Telephone teaching: Towards constructivist teaching for rural and remote students

Year: 2001

Author: Finger, Glenn, Rotolo, Carolyn

Type of paper: Refereed paper

While many school systems are exploring the potential of new technologies, the reality for many rural and remote students in Australia is that they still rely upon High Frequency (HF) Radio as their main form of communication with teachers. After using HF Radio for several decades, the Charleville School of Distance Education (CSDE) in Queensland has commenced using telephone teaching with the aim of improving the delivery of education for its rural and remote students. This study investigated the central research question - has the replacement of HF Radio with the telephone for teaching contributed to the development of a constructivist teaching and learning environment? The theoretical framework for this study was based on Garrison's (1993) theory of transactional constructivism. Findings strongly indicated that the telephone teaching and learning environment at the CSDE were substantially constructivist in nature. The findings reported have implications for initiatives aimed at improving the education of rural and remote students. Furthermore, the study suggests that future research needs to be directed towards investigating a broad range of new technologies, which build upon the platform of telephone teaching to enhance the delivery of educational programs to rural and remote students.