Manzano Sánchez
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8386;
Received: 24 May 2022 / Revised: 27 June 2022 / Accepted: 28 June 2022 / Published: 8 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of Teaching Methods and Education System)


The rural teaching profession demands a genuine commitment to the development of future generations, ensuring a legacy that transcends time. Thus, generativity would be a characteristic dimension of the teaching function manifested in various forms, roles and tasks aimed at caring for students and their communities of origin. Objective: To explore the relational dynamics that rural teachers have constructed throughout their life trajectories and how these have influenced the potentially generative development of their teaching identity. Method: an interpretative-qualitative approach was adopted, following a descriptive, exploratory and cross-sectional design. The purposive sample consisted of twelve teachers with an average of 33 years of experience in rural schools in the Metropolitan Region, La Araucanía and Los Ríos (Chile). In-depth interviews from a narrative-generative perspective were used to collect the data. Subsequently, the stories were subjected to content analysis, following the logic of Grounded Theory. Results: The teachers show a potentially generative development, expressed in the construction of relational dynamics of trust, reciprocity and positive affection with their students. With their peers, they demonstrate collaborative practices, teamwork and orientation towards continuous improvement in their professional work. At the management level, they stand out for their leadership skills and commitment to the development of rural communities.
Keywords: generativity; pedagogy; rural school; affectivity; collaboration; SDG4 generativity; pedagogy; rural school; affectivity; collaboration; SDG4

1. Introduction

The study of the life histories of teachers who have worked professionally in rural contexts becomes a valid and relevant historical–cultural tool to visualize the rural teaching profession as a potentially generative practice [1], integrating knowledge, relational dynamics and pedagogical practices that contribute to the systematization and generation of new possibilities for understanding the development of rural teaching identity.
The construction of the professional teaching identity is a complex, relational, political and social process [2]. However, this identity is related to one of the most socially undervalued professions in Chile [3]. Despite the above, the teaching identity brings together and converges a series of personal, social, historical–cultural and professional factors that interact with each other through a continuous, non-deterministic and dialogic process [4]. The construction of this identity faces fluctuations and changes that directly affect teachers in relation to the perception they have of themselves and the valuation society makes of their work. Within these same fluctuations, identity conflicts are generated, since on many occasions, the very system in which teachers are inserted provokes identity crises [3].
However, the development and construction of the identity of rural teachers is not limited only to the teacher–student relationship, but their educational work is profoundly heterogeneous [4], assuming a series of other tasks, roles and functions committed to the social, political and historical–cultural development of the educational communities located in rural areas, responding to the different needs and demands perceived by the population of these territories.
In this sense, research generated around rural teaching practice is scarce and incipient, so that little information is available on the changes and transformations experienced by Chilean rural education [5,6,7], limited to the existence of studies related to the learning results obtained in standardized tests [8,9,10], infrastructure deficiencies [11], the conditions of vulnerability that characterize rural students [12], the functioning of rural microcenters [13,14,15], teacher performance evaluation [16,17] or the impact of the systematic closure of rural schools [18,19], among other topics.
On the other hand, the study of teacher generativity is incipient, with some general contributions in the Spanish [20,21,22], Mexican [23] and Peruvian [24] contexts. In the Chilean context, there are studies aimed at exploring the construct in older people [25,26,27,28]. Therefore, this article invites us to explore the following research questions: What reflections, knowledge and criteria for pedagogical action emerge from the life trajectories of teachers regarding the functioning of the rural school institution? Do teachers articulate potentially generative practices that enrich the teaching and learning process in rural contexts? What are the relational dynamics that rural teachers have built throughout their life trajectories? Based on the above, the purpose of the study is to explore the relational dynamics that rural teachers have constructed throughout their life trajectories and how these have influenced the potentially generative development of teacher identity.

