ERIC Number: ED237073
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Contribution of Distance Education in Providing Education for a Just Social Order.
Concerned with the means by which distance education programs can be used to further social justice in various parts of the world, this paper considers both the generally recognized strengths of and some potential problems in three aspects of such programs--access, curriculum, and a monopolistic tendency. It draws on the experience of the Universidad Estatal a Distancia in Costa Rice to show that distance education can widen access to educational opportunities and particularly to the home-based learner. The author cautions, however, that it can also be used to control physical access to education and thus force the student to be an isolated, segregated home-based learner. Arguing that distance education can be used as a vehicle to spread education and enlightenment, the document points out that such programs are also potentially a powerful means of propaganda and distortion. The high start-up costs of large-scale multimedia institutions are cited as the reason for current monopolistic tendencies, since most countries cannot afford to set up more than one at any educational level. It is also suggested that these costs may result in the development of more multinational institutions to serve the needs of several countries. Some of the problems such institutions can encounter are briefly noted, citing the experiences of the University of South Pacific, which reaches students from three different cultural groups speaking diverse languages, and the Instituto Centroamericano de Extencion de la Cultura, which operates in the politically sensitive region of Central America. Twenty references are listed. (LMM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Universidad Estatal a Distancia (Costa Rica)
Note: Paper presented to the Triennial World Conference on Education of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (4th, Edmonton, AB, Canada, July 26-August 4, 1983).