Correspondence education for teachers : a survey of teachers studying with the Advanced studies for teachers unit : a thesis presented to fulfil the requirements for the degree in Master in Education at Massey University
This thesis examines reasons for student persistence in and withdrawal from correspondence courses offered by the Department of Education Advanced Studies for Teachers Unit. The 1979 course members who completed a mailed questionnaire provided demographic, educational and attitudinal data. Student reaction to the A.S.T. Unit programme and Continuing Teacher Education were investigated. Reported advantages and disadvantages of this form of teacher training were analysed and the relationships between demands of work and study commitments were examined. The findings tended to indicate four variables that contributed to the probability of persistence. They were: (i) prior educational experience; (ii) the amount of support given; (iii) the number of papers taken; and (iv) the present teaching position. Although factors related to job circumstances and characteristics of teachers caused students to withdraw, many course members withdrew because of reasons that the A.S.T. Unit might have been able to counter. Course members attributed reasons for withdrawal to insufficient communication, a restrictive teaching method and insufficient time to meet assignment dates. A general conclusion was that A.S.T. course members were seeking a more open form of learning able to provide a freedom of pace and an element of control by the learner over the learning process.