A capability approach to open and distance learning for in-service teacher education
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Roberta Harreveld
Throughout the world, open and distance learning (ODL) has been used for in-service teacher education (INSET) over many years, in different education systems and in diverse social and cultural contexts. While open and distance learning (ODL) provides wider access to INSET, it is not without its challenges in terms of its effectiveness of impact and efficiency in delivery. In this chapter, Amartya Sen’s (1999) concept of capabilities generates both a theoretical framework and an interpretive lens to explore the complexities of ODL design and delivery for in-service teacher education. Methodologically, the chapter utilizes a case study approach with evidence sourced from research literature, policy and program-specific documents of the developed and developing world to identify emerging trends in the use of ODL for INSET. The proposition that a capability approach has much to offer both the design and delivery of ODL for INSET is examined through analysis of a program for generalist primary, special education and discipline-specific teachers transitioning into the teaching of industrial technology and design in secondary schooling in regional, rural and remote communities of Queensland, Australia. Findings are speculative and aimed to provoke ongoing consideration of the capability approach as a potentially powerful paradigm for interrogating ODL for INSET.