Education Mcintyre Discusses Various Paradigms Thesis

Finally, the paradigm that exists between the institution and the adult learner is often one of opposition, rather than support. Research shows that the institution has certain requirements or "rules" that the student must follow, such as number of credits taken, types of classes to take for a degree, and even counseling and number of lessons per course requirements. These all tend to serve the institution's needs and perspectives, while ignoring the needs and perspectives of the learner. This paradigm needs to change as well, because it does not create a framework for support or understanding of the learner's needs and wants, and it does not give the learner a chance to truly participate in their own educational process....

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They can choose the classes they want to take in the order they want to take them, but even in distance education, they often do not have a choice in the method of delivery, the time of delivery, or the actual content and context of the class and how it relates to their particular needs and desires. Thus, the learner has to follow the rules of the paradigm, even as the researchers and institutions perpetuate the rules of the paradigm, instead of creating change and new opportunities.
Ultimately, what the author is saying is that research and operations of distance learning, although they have come very far in even the last decade, have much further to go. Everything from research into student choices and institution offerings to delivery methods and research assumptions need to change. Only then will distance education truly move into the 21st century.

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