2. Background

2.1. Generativity and Pedagogy as a Key Element in Rural Schools

The potentially generative pedagogical practice in rural schools evidences the transformation of dialogue, creativity and learning as the basis for generating and implementing new possibilities and alternative futures in the face of the problems, interests and challenges that students and their communities of origin manifest. From a theoretical point of view, generativity emerges initially as a construct used to refer to the processes of normative crises that characterize maturity in adult life, specifically during the transition from middle to late adulthood [29].
In [22,30], the authors highlight the importance of generativity in adult development, understanding it as that desire to invest the very essence of the individual in forms of life and work that outlive the self, engaging with younger generations from a pedagogical element. For its part, Ref. [31] proposes a prototypical model of generativity based on two interrelated criteria: participation or active concern for the development of oneself and others (particularly the younger generations), and inclusiveness, in relation to the scope of the tasks of caring for the subjects and communities with which they relate [32], making it a particularly relevant area during the processes of growth and maturity in adulthood [33,34]. Now, generativity would be a multifaceted construct observed in different forms and activities, in which the subject engages in the creation, maintenance and provision of caring behaviours throughout adulthood [35], becoming a central theme in the stories that adults construct to give meaning to their lives [36].
Likewise, Ref. [37] states that generativity points to the interest in contributing to the well-being of the next generations, whose manifestations and expressions are diverse (desire to pass on knowledge to younger people, raising children, supporting the care of grandchildren or dependents, political and social participation, etc.). This is precisely why this variable is presented in a pedagogical way and as a key element in rural schools, where it is argued that generativity during adulthood would materialize in the responsibility to care for and guide future generations, as well as in the interest in maintaining and preserving natural resources and social institutions, without which successive generations could not survive [38], making it a characteristic dimension of the teaching profession [39]. Similarly, [40] propose the existence of six relevant tasks during adulthood: identity, intimacy, career consolidation, generativity and integrity, reaffirming the importance of the conservation and preservation of collective roles and products constructed within a society committed to the development of younger generations.
Consequently, the development of generativity would have profound implications for all those professions that demand an interest and commitment from the individual to contribute to the development of others, with pedagogy being a discipline particularly oriented to the transmission of knowledge and experiences to future generations, the promotion of human well-being and the contribution to the development of the society to which one belongs [1,39].
In practice, the generative development of teachers can be observed in the pedagogical strategies and learning objectives they promote in the classroom, the relational dynamics they establish with students and their communities of origin, as well as the level of responsibility and commitment with which they carry out their daily educational work [41]. Furthermore, when individuals generate actions or tasks that contribute to the improvement of society, they tend to make an even greater effort to leave a positive legacy for future generations [42,43], revealing the socio-educational implications of generative development in those who exercise the teaching function, thanks to the intergenerational exchange that emerges daily in teaching and learning processes.

2.2. Rural Schools and Their Affectivity in the Management of SDG 4: Collaboration with Educational Quality in Chile

The General Education Law in Chile [44,45] states that education is the process of lifelong learning that encompasses the different stages of people’s lives and aims to achieve their spiritual, ethical, moral, affective, intellectual, artistic and physical development, through the transmission and cultivation of values, knowledge, skills and abilities [1]. In this sense, the Ministry of Education, through the Rural Education Programme, has as its main mission the aim to provide quality learning opportunities in rural education. This is achieved by supporting the implementation of the current curriculum in rural multigrade schools, the development of teaching strategies and the elaboration of pedagogical guidelines and resources for educational activities and the improvement of learning.
In Chile, education for the rural population comprises systematic, formal educational activities at all levels and modalities offered in rural areas [46]. It refers to kindergarten, basic education, humanistic–scientific and technical–professional secondary education, youth and adult education and intercultural education. At this time, schools are considering some strategic actions that seek a sustainable aspect, which allows new generations to become aware from childhood of the impacts of human activity on the world and society, and to develop the necessary skills to grow in a sustainable way, respecting others and the environment.
This is referenced in Sustainable Development Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda (SDG4), which, despite the fact that this goal begins by highlighting inclusive education “Ensure inclusive education”, is somewhat diffuse in its development in some dimensions with respect to the goals in which it is specified [47,48]. In fact, it is in target 4 where equity and inclusion are most explicitly mentioned, but this refers exclusively to access to education: “ensure equal access for vulnerable people, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations, to all levels of education and vocational training” [49,50,51,52].
This aspect of the analysis is slowly being complemented by studies focusing on the student body (historically unbalanced in literary production with respect to the teaching staff) [48,52], those that investigate school–environment relations, the working methodologies of the teaching staff or the teaching of curricular specialties. In short, by works that investigate what happens in classrooms and rural schools from a pedagogical point of view [53,54,55,56]. Sometimes, through empirical contributions, the focus shifts from administrative demands (linked to resources, projects or professional rights of the teaching staff) to pedagogical demands (closer to the educational possibilities that rural schools have for their students and for the communities that make them up) [57,58,59]. This makes it possible to recognize that the 2030 agenda, in its goal number 1, indicates that it is necessary to ensure that all girls and boys complete primary and secondary education, which must be free, equitable and of quality and produce relevant and effective school results.
For the generation of knowledge about rural schools to become a solid collaborative base, research has a strategic role to play [60,61,62]. Leaders of rural school organizations, administrative decision-makers and politicians in rural areas receive through it evidence that can influence decision-making and favour the construction of paradigms. The possibility that the rural school can be rethought in the current context is relevant for scientific production to progress [63,64]. What is not made visible does not seem to exist, and research can help to prevent this invisibility from continuing to be one of the major hindrances for these centres [65]. We will qualitatively address the empirical gap that continues to exist for rural schools, insofar as the priority focuses of educational research have not sufficiently focused on them [66].

