Teacher Education through Open and Distance Learning

By Bernadette Robinson; Colin Latchem | Go to book overview

Chapter 2

Open and distance teacher education

Uses and models
Bernadette Robinson and Colin LatchemOpen and distance education for teacher education and training is not new. It has been used since at least the 1960s to solve the kinds of problems in teacher supply and quality identified in Chapter 1. What is new in recent years is the extent of its use and the variety of its applications, its growing presence in national and institutional strategic planning for teacher education, and the appearance of new information and communication technologies (ICT).There are several reasons for this growth:
the expansion in open and distance education in general and for professional training in many fields, and in the number of universities and institutions providing it;
the pressure on governments and providers to seek more cost-effective ways of training and developing teachers;
a gradual shifting upwards of the levels and standards of teacher qualifications as the attention of governments in many countries turns to quality as well as quantity within its teacher force, with a consequent need for upgrading programmes;
the nature of the target group (teachers) which is, on the whole, likely to succeed at self-managed learning (though some teachers in developing countries have very low educational levels).

So how has open and distance education been used for teacher education? What kinds of needs has it met? What organizational models have been used? This chapter provides an overview of uses and models as a background for more detailed examination of different aspects in later chapters.


OPEN AND DISTANCE EDUCATION FOR TEACHERS

Distance education has been defined as an educational process in which teachers and learners are separated in space and/or time for some or all

-28-

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