E-Learning as Nation Building

E-Learning as Nation Building

Marco Adria (University of Alberta, Canada) and Katy Campbell (University of Alberta, Canada)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-950-2.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter is concerned with how individuals may examine the potential for social change arising from interactions in an e-learning environment. We explore continuing education as the site for e-learning in the context of developing a civil society. Referring to Anderson’s (1991) work on nationalism, and Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder’s (2002) discussion of communities of practice, we argue that the transition from face-to-face teaching to e-learning has the potential to appeal to those learners, and their instructors, who are interested in the capacity of a community to contribute to social change. We are particularly interested in the potential of e-learning to be socially transformative in its power to be inclusive, that is, to support diverse cultures, languages, work contexts, learning needs and styles, prior experiences, generations, economic circumstances, social contexts, and geographic location. We have suggested that the metaphor of an e-learning nation supports the reflective and progressive development of learning communities in which identity is consciously and critically examined.

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