3. Materials and Methods

3.1. Study Design

The research was constructed from a qualitative interpretative approach, based on a descriptive, exploratory and cross-sectional design.

3.2. Participants

In this work, a non-probabilistic sampling of the intentional type was used, since the participants were selected based on the degree to which they meet the criteria and attributes established for the present investigation [67]. Specifically, the sample was made up of twelve educators (seven men and five women), residents of the Metropolitan, La Araucanía and Los Ríos Regions (respectively), who have a professional degree in basic education. The average age of the participants was 60 years, with an average of 33.5 years of teaching experience in rural contexts. For this reason, alphanumeric codes were used to name each of the participants and regions involved in the study, guaranteeing the privacy, anonymity and confidentiality of the data provided by the participants.

3.3. Data Collection Techniques

In-depth interviews were used [68,69], from a narrative-generative perspective [70,71,72]. Based on the above, we delved into the life trajectories (personal and pedagogical) of rural educators transitioning from middle adulthood to old age, revealing the emergence of potentially generative actions and behaviours with which they assume daily teaching and learning processes in rural Chile.
Procedurally, the in-depth interviews [73] were constructed from the accounts obtained through three meetings, separated by a period previously agreed with each of the participants. In the first meeting, the participant was asked to describe the main events that have marked his or her life and that, in one way or another, are related to significant changes in his or her personal and professional life. This made it possible to characterize the process of constructing the ‘Narrative Self’ [74], providing valuable elements for understanding the participant’s personality and the level of self-knowledge achieved, the critical stages and periods experienced as educators, and the decision-making processes that have marked their personal and pedagogical training in rural schools.
In the following meeting, the identification of turning points, where there is a turning point in the participant’s life course, was further explored. These are key episodes that mark an important change in life history [75], and which, in one way or another, favour the ability to ‘realize’ the implications and meanings of these events in their lives. The purpose of this encounter is to provide “unique access to the lived world of the subjects, who describe in their own words their activities, experiences and opinions” [76], reaching reliable interpretations of the meaning of these phenomena in the development of rural teachers’ professional identity.
In a third stage, and after the process of coding and transformation of the data generated during the first interviews, the identification and characterization of those milestones related to generative actions and practices, related to narrative identity [77], were deepened. This dimension enabled two areas of analysis: the internal, referring to the way in which generative or non-generative efforts, actions and practices are integrated into the participant’s life story, and the external, understood as that which enables the comparison of each story with those of the rest of the participants, observing differences in the generative development achieved [75]. Likewise, we delved into the socio-cultural expectations perceived by the subjects to act generatively in the framework of their development (personal and pedagogical)—that is, how and what kind of responsibilities they have assumed throughout their lives—the behaviours and practices that reflect the interest or conscious concern for the next generations and how it is expressed in the teaching and learning processes within the rural school, as well as the presence of future goals that guide their life project and that have an impact on the historical–cultural context in which they develop as educators.

