Reflections About Certain Aspects Of Distance Learning Teacher Training
Sandra Regina Reis, Okçana Battini, Bernadete Streisky Strang
The reflections presented in this paper form part of a larger research project, which was carried out within the confines of a University in the State of Paraná, Brazil, which offers regular onsite courses as well as Distance Education courses. The objective was to analyze the issues involved in teacher education in this modality, i.e. by focusing on the theories and assumptions of onsite classroom training, as stipulated in current Brazilian higher education laws. The study also takes into consideration legislation on distance education in Brazil, and analyzes an educational project that is part of the Pedagogy course taught at the institution. Similarly, it examines interviews with individuals such as course coordinators and teachers. The results show that the courses being offered in the distance education modality recycle certain aspects of onsite classroom training, such as the teacher's knowledge, the relationship between theory and practice, as well as research and critical thinking skills. The results also cover unique elements of distance education such as physical and temporal separation (i.e. being off-site, or working in a different time zone). The paper likewise discusses multidisciplinary team work, new approaches towards teaching (aspects relating to both the role of the teacher and the student), tutorials, didactic materials, and interactivity, among other subjects.