The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Yasmeen Yusuf-Khalil

Engendering Development Needs: 'Doing' Gender Through Distance Learning In The English-Speaking Caribbean

Yasmeen Yusuf-Khalil
Centre for Gender and Development Studies, Regional Coordinating Unit, University of the West Indies, Mona

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     Last modified: October 11, 2006
     Presentation date: 10/31/2006 2:15 PM in NT Portland A
     (View Schedule)

Abstract
The Caribbean is described as less-developed, yet, its people are very conscious of contemporary developments in technology as well as the critical importance assigned to ‘high’ technology skills and training. ‘High’ technology usually requires financial and other resources not readily available in the Caribbean. Against this background, this paper presents a case study of a Distance Undergraduate Diploma Programme in Gender and Development Studies offered at the University of the West Indies to students in the English - speaking Caribbean. This programme seeks to develop a cadre of individuals in the Caribbean who can use gender as a tool of analysis in developing project proposals, programmes and policies responsive to the needs of women and men in their respective countries. It focuses on the distinctiveness of the Caribbean reality to examine the extent to which the programme design is consistent with its philosophy. This new model of learning requires a shift from a behavioral paradigm to one utilizing feminist teaching methods and, hence, the role of technology becomes a critical site for analysis of the programme’s utility and success. Challenges faced, best practices and invaluable lessons learned are identified.

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