3.4. Data Analysis and Production Strategy

For the interpretation and production of the data, content analysis was used, following the logic of Grounded Theory [78]. Subsequently, the collected and transcribed data were subjected to a rigorous, computer-assisted analysis process with the support of the NVivo 12.0 software tool [79], according to thematic, semantic and repetition criteria [80,81]. In addition, the research protocol was constructed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki and the guidelines established by the Scientific Ethics Committee for work with human subjects of the Autonomous University of Chile (Chile).

4. Results

Firstly, participants expressed a set of potentially generative behaviours expressed in the development of a rigorous and flexible pedagogical practice committed to the development of future generations (see Table 1 and Figure 1).
The above can be seen in their daily professional work, characterised by a high degree of autonomy, perseverance and responsibility in their educational work, allowing them to build positive interpersonal relationships characterised by assertiveness, empathy and the flexibility with which they assume their educational role in rural Chile:
“… I find myself a person who reaches out easily to people, that I am always respectful of others… also reaching out to children, I have always liked listening to them, listening to them, always respecting their opinion, having a way of reaching out to them…”
(Rural Educator, MV—IX Region of La Araucanía).>
“… you have to put yourself in the child’s place in order to be able to teach, because otherwise the child is not going to learn… in the rural area, as this subject is so small, it is so personalised, you know the children even when they arrive angry and they don’t teach you that at university… you learn that on a day-to-day basis with the students, so I feel that practice teaches you a lot, a lot… to be empathetic, if someone is going through a difficult moment, there are so many ways to accompany and support the students…”
(Rural Educator, CY—XIV Region of Los Ríos).
“… I believe that a rural educator has to have the capacity to adapt to all learning rhythms, to all the particular situations of each child, to the context, to their socio-emotional conditions… to their intellectual capacities…”
(Rural educator, CO—IX Region of La Araucanía).
Secondly, we highlight the emergence of the macro-category “Relational Dynamics of Chilean Rural Teachers”, made up of the set of family and professional relationships that rural teachers build throughout their life trajectories, enabling them to develop and maintain functional, respectful and coherent interpersonal ties with their educational work, inside and outside the rural school. This was observed heterogeneously among the participants, with a predominance of actions, tasks and potentially generative interests related to the care and protection of those around them, experiencing a sense of stability in their family and professional life (see Table 2 and Figure 2).
In addition to the above, one of the relevant aspects that emerged from this work points to the characterization of the family relationships built by the rural teachers interviewed. In this area, the participants described the existence of a secure and positive bond with their current family nucleus, perceiving high levels of satisfaction in their most intimate relationships, mainly related to raising their children or grandchildren, life as a couple and living closely with their families of origin (siblings, cousins and/or nieces and nephews) (See Table 3 and Figure 3).
Similarly, we observed a permanent interest on the part of the participants in positively cultivating interpersonal relationships with their families, given that a large part of their personal and professional success is related to the support and company that their families have given them in the face of the various challenges, obstacles and professional demands of teaching in rural contexts:
“… we stayed, and my husband was very important, because he helped me in everything, if I told him, you know what? I need this at school, because I need this structure… he was going to do it there… the children were happy, when we did a degree…”
(Rural educator, CY—XIV Region Los Ríos).
“… look, my daughter who grew up with me in my work, she has been very understanding, because she shares her affection with my students, of course, she is not like other children who become envious, who start asking for more time, no, she is quite the opposite, every time she has been able to help me, she helps me… I have been blessed that I was able to raise my daughter working with me and I do not know if there is another person who can say the same…”
(Rural Educator, SJ—RM).
“… Happily married with a situation of tranquility, already seeing achievements, in relation to the family part as well, why not say it, as a professional… I try to communicate more with my children… through sport we have always been very close… I have tried to be a good father… we try to be always sharing…”
(Rural Educator, PI—XIV Los Ríos).
In another area, the category “Professional Relationships of Chilean Rural Teachers” emerges, in which we observe the socio-historical construction of links, practices and relational dynamics that favour the respectful, proactive and cordial performance of teachers with the different actors present in the territory (managers, parents and guardians, teachers and neighbourhood leaders), revealing their commitment to the integral development of rural communities (See Table 4 an Figure 4). In this regard, one of the participants points out
“… we have a trilogy, between education, parents, and the municipality, in order to move the school forward… everyone collaborates in equal parts so that the children have a better service… the school is very open towards the community… all activities are done together with the community…”
(Rural Educator, CO—IX Region of La Araucanía).
From what is represented in Figure 4, we highlight the existence of a relationship of collaboration, mutual support, trust and continuous improvement between the participants and their peers (teachers, representatives of rural microcenters, education assistants, etc.). In addition, they show a marked interest in establishing a teacher–student relationship characterised by positive affection, reciprocity and trust. On the other hand, they assume their professional role with a high degree of socio-community involvement, which leads them to become actively involved in different actions and tasks related to the development of rural communities, community participation and pedagogical leadership:
“… I am a person who likes to interact socially with colleagues, with peers, or also sometimes when they are people from different professional fields… in the microcentre meetings, there is a whole programme, there is a whole programme of continuous improvement for rural colleagues… for me human relations are very important, first that there is a group with good communication, with good human, interpersonal relations, to be able to work, because we cannot work if there are differences of ideas or differences of criteria…”
(Rural Educator, MC—IX Region of La Araucanía).
“… I don’t have problems with anyone, being a mother, being a mother and at the same time being a teacher… I think this is a strength for me, so there is a lot of confidence, especially with the girls, I do have the ability to persuade the children… to accompany them and contain them… it has been very useful for me…”.
(Rural Educator, P2—RM).
“… I have always wanted to get to know the community before anything else, that is, to get to know the people, visit their homes, talk to them, talk to the parents, what they want, what they expect from their children… what their needs are, what they expect from us as teachers… the work must be collaborative…”
(Rural Educator, MV—IX Region of La Araucanía).

