Distance Education for Teacher Training

By Hilary Perraton | Go to book overview

10

Teacher education at the Open University

William Prescott and Bernadette Robinson

The involvement of the UK Open University (OU) in teacher education may seem surprising in some ways since the United Kingdom is a small country where distances are not great for much of the population, where communications are good and where there is a considerable number of colleges and universities offering teacher-education courses of all kinds (over 90 institutions offer a variety of in-service courses for teachers in the UK). What kind of role can distance education play in teacher education in these circumstances? This case study examines the role of the OU in in-service teacher education.


THE UK OPEN UNIVERSITY

The OU is a large national distance-education institution which provides multimedia courses and materials in a variety of subjects and at a number of different levels. The OU has three major remits in its Charter: to provide opportunities for adults to study for degrees, for professional and technological updating, and for the educational well-being of the community. It presented its first courses in 1971, with an enrolment of 19,580 students on undergraduate courses only. By 1990 it had 72,622 undergraduate students; 11,574 associate students (on one-year courses); 595 postgraduate research students (Masters’ and PhD); 4,191 taught Masters’ degree students; and 15,817 specialised short course student registrations (Planning Office figures, OU, 1991).

As well as courses, the OU produces packs of learning materials which do not form part of a course and have no learner assessment; 62,174 of these packs, on over 150 different topics, were sold in 1990.

Approximately 6,500 students a year graduate from the OU that is, approximately eight per cent of all first-degree graduates from UK universities; OU undergraduates are 13 per cent of all registered UK undergraduates (Planning Office StatSheet 91/2; OU, Review of the Open University, 1991, p. 8). The median age of undergraduate students is 34 years, that of graduates 39; about 50 per cent are female. The undergraduate programme offers 140 courses; 49 per cent are arts-based, 51 per cent

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Distance Education for Teacher Training
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - The Context 1
  • Pre-Service Initial Training of Teachers 19
  • 2 - Tanzania's Distance-Teaching Programme 21
  • References 41
  • 3 - The Zimbabwe Integrated Teacher Education Course 42
  • References 65
  • In-Service Initial Training of Teachers 67
  • 4 - Logos II in Brazil 69
  • 5 - Teacher Upgrading in Sri Lanka and Indonesia 95
  • References 132
  • 6 - Radio Education in Nepal 136
  • References 187
  • 7 - The National Teachers' Institute, Nigeria 196
  • 8 - The Primary Teachers' Orientation Course, Allama Iqbal Open University 228
  • Continuing Education 259
  • 9 - Educating Teachers at a Distance in Australia: Some Trends 261
  • 10 - Teacher Education at the Open University 287
  • 11 - The External Degree Programme at the University of Nairobi 316
  • References 341
  • 12 - The Correspondence and Open Studies Institute, University of Lagos 349
  • Notes 377
  • Quality, Effectiveness and Costs 379
  • 13 - The Costs 381
  • 14 - The Effects 391
  • Bibliography 405
  • Index 408
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