GOING THE DISTANCE: PERCEPTIONS OF TEACHERS IN OPEN AND DISTANCE

Background and Objective: The enactment of the Republic Act 10912 or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Act of 2016 requires Filipino professionals to engage in lifelong learning practices by earning the required or minimum number of CPD units. However, issues such as affordability and accessibility to CPD seminar-workshops impede professionals to enroll and actively engage in professional development. As such, this paper aims to investigate the perceptions of secondary school professional teachers in a particular school in Manila, Philippines about the use of online and distance learning approaches in continuing professional development.

Methods and Findings: Using a qualitative case study research design, the data were collected through employing semi-structured interviews with 10 purposively selected professional teachers. Four themes emerged in this study: efficiency, accessibility, contextualization, and social network. Interestingly, the findings outline that the online and distance learning approach catalyzes in providing an avenue for lifelong learning engagement. This reflects the notion of opening a new learning pathway for professionals to continue engaging in improving their field of practice by utilizing open and distance learning programs.

Conclusion: Nonetheless, the results of this study can contribute to policymakers to rethink the way they plan, develop, and deliver CPD programs which will also address the existing and emergent issues, for instance, in complying CPD units in the Philippine context.

Keywords: Open and Distance Learning, Continuing Professional Development, Lifelong Learning.

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