5. Discussion

The life stories of the rural teachers participating in this research show a potentially generative (personal and professional) development, reflected in the commitment and responsibility with which they assume their educational role in rural contexts. Their pedagogical performance is characterised by a high degree of autonomy, perseverance and responsibility in their educational work, allowing them to build positive interpersonal relationships characterised by the assertiveness, empathy and flexibility with which they assume their educational role in rural Chile.
In this regard, it is possible to point out that the study of the generative potential observed in Chilean rural teachers is an emerging topic in the local context, and there is still an exploratory approach to the topic in the Chilean context [82]. However, the emerging categories show that rural teachers expressed a generative expression that is coherent and consistent with their work role [20], fostering the deployment of autonomy, responsibility and active involvement in their teaching role [83], taking advantage of the opportunities for pedagogical development provided by the rural context, as well as the historical–cultural valuation of the customs and knowledge present in the territory [71,73,75,83,84].
Similarly, it should be noted that the behaviours manifested by the participants show a heterogeneous socio-historical development as a result of their personal, family, cultural and professional characteristics, being consistent with other research where it has been observed that the generative force reported in middle age is presented in different forms and intensities [36] with the purpose of contributing to the development of future generations [35,68,85,86]. In turn, other studies have reported that those adults who score higher on a standard measure of generativity tend to perceive themselves as more involved in transmitting values to future generations [87], relating this to the existence of early life experiences, in which individuals have been engaged in transmitting prosocial values relevant to young people [88].
In this sense, it would be interesting to delve into what types of potentially generative activities, tasks and/or experiences are those that would have a greater predictive weight for the development of generativity in those individuals who engage in caring tasks, beyond procreativity (family care through parenthood and grandparenthood), social participation (through civic or political engagement, in addition to other forms of non-family care) and creativity [71,82,83,84].
In this regard, Ref. [89], suggests that generativity could be an ‘umbrella construct’ to refer to a broad repertoire of behaviours oriented towards human well-being, highlighting the importance of the study and qualitative understanding of the teaching role as a potentially generative profession in which the individual takes responsibility for their students, in order to achieve a better future for themselves and the generations to come [90]. However, empirical evidence suggests that generativity, as a midlife-specific task, may no longer be sufficient to explain a behavioural pattern of generative concerns, commitments and actions, with an understanding of generativity at different stages of the life course gaining importance [91,92].
Based on the topics discussed above, the central core of the generative character observed in rural teachers would be oriented towards caring for others through an empathetic, genuine and humble pedagogical exercise, in which they feel responsible for those they have as students, being consistent with what has been systematized by [93], where they identify that interest and concern for others is a characteristic trait in highly generative subjects. Likewise, it is important to make explicit that the development of the generative potential manifested by the participants would have a wide variety of forms of expression, being coherent with what is reported by [94], in relation to the way in which generativity is manifested at the level of personality theory and its diverse implications throughout the development of the life cycle [95].
