30 years of gender inequality and implications on curriculum design in open and distance learning


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Koseoglu S., Öztürk T., Ucar H., Karahan E., Bozkurt A.

Journal of Interactive Media in Education, vol.2020, no.1, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2020 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.5334/jime.553
  • Journal Name: Journal of Interactive Media in Education
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index
  • Keywords: distance education, gender inequality, gender studies, open and distance learning, social justice, women empowerment, EDUCATION

Abstract

© 2020 The Author(s).Gender inequality is a pressing issue on a global scale, yet studies on this important issue have stayed on the margins of open and distance learning (ODL) literature. In this study, we critically analyse a batch of ODL literature that is focused on gender inequality in post-secondary and higher education contexts. We use Therborn’s social justice framework to inform and guide the study. This is a comprehensive social justice lens that sees inequality as “a life and death issue,” approaching empowerment as a central area of concern. Qualitative content analysis of 30 years of peer-reviewed literature reveals patriarchy and ­androcentrism as significant mechanisms that continue to produce gender inequality, in ­particular in women’s access to educational resources and formal learning opportunities. We highlight three themes that emerged in the content analysis: (1) ODL and equal opportunity; (2) Feminism and gender-sensitive curriculum design; and (3) Culturally relevant curriculum design. We critique views of access to technology-enabled education as an instrument for social justice, and provide a pedagogical model for an ODL curriculum centred on empowerment and agency, two concepts closely linked to existential inequality. We argue that such a curriculum is public service and requires a model of education that is based on participation and co-construction, and lies at the intersection of critical, feminist, and culturally relevant pedagogical practices.