Reshaping ODL profession-based social sciences teaching

Stephen Relf, Mir Islam, Jennifer Sappey

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


This is the case of the convergence at the chalkface of two traditionally dichotomous disciplines, that of psychology and sociology. Within the framework of Bernstein's (1996) 'uncommon sense' we offer examples of how professional practice and the need to equip graduates with problem solving skills for the globalised world, are driving the need to reshape ODL profession-based social sciences teaching. There are two dimensions to this issue: the traditional problem of assisting students cope with dichotomous disciplines; while framing the problem pluralistically for professional practice in the globalised world.As a strategic response to embrace a more pluralist, globalised world Charles Sturt University (CSU), one of Australia's largest providers of distance higher education, is developing social frameworks that reshape the training of graduates to better reflect a culturally diverse student body, and the changing workforce with its evolving educational needs. CSU has adopted a university-wide curriculum based approach using ODL that is the impetus for the convergence of two first year psychology and sociology subjects. This paper outlines the problems students face in concurrently studying these two subjects, with their traditionally divergent orientations and the proposed learning and teaching strategies to lead students through the confusion of potentially clashing epistemologies and ontologies. It then frames this problematic within an internationalised and globalised world of professional practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th ICDE World Conference
Place of Publicationonline
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789790116603
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event24th ICDE World Conference: Expanding Horizons – New Approaches to ODL - Bali International Convention Center (BICC) , Bali, Indonesia
Duration: 02 Oct 201105 Oct 2011


Conference24th ICDE World Conference
Internet address


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