AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Open education : identification and illustration of the concept

by Alison Hine

Institution: University of Canberra
Year: 1980
Keywords: open education; open schooling; open space; open planning
Record ID: 1522285
Full text PDF: http://erl.canberra.edu.au./public/adt-AUC20060724.141259


The main aim of this field study is to review, analyse and interpret the research literature on open education. The study also attempts to define and illustrate the concept open education. In addition the study has aimed to produce a set of resource materials which illustrate open education, namely, what it is and how it is manifested in schools. From an initial empirical review and content analysis of the research literature, it is apparent that certain common themes emerge when defining the concept of open education. In an attempt to ascertain, clarify and derive meaningful conclusions, eight themes have been derived from the scan and content analysis of the literature. The work of appropriate authors has been discussed and analysed within this framework. The eight themes identified from the literature defining the concept of open education are:- (a) Aspects of implementation of 'openness' and open schooling; (b) Open space, open planning, the focus on spatiality and openness in architecture; (c) Philosophy of Open Education; (d) Goals of Open Education; (e) The Origins of Open Education in Australian Schools; (f) Assumptions and Beliefs of Open Education; (g) Characteristics and Criteria of Open Education; (h) Descriptions, Anecdotal definitions and interviews concerned with Open Education. These themes are discussed individually with reference to the relevant authors. From the analysis and discussion of the relevant research literature, it would appear that it is not only plausible but possible to define the concept of open education. The defining characteristics of open education are identified through: - the degree of openness of a school program; - the focus on spatiality and openness in architecture; - the philosophical goals, assumptions and beliefs intrinsic in the concept of open education; - the observable characteristics and criteria manifested by open education. The concept open education cannot adequately be defined in terms of a statement but in terms of observable sets of criteria which are present at varying times and in varying degrees ranging backward and forward along a continuum of degree of openness. Open education can therefore be defined by assessing the extent to which a specified set of criteria are present or absent. An aspect of the curriculum may then be ranked with respect to those defining characteristics of open education. Even though the content may vary, the specified set of criteria remain intrinsic and inherent in the concept.