ERIC Number: ED350138
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Distance Education and Pupils: From Horseback to Satellite.
Higgins, A. H.
A look at Australia's educational history gives insight into a proposal for a domestic communications satellite for use as an educational tool. The country's earliest and most successful distance education programs used itinerant teachers and "tent schools." In 1922, a national correspondence education program was adopted. Correspondence education drew criticism as being impersonal. Later, public radio was used in schools, but was also criticized as being impersonal. The School of the Air, based on limited two-way communication in radio broadcasting, restored some missing human element. After 1961, television became important for teaching science and mathematics in rural areas. In retrospect, the historical trend of rural education in Australia runs against programs that bring teachers into direct contact with students. Instead, the use of mass media is favored. The proposed domestic satellite is seen in this context. Political and economic considerations suggest that programming content will be homogenized and inappropriate for the needs of Australia's rural and Aboriginal population. The apparent lack of necessary time and financial resources for the project's educational component suggests the future enhancement of radio and telephone communication as the primary means of distance education. It is suggested that the country's educational finances might best be spent on improved transportation and citizens-band radio systems. (TES)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia