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ERIC Number: ED470630
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Right in Your Own Backyard: A Description of Flexible Learning Applied to Primary Teacher Education.
Yates, Russell
In 1995 many rural areas of New Zealand, especially on the North Island, faced significant teacher shortages. In response, the University of Waikato developed a program of primary teacher education designed to serve students in remote areas. Program features include recruitment and selection of rural students who will work in their home districts and a "mixed-media" approach involving a range of types of teacher-student communication. Students are typically nontraditional students with work and family commitments; many are Maori. Students are required to attend three 3-week "block courses" on campus each year, work 1 day each week in a local primary school, and use information technology to interact with faculty and colleagues. Forms of communication include individual telephone contact, audioconferencing with small groups, asynchronous computer conferencing, and E-mail. A Web-based interface houses coursework and provides access to discussion forums and library databases. This mixed, low-tech approach accommodates students in areas with poor-quality telephone transmission. Student support is provided through the practice of selecting students in geographic groups, regular visits from faculty to remote areas, and electronically-based peer support. Program successes include high rates of student retention and completion, high academic achievement, and high satisfaction of rural schools with program graduates hired. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand