By Roger Mills, Alan Tait
This quantity of essays from major British, North American and Australasian individuals appears on the problems with the convergence of distance and traditional schooling. The time period 'convergence' refers back to the breaking down of boundaries among open and distance studying and traditional associations, and the construction of an increasing number of associations operating throughout various modes. Such convergence has been pushed via a few elements, together with the recent applied sciences for educating and studying, the impression of lifelong studying regulations, the access of bigger than ever numbers of grownup part-time scholars into tertiary schooling, and the calls for of either employers and contributors for pro and work-related schooling all through their operating lives.The fourteen chapters interact seriously with various elements of convergence, including:* how good is open and distance studying conducted by way of traditional associations for which it could possibly proceed for a long interval to be obvious as of secondary importance?* to what quantity will open and distance studying be extra successfully conducted through traditional associations capable of provide a number of modes to a variety of learners?* how good will the diversity of rookies be served by means of structures which are converging?* what are the managerial matters at institutional point the place converging structures are being built?
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Extra info for Conventional Education: Patterns of Flexibility for the Individual Learner (Routledge Studies in Distance Education)
18 On access What began as a matter of making more room for more people has become a persisting battle over the very architecture of the academy (Herman 1992). Some thirty years ago, new institutions of ‘distance’, ‘open’, ‘individualized’ and otherwise ‘non-traditional’ education were created. These colleges were intended to provide both access and experimentation—to become laboratories where new modes and philosophies of learning with ‘new’ students could be explored. But even while change and invention thrived, various factors moved those alternative programmes towards more traditional practices and purposes.
Opening up the universities to people of colour, to more women—indeed, creating ‘alternative’ programmes and institutions for ‘non-traditional’ students—was, in fact, a victory for moral idealism (Kett 1994, pp. 447–8). But it also became and still remains an extremely lucrative and effective means of certifying and portioning social mobility. That is, although more people of different kinds can now gain access to higher education, college degrees are now more necessary for people to get ahead at all (Lehmann and Maehl 1995).
Indeed, we largely agree with their critique of inequity, domination and alienation in contemporary social and academic arrangements. We also share their desire for a more ‘utopian perspective’ to guide our educational practices (Hart 1992, p. 200). These practices would include making space for genuinely diverse disputation and opposition within the academy (hooks and West 1991, pp. 27–58). However, we believe it is essential that this very urge towards emancipatory learning should not result in undercutting access to higher education.