In the case of the teachers interviewed, the generative potential is expressed in the nature of the links they build within their family/work life, the professional activities and tasks they carry out inside and outside the school, the active participation in socio-community organizations, which, in turn, enhance the development of rural communities, the respectful and collaborative treatment with social actors, the genuine collaboration with their peers, etc. [96]), in a sample of 253 adults (African-American and White), aged 34–65 years, found that individual differences in generativity were positively associated with social support from family and friends, as well as participation in political or religious activities.
Coincidentally, it has been identified that participants’ perceived positive affect towards their students was significantly related to the display of generative behaviours [96,97], reaffirming the fact that education (and particularly the rural teaching profession) is intimately connected to the development of generativity in adulthood [35,36].
The above is consistent with [98,99], who emphasized the importance of an individual’s internal desire for both agentic and communal forms of generativity. In other words, agentic desire would mobilize the construction of a legacy that will outlive the self, manifesting itself in the commitment and pride with which teachers exercise their educational work in rural areas, shaping a set of practices, experiences and knowledge that they pass on to future generations.
On the other hand, communion appears as the desire to nurture others and encompasses a general tendency to relate to others in a caring way [79], becoming a characteristic component of the teaching culture [1]. Consequently, highly generative people can contribute to the development of others [100,101], as well as to the communities to which they belong [102,103], becoming relevant dimensions to consider in initial teacher training processes and in the continuous improvement of those who currently exercise their educational work in rural contexts.
On the other hand, we observed in the participants the existence of functional interpersonal links in the socio-pedagogical sphere, which allows them to configure collaborative practices, teamwork and orientation towards continuous improvement with their peers. In turn, at the management level, they stand out for their leadership skills and commitment to the development of the educational communities to which they belong, becoming actively involved in the generation of activities and tasks that benefit the different local bodies (neighbourhood councils, sports clubs, cultural organizations, parents’ and guardians’ centres, etc.). In this regard, refs. [4,103,104,105] state that teachers must be reflective and generative subjects to develop effectively in multicultural educational environments, reaffirming the importance of collaboration between peers and teamwork as one of the possible mechanisms for strengthening the potentially generative personal and professional development of those who teach in rural contexts.
Similarly, it is possible to infer that generativity is closely related to the levels of personal satisfaction experienced by the subjects in the development of a particular task or activity committed to the development of others, because the more motivated a person is to participate in experiences of collaboration and exchange of ideas with other people, the greater the degree of self-efficacy in their daily functioning [22,103].
For its part, Ref. [104] identified that those generative teachers show higher scores in personal fulfilment compared to other stagnant teachers. Refs. [1,20] reveals the socio-pedagogical implications of generativity in adult development and the various potentialities it would provide for teacher training (personal and professional). Consequently, the study of generativity in the school environment offers important contributions to leadership, social responsibility and the strengthening of teaching practice [105,106]. Precisely for this reason, authors, such as in [2,107,108], advocate the study and systematization of new alternatives for teacher training and development, taking critical reflection, peer collaboration, positive affect and generativity as a reference, given that these dimensions would significantly enrich teacher training to successfully develop in multicultural and diverse educational contexts [4,7,42], responding to the enormous diversity and historical–cultural characteristics existing in rural Chile.

