Development of a framework for the e-education of educators of special groups aiming to improve their compatibility with their Learners (2010)
In modern multicultural societies diversity is a principal characteristic, which unquestionably extends to education. Educators and learners of different cultural, ethnical, linguistic and social backgrounds inevitably meet and interact in educational procedures. In multicultural education it is realized that the teacher plays a major role in empowering or dis-empowering students in the classroom and it is very important to improve teachers’ capacity if equal education for all students is to be achieved. This becomes even more important for educators addressing learners from special groups, i.e. any social group whose characteristics (social, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, physical etc) cause social exclusion, marginalization, and stigmatization to its members (immigrants, Roma, repatriated-refugees, prisoners/ex-cons, ex-addicts, persons with special needs). In the education of special groups the compatibility between educator and learners, i.e. the level of knowledge and acceptance of, and positive attitude towards, the special group on the part of the educator, directly affects the efficiency and the outcome of the educational procedure.
On the other hand, as the use of new technologies in education is rapidly increasing, providing education with enormous potential, the use of e-learning technology to deliver personalized educating programs tailored to each educator’s needs anywhere, anytime and reducing the cost of the educators’ education is becoming a worldwide standard.
This document presents a framework for the e-education of educators of special groups based on and aiming to improve their compatibility with their learners, code-named “the ESG framework”. The ESG framework standing at the crossroads of learning technology, multicultural education, and adult education, combines the necessary elements from all these main fields. The ESG framework is based on ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation) instructional system design model with the addition of an extra phase, the Maintenance of the Leaning Community Network. The ESG framework provides dynamic, flexible but clear guidelines to be followed in each phase of its structure by the designers, developers, administrators, and educators, optimizing the personalized e-learning and effective education of the educators of special groups.
In order to test the ESG framework a pilot application has been carried out with educators addressing the special group of Roma in Greece. The evaluation of the pilot e-course has proved that the ESG framework is both functional and efficient for the improvement of compatibility between educators and learners and offers the possibility by using e-learning technology to deliver personalized educating programs tailored to each educator’s needs anywhere, anytime.
The ESG framework for the e-education of the educators of special groups aims to cover major needs of modern educational procedures and systems where multicultural education and e-learning take new dimensions due to the widespread immigration and globalization, improving the compatibility between educators and their learners. By exploiting the benefits of a flexible e-learning environment, organizations which educate educators of special groups could reduce the cost of the education and provide customized educational programs for the educators, overcoming the barriers of time and space.
University of Alcalá, Spain