Teacher Education Through Open and Distance Learning
The global need for teacher education is greater now in the early 21st century than ever before. According to UNESCO, half of the world’s 195 countries will have to expand their stock of teachers significantly – some by tens of thousands – if the goal of universal primary education as articulated in the Dakar Framework for Action in 2000 is to be met by 2015. Socioeconomic inequities, political instability, demographic changes and crises such as the HIV/AIDs epidemic have engendered huge shortfalls in teacher supply and low teacher quality in many developing countries. It is now clear that “bricks and mortar” approaches to expanding teacher education may not be adequate if the current and projected shortfalls in teacher supply and low teacher quality are to be properly addressed. Today, however, both research and practice are showing the tremendous opportunities in large-scale education provision offered by open and distance learning (ODL). Capitalising on the strengths afforded by innovative information and communication technologies and media, ODL broadens and streamlines access to teacher education in a way that traditional delivery modes cannot. At the same time, adopting ODL requires new thinking about learning and teaching strategies, applications, costs and other practicalities. The contributors to the 13 chapters in this book are nationally and internationally renowned scholars in teacher education, ODL or both. // Series formerly called "Perspectives on Teacher Education." Renamed to "Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning."