The Virtual High School: Teaching Generation V


Zucker, A., & Kozma, R., with Yarnall, L., & Marder, C. (2003). The virtual high school: Teaching generation V. New York: Teachers College Press.


This book is a definitive study of an important emerging phenomenon: the use of virtual learning environments in U.S. pre-college education. The emphasis of The Virtual  High School is on the most intensive example of K-12 learning-across-distance: virtual high school courses and programs. As the following chapters describe, the Virtual High School model (VHS) the authors studied is representative of the best aspects in distance education initiatives that now involve dozens of online schools and tens of thousands of students. 

The organizations promoting these initiatives are varied. Many virtual high schools are encouraged and supported by the states  in which they are located; quite a few began through substantial amounts of federal funding. Some programs are a product of private enterprise, while regional consortia sponsor others. These education improvement efforts parallel comparable innovations occurrent on an even broader scale in American higher education. 

At the college level, where institutions can focus on learning without also having to fulfill the socialization and custodial care mandated for K-12 education, dramatic claims are being made about how much the advent of virtual teaching and learning will undercut face-to-face educational experiences.Thus far, most of these predications are unfulfilled, but even critics conceded that distance-learning experiences are a permanent addition to the fabric of higher education. This book explores the possibility that similar structural shifts leading to the routing inclusion of learning-across-distance may develop in K-12 settings. 

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