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Born: May 6th in Berlin

Born: May 6th in Berlin Germany Institution: FernUniversität Fields: Education, Philosophy, Psychology Alma Mata: Humboldt University, Free University and University of Tuebingen
Known for Theory of Industrialization of Education


Education and Academic achievement
Professor, Dr. Otto Peters, born on May 6th, 1926 in Berlin Germany is a pioneer in the development and direction of what is today--- University based Distance Education. He is credited with coining the term “Distance Education” and applying the term to what was then referred to as „correspondence study‟, thus beginning a revolution in self-learning. Dr. Otto Peters wears many hats in this vast field of Distance Education, both in Germany and across the world. As an educator he served as Professor emeritus at FernUniversität in Hagen for close to ten years, administrating and researching the pedagogical issues of Distance Education. For twenty years he served as the president of the prestigious Association of Adult Educators and was vice president of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), the only global institutional membership organization in the field of Distance Education and in March of 1975 Dr. Otto Peters was elected to the “Methodology Chair in the discipline of Distance Teaching” at FernUniversität where he served for more than fifteen years. As a theorist, the seed for his theory of industrialization of education was planted way back when he enrolled in the University of Berlin in 1947, where he studied History, English, Philosophy, Psychology and Pedagogy. In 1972 while at the University of Tuebingen he earned his first doctorate with his thesis that dealt with the anthropological, sociological and historical meaning of distance education. Later on he investigated and studied systems of distance education in countries such as: Argentina, Austria, Canada, France, Great Britain, Holland, India, Japan, South Africa, Thailand and USA. The hat of author has allowed him to write more than ten books and research papers. Most recently, he worked and coauthored „Otto Peters on Distance Education- The Industrialization of Teaching and Learning‟ with Dr. Desmond Keegan. Dr. Peters has retired but continues to make contributions to periodicals and journals in the Distance Education field.


Research and Theory
Otto Peters primary contribution to the field of education is his argument for the industrialization of teaching which he contends in several of his books such as The Pedagogical Structure of Distance Education“. Peters (1998) says that distance education is a method of imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes which is rationalized by the application of division of labour and organizational principles as well as by the extensive use of technical media, especially for the purpose of reproducing high quality teaching material which makes it possible to instruct great numbers of students at the same time wherever they live. Dr. Peters describes it as an industrialized form of teaching and learning and extended the term “sui generis” to describe this unique educational approach to his colleagues (Peters 2010).peters proposes that his “sui generis” could be analyzed by comparison with the industrial production of goods and as such should be viewed as an industrialized type of teaching and learning characterized by the following categories” •Rationalization: the use of methodical measures to reduce the required amount of input of power, time, and money. •Division of labor: the division of a task into simpler components or subtasks. •Mechanization: the use of machines in a work process. Peters noted that distance education would be impossible without machines. •Assembly line: a method of work in which workers remain stationary while objects they are working on move past them. In traditional distance education programs, materials for both teacher and student are not the product of one individual. •Mass production: the production of goods in large quantities. Because demand outstrips supply at colleges and universities, there has been a trend toward large-scale operations.

•Preparatory work: determining how workers, machines, and materials can usefully relate to each other during each phase of the production process. The success of distance education depends on a preparatory phase. •Planning: the system of decisions that determines an operation prior to its being carried out. •Organization: creating general or permanent arrangements for purposeoriented activity. Organization makes it possible for students to receive predetermined instructional units at appointed times. •Scientific control methods: methods by which work processes are analyzed systematically, particularly by time studies, and in accordance with the results obtained from measurements and empirical data. •Formalization: the predetermination of the phases of the manufacturing process. In distance education, all the points in the cycle must be determined exactly. •Standardization: the limitations of manufacture to a restricted number of types of one product to make these more suitable for their purpose, cheaper to produce, and easier to replace.


