Fulfilling the dream: an online Early Childhood teacher education course

Taylor, Pauline (2008) Fulfilling the dream: an online Early Childhood teacher education course. In: Proceedings of the 2008 Australian Teacher Education Association National Conference (2), pp. 338-349. From: Teacher Educators at Work: What works and where is the evidence?, 8-11 July 2008, Mudjimba, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

This paper presents a study into the motivations, aspirations and characteristics of students who embarked on a new wholly-online Early Childhood teacher preparation program introduced at James Cook University in 2007. The inquiry contributes to a number of areas where there is currently little research. Australian studies into the experiences of first year undergraduates (Krause, Hartley James & McInnes 2005; McInnes & James 1995; McInnes, James & Hartley 2000) focus on on-campus students, not on students who engage with tertiary studies wholly online, nor do they specifically relate to preservice teacher education. Contemporary research into e-learning is predominantly based on blended learning (Sharpe, Benfield, Lessner & DeCicco, 2005; Simpson 2002; Sutton 2006) rather than solely online modes of study. In addition, there is little literature relating to the experience of traditionally marginalised groups engaging with tertiary study solely through e-learning in teacher education programs. This study showed that most students enrolled in the degree in 2007 were mature-aged women working in the Child Care sector who saw online learning as the only avenue to pursue their dreams of becoming teachers. Findings suggest that e-learning is a more egalitarian teaching and learning environment than on-campus study. The inquiry points to effective strategies to support student learning and proposes that online delivery, despite its challenges, is a valuable vehicle for providing opportunities for traditionally marginalised learners to fulfil their dreams of becoming teachers and should be better supported by the federal government as part of the initiatives in the area of Early Childhood education.

Item ID: 7746
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: teacher education; e-learning
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ISBN: 978-0-9775685-1-2
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2010 00:50
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1399 Other Education > 139999 Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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