This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. This book is about the role that schools can play in the promotion or, regrettably, the dissolution of community. It however, can illuminate and direct educational work in other contexts as well: urban or suburban, coastal town or border town, and so on. The book is written, in part, to enable the reader to construct the understanding necessary to muster such resistance and thus be able to render most of what passes for conventional wisdom powerless. It is premised on two assumptions that author believes are well warranted. First, rural schools ought to have a place in the educational landscape of this country. They have an indispensable role to play. Second, schools ought to attend more consciously to their physical place on earth and the social, political, and economic dynamics that surround it.