Rural and regional preservice teacher education. Effective and cost effective? Is this possible?

Year: 2009

Author: Ryan, Josephine, Jones, Mellita, Mary, Nuttall

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The recent Bradley Review of Higher Education noted that appropriate provision for regional and remote needs in higher education was one of the most difficult policy issues it had to tackle (DEEWR, 2008). Research into the effectiveness of the Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary) Rural and Regional model (GDEDRR), based at ACU's Ballarat campus, provides data on a program designed to provide effective preservice teacher education to students based in dispersed geographical locations. Moving away from an on-campus model of teacher education, the GDEDRR course combines intensive on-campus instruction with online learning and placement in rural and regional schools. The model is one which has potential to address both the financial needs of rural and regional preservice teachers, who find it difficult to relocate to study, and the problem of teacher shortages in rural and regional schools. It is also valuable to the university as a way of expanding its potential enrolees. The research tackles the question of the effectiveness of this approach through undertaking a qualitative study of the experience of the course from the perspectives of the various participants. The project: An exploration of the multimodal delivery of a secondary preservice teacher education program: perceptions of preservice teachers and school and university personnel explores the views of those involved in the first year of the course's operation in 2008.