Distance delivery of pre-service teacher education: lessons for good practice from twenty-one international programs

Open Access
Simpson, Mary Geraldine
Graduate Program:
Adult Education
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
February 04, 2003
Committee Members:
  • Michael Grahame Moore, Committee Chair
  • Gary Kuhne, Committee Member
  • Donna Sutin Queeney, Committee Member
  • John Daniel Marshall, Committee Member
  • distance education
  • teacher education
  • initial teacher training
  • pre-service
  • elementary
This appears to be a significant time in distance delivered teacher education with a growing number of distance delivered pre-service teacher education programs appearing around the world. There has been little research or evaluative work that has informed this development. The purpose of this study was twofold. First, it aimed to identify the design, delivery, and management issues and challenges that arise in the distance delivery of pre-service teacher education programs. Second, it sought to identify good practice used in meeting these issues and challenges. Identifying good practice was achieved through the use of the emerging qualitative methodology of meta-analysis which guided increasing complex levels of analysis. Programs of distance delivered pre-service teacher education gathered from available literature on distance delivered pre-service teacher education were systematically catalogued and analyzed. A conceptual framework for this work was developed from consideration of the teacher education and distance education literature and the small body of literature relating to distance delivered pre-service teacher education. The findings were presented using the three fields of literature from the conceptual framework as a structure to identify points of convergence and limitations. It was found that understanding of distance education was strong among the programs of distance delivered pre-service teacher education studied. Understanding of teacher education was weaker and the intersection of practice that distance delivered pre-service teacher education should represent was weak. It was concluded that success in distance delivered pre-service teacher education would seem to come from resolving the very particular issues and challenges that arise at the intersection of distance education and teacher education. Suggestions for good practice are presented and a number of recommendations for further research and development are made. The study concludes with comment on the increasing use of information and communication technologies such as the Internet and the World Wide Web which seem to provide enhancement to print and other delivery technologies and appear to be allowing innovations in delivery that support the core pre-service teacher education elements of dialog and reflection.