Education for all as a global agenda has particular repercussions for those living in rural poverty. By adopting a Bourdieusian framework to analyse interview data collected from fathers, mothers, sons and daughters in 10 rural Punjabi households, we expose the intersections of education, gender, poverty and rurality. The concept of a rural family habitus focuses attention on the collective, relational and dispositional worlds of such families. Three dimensions are used to analyse reproduction and transformation in each narrative set: intergenerational educational dynamics; on-going gender dynamics; and, social dynamics within the rural field. The findings challenge the stereotyping and assumed homogeneity of rural families whose gender cultures and positive educational dispositions are diverse and complex. The gendered histories of parental education, their aspirations, and their social status in the rural field intersect with the changing gender relations which result from schooling, and the increasing differentiation between educated and uneducated rural families.