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Open Access S(t)imulating learning: pedagogy, subjectivity and teacher education in online environments

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Australian higher education increasingly relies on flexible modes of delivery as a means of attracting and retaining students in a highly competitive global education market. While education is among those disciplines that have been most actively involved in the shift from face-to-face to online learning and teaching, the transition for many teacher educators is fraught with tensions and contradictions. For some, teaching online is seen as primarily a cost-cutting exercise on the part of universities, and has little to do with improving the quality of student learning. For others, the online environment offers multiple pedagogic possibilities that have yet to be fully explored. Yet others consider online environments as problematic, posing challenges to pedagogic and peer relationships that are generally seen as integral to 'good' teaching. This paper draws on an empirical study of teacher education faculties in five Australian universities, and analyses excerpts from interviews about learning and teaching with teacher educators, educational designers and faculty management. We argue that understanding how teacher educators constitute learner and teacher subjectivities through their beliefs about and approaches to pedagogy is crucial to the future of online tertiary education. In particular, we consider how teacher educators' attitudes toward and approaches to online learning and teaching are predicated on their perceived subject positions as either 'stimulating' or 'simulating' particular kinds of learning interactions.

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Keywords: HIGHER EDUCATION; ONLINE EDUCATION; PEDAGOGY; SUBJECTIVITY; TEACHER EDUCATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2010

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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