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Posts Tagged ‘distance education’

Record: Jasmine McDonald and Elaine Lopes, “How Parents Home Educate their Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder with the Support of the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education” in International Journal of Inclusive Education 18, no. 1 (2014): 1-17. [abstract here]

Summary:  McDonald completed her doctoral thesis on how parents deal with the education of a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2010.  Lopes completed her doctoral thesis on Distance Education in Western Australia in 2009.  Here these two junior scholars combine their research to investigate the role of a distance education program in helping parents manage the education of children with an ASD.

They begin by explaining the history of the Schools of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE), a government program begun in 1918 as the Western Australian Correspondence School whose goal was to provide public instruction to students isolated from conventional schools due to geography or special needs.  This program has over the years used itinerant teachers, radio broadcasts, camp settings, and all sorts of distance education technology (audio tapes, videos, and now the internet) to reach isolated children.  While the students attending SIDE have historically been geographically isolated, the bulk of enrollments now are students with special needs that conventional schools cannot accommodate.  SIDE is thus a “school of last resort” for many. (p.3)

One group of children for whom SIDE is a resource are those diagnosed with an ASD.  McDonald and Lopes explain that an ASD diagnosis typically means that a student faces difficulties with communication, socialization, and behavior.  The clear trend over the last several decades in public education has been toward inclusion of these students into regular education, but in the last few years a small but growing literature has raised questions about this approach, as have many parents of children with an ASD diagnosis.  Some parents, reacting against the inclusive model and the lack of individualized instruction it sometimes entails, have felt forced to remove their children from institutional schooling and educate them at home. (more…)

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This post reviews Robert Hampel, “The Business of Education: Home Study at Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin in the 1920s and 1930s.” in Teachers College Record 112, no. 9 (September 2010): 2496-2517.

Hampel, a professor at the University of Delaware and respected colleague, here provides a fascinating look at a once popular but now largely forgotten form of education that was based in the home.  In the early 20th century millions of Americans enrolled in all sorts of programs by correspondence.  Most of them enrolled in classes with for-profit companies who often promised the moon, used aggressive recruitment strategies, and played hardball if you failed to make payments.  But several thousands of Americans also took study-at-home courses from the nation’s universities.  In earlier work Hampel has given us fine history of the for-profit companies.  Here he looks at the universities.

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This post reviews Lee Lee Loh-Ludher, “The Socioeconomic Context of Home-Based Learning by Women in Malaysia” in Distance Education 28, no. 2 (August 2007): 179-193.

Loh-Ludher, founder of the University for Education and Development in Battambang, Cambodia, here describes the challenges faced by poor women in Malaysia and the hope that home-based tutoring holds out for them.  (more…)

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