ERIC Number: ED389905
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jan
Distance Education for Disadvantaged Adults.
In its present form, distance education overcomes the situational (geographic and/or time) barriers to education faced by consumers because of their family and work responsibilities. Disadvantaged adults often experience additional dispositional (attitude) and cultural barriers that are not well addressed by distance programs. Making distance education more responsive to the needs of isolated disadvantaged learners requires solving the following problems: lack of social context and holistic teaching and learning techniques; prohibitive entry requirements, course prerequisites, and assumed skills; and irrelevant curriculum. Steps that can be taken immediately to make distance education more viable for disadvantaged learners include: articulate a clear mission giving some priority to disenfranchised groups; collect data on constituents; develop realistic learning objectives; agree to sacrifice some institutional precedents to humane student-centered programs; give learners a role in planning/directing programs; relate course offerings to the practical needs of disadvantaged people; make job training within the community a priority; pay particular attention to women learners in science- and math-based subject areas; make appropriate support services an integral part of distance education; integrate a tolerant, user-friendly perspective into all curriculum planning; and provide a social context for learning. (Contains 12 references.) (MN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A