6. Conclusions

In conclusion, this study qualitatively recognises and systematises relational dynamics (family and professional), as well as investigating the intrapersonal skills that they manifest in their daily work, revealing some of the behavioural patterns that would favour a potentially generative development in teachers, in line with the challenges they face in rural contexts. This confers a significant and humbling theoretical and practical value for the improvement of teaching and learning processes built in rural settings [1,38,73,82,83,84], highlighting the importance of positive affect and trust in the relationship between teachers and students, pride, life and job satisfaction [2,107], which they experience in their work, that they experience in their daily work, the practices of collaboration and teamwork among peers, as well as the degree of socio-community involvement that they build with the different social actors located in the territory, dimensions that together contribute to the promotion of generativity in the training and continuous improvement of Chilean rural teachers. We also consider that initial teacher training programmes have the challenge of favouring the integral development of the identity (personal, social and professional) of those who teach [108], incorporating actions, practices and educational strategies in a “generative key”, oriented towards human well-being and the integral development of future generations, ensuring a legacy that lasts over time and transcends the limits defined by school space and time.

Limitations and Projections of the Study

Finally, we point out some limitations of our study. The study of generativity in rural teachers is an emerging and incipient topic in the local context, in addition to the methodological characteristics that guided the work (qualitative paradigm, with a descriptive and exploratory design), in addition to the fact that a non-probabilistic sample was used, so the results cannot be generalized to other groups. This reaffirms the importance of deepening the study of generativity in all those professions that demand a genuine commitment to the care of others, particularly in the field of pedagogy, advancing in the systematization of those practices, roles and tasks that contribute to the development of the individual and their communities. Similarly, the study of generativity in different groups, populations and contexts becomes important to reveal its implications for development throughout the different stages of the life cycle.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, E.S.-O., N.P.A., H.R.-B., C.H.-M., Á.A.-D. and J.R.-V.; methodology, E.S.-O.; formal analysis, E.S.-O.; investigation, E.S.-O.; Funding Acquisition, E.S.-O.; investigation, E.S.-O.; writing—original draft preparation, E.S.-O. and Á.A.-D.; review and editing, E.S.-O. and Á.A.-D.; supervision, E.S.-O. and Á.A.-D.; project coordination, E.S.-O. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This publication was financed by the National Research and Development Agency/National Fund for Scientific and Technological Research of Chile (FONDECYT) project No. 11190028 “Rural Teaching Professionalism: Socio-educational Implications from the Generative Narrative Perspective”.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and the approval of the Ethics Committee for working with human beings by the Autonomous University of Chile (Temuco, Chile) according to resolution Number 29-19, of 15 October 2019.

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

All data are available in this manuscript.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Figure 1. Intrapersonal Skills of Chilean Rural Teachers. Source: own elaboration.
Figure 1. Intrapersonal Skills of Chilean Rural Teachers. Source: own elaboration.
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Figure 2. Relational dynamics rural–macro teachers. Source: own elaboration.
Figure 2. Relational dynamics rural–macro teachers. Source: own elaboration.
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Figure 3. Relational dynamics rural–macro teachers. Teachers family relationships. Source: own elaboration.
Figure 3. Relational dynamics rural–macro teachers. Teachers family relationships. Source: own elaboration.
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Figure 4. Professional Relations of Chilean Rural Teachers. Source: own elaboration.
Figure 4. Professional Relations of Chilean Rural Teachers. Source: own elaboration.
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Table 1. Intrapersonal Skills of Chilean Rural Teachers.
Table 1. Intrapersonal Skills of Chilean Rural Teachers.
Educational empathy55112600550232
Table 2. Relational dynamics rural–macro teachers.
Table 2. Relational dynamics rural–macro teachers.
Family Relations107157619131118181612152
Professional Relationships11131511272081624171117190
Table 3. Teachers’ family relationships.
Table 3. Teachers’ family relationships.
Family Network Support505003057110238
Relationship Development24423850537548
Relationship with current nuclear family00522432624333
Current family context23111332025124
Table 4. Professional Relations of Chilean Rural Teachers.
Table 4. Professional Relations of Chilean Rural Teachers.
Relations with school authorities and Directors00006130140015
Relations with social actors and local networks50632204065639
Relationship with parents and guardians45539326860152
Peer to peers relationship (colleagues, teachers, education assistants)17449922816760
Relationship with students11011514700324
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