Solem, M., Chalmers, L., Dibiase, D., Donert, K. & Hardwick, S. (2006): Internationalizing professional development in Geography through distance education. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, (30)1, 147-160.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6344
This paper assesses the value and relevance of geography education in the realm of professional development. It explores the potential of distance education to support lifelong learners through courses or modules that operate across international boundaries and incorporate materials from local and global contexts. The authors argue that Internet-enabled distance education offers the potential to extend access to many prospective students who are unlikely or unable to participate in full-time residential courses, and that distance education can facilitate international collaboration among educators and educational institutions. A case is made for an internationalized programme of study for continuing adult education, as opposed to the primary, secondary and higher education sectors that are the focus of most existing geographical education programmes. Next, the authors document the ways in which recent commitments to internationalizing teaching and learning in geography have brought us to the point where professional development of lifelong learners is demonstrable, particularly in the fields of geographic information technologies and teacher professional development. They outline some of the main challenges that must be addressed if the potential of distance education as an enabling tool for professional development in geography is to be fulfilled: specifically, collaborative development and delivery of curricula and the articulation of quality assurance standards and certification agreements among participating institutions.
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