"Here Today, Gone Next Week": Some Lessons for the Delivery of Itinerant Primary Schooling of a Distance Education Program Designed for the Children of the Showmen's Guild of Australasia
National Conference of the Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (9th), and the National Conference on Schooling Through Distance Education (1st),
This paper presents initial results of research on a distance education program developed in 1989 for the children of the Showmen's Guild of Australasia. The program accommodates the mobility of children and their parents who are rarely in any town for more than a week during the show circuit. The children complete correspondence lessons in various subjects and are assisted by their parents or home tutors. Several times a year, distance education teachers join the children during the show circuit and work intensively with them for several weeks. Unlike many other groups involved in the distance education program, the Showmen's Guild is well organized. It has a very supportive parent base and has campaigned over the years to establish favorable political support for a program to meet the special needs of its children. A literature review reveals that high mobility can place students at an educational disadvantage while placing an enormous burden on those providing the education for the mobile group. Interviews conducted with parents, children, home tutors, and teachers revealed close and trusting relationships between parents and distance education teachers and between students and distance education teachers. In addition, there is typically an intimate relationship between the mother and her children as it is the mother who takes on the responsibility for organizing and managing her children's education during a hectic working day. This paper concludes that the uniqueness of each mobile group must be taken into account when implementing an educational program, and delivery must respond to the socioeconomic and cultural attributes of each group. (LP)
Wyer, D. (1993). "Here Today, Gone Next Week": Some Lessons for the Delivery of Itinerant Primary Schooling of a Distance Education Program Designed for the Children of the Showmen's Guild of Australasia. Presented at National Conference of the Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (9th), and the National Conference on Schooling Through Distance Education (1st) 1993.