Otto Peters: Major publications A. Selected books

Die didaktische Struktur des Fernunterrichts. Untersuchungen zu einer industrialisierten Form des Lehrens und Lernens. (“The Pedagogical Structure of Distance Education“). Tübinger Beiträge zum Fernstudium. Bd. 7. Weinheim With Ehmann, C, Gerhard, V, Köhler, G, Schwittmann, D, Wurster, J: Das Fernstudium im Medienverbund. Informationen und Arbeitsmaterialien. Ein Studienpaket. Tübingen: Beraterkreis Fernstudium im Medienverbund. Die Fernuniversität. Das erste Jahr. Aufbau. Aufgaben. Ausblicke. (“Fernuniversität the First Year“). Bericht des Gründungsrektors. Hagen: V. d. Linnepe. With Dohmen, G, Müller, K, Petermann, J: FIM-Glossar. Informationsbausteine zur Aus- und Fortbildung wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an Fernstudienprojekten. Studien und Berichte zum Fernstudium im Medienverbund. Schriftenreihe des Deutschen Instituts für Fernstudien an der Universität Tübingen. Bd. 16. Die Fernuniversität im Fünften Jahr. Bildungspolitische und fernstudiendidaktische Aspekte. (“Fernuniversität in its Fifth Year“). Bericht des Gründungsrektors. Cologne: Verlagsgesellschaft Schulfernsehen. Otto Peters on Distance Education. Edited by Desmond Keegan. London: Routledge. Learning and Teaching in Distance Education. London: Kogan Page. Learning and Teaching in Distance Education. Analyses and Interpretations from an international perspective. Translation into Korean. Soel: Kyoyookkwahak sa co. Didatica do ensino a distancia. Sao Leopoldo, Brasil: Editoria Unisinos. La educacion a distancia en transicione. Nuevas tendencias y retos. Universidad da Guadalajara. Distance Education in Transition. New Trends and Challenges. Oldenburg, Germany: Bibliotheks- und Informationssystem der Universität Oldenburg. (Fourth edition 2004). Distance Education in Transition. Translation into Chinese. Radio- and Television University Shanghai.





1994 1998 2000 2001 2002 2002



B. Recent contributions to handbooks and periodicals


Learning with new media in distance education, in: Moore, MG and Anderson, WG (eds.): “Handbook of Distance Education”. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. A plea for the oral dialogue in online learning (a translation of the chapter: Das Verdrängen und Ausschließen des mündlichen Dialogs beim Online-Lernen), in: “Grundlagen der Weiterbildung: Praxishilfen“ by Luchterhand/Wolters Kluwer Deutschland GmbH. Reprinted in: Hohenstein, A and Wilbers, K (eds.): Handbuch E-Learning. Cologne: Deutscher Wirtschaftsdienst. How the computer of the future could change teaching and learning (a translation of: Wie der Computer der Zukunft das Lernen und Lehren verändern könnte), in: “Grundlagen der Weiterbildung: Praxishilfen” by Luchterhand/Wolters Kluwer Deutschland GmbH. Reprinted in Hohenstein, A and Wilbers, K (eds.): Handbuch E-Learning. Cologne: Deutscher Wirtschaftsdienst. The most industrialized form of education – revisited, in: Moore, MG (ed.): “Handbook of Distance Education”. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Open universities – their mission, in: Evans, T (ed.): “The World Handbook of Distance Education”, Chennai: Elsevier Ltd. The contribution of open and distance education to lifelong learning, in: Jarvais, P (ed.): “Routledge International Handbook on Lifelong Learning”. London: Routledge. C. Early books




2008 2008

1965 1967 1968

Der Fernunterricht. Materialien zur Diskussion einer neuen Unterrichtsform. („Distance Education“). Weinheim, Berlin: Beltz. Das Fernstudium an den Hochschulen der Sowjetunion. Hamburg-Rahlstedt: Walter Schulz. Das Fernstudium an Universitäten und Hochschulen. Didaktische Struktur und vergleichende Interpretation. Ein Beitrag zur Theorie der Fernlehre. Pädagogisches Zentrum: Veröffentlichungen: Reihe B, Bd. 8. Weinheim, Berlin: Beltz. Das Hochschulfernstudium. Materialien zur Diskussion einer neuen Studienform. Pädagogisches Zentrum: Veröffentlichungen: Reihe C, Bd. 5. Weinheim, Berlin: Beltz.



D. Edited books 1971 1971 1972-1981 1973
Texte zum Hochschulfernstudium. Weinheim, Berlin, Basel: Beltz. With Dohmen, G: Hochschulunterricht im Medienverbund. Teil 1: Probleme. Projekte. Pläne; Teil 2: Didaktische Aspekte. Heidelberg: VRMV. With Gollhard, H: Jahrbuch 'Wissenschaft Ausbildung Schule', WAS. Cologne: Verlagsgesellschaft Fernsehen.

Unterrichtstechnologie und Schulreform. Perspektiven zu Erziehung und Unterricht in den 70er Jahren. (Technology and Innovation in Education). Düsseldorf: Pro Schule-Verlag. Die offene Universität in Japan. Tübingen: Deutsches Institut für Fernstudien an der Universität Tübingen. With Pfundtner, R: Studium neben dem Beruf. Ergebnisse eines Forschungsprojektes. Weinheim: Beltz. With Güttler, R: Grundlagen der Weiterbildung: Praxishilfen. Neuwied: Luchterhand. With Keim, H and Urbach, D: Grundlagen der Weiterbildung: Journal. (Für den Verein Grundlagen der Weiterbildung).

1974 1986 1989 Since 1990

 Achievements and Awards
Honorary doctorates were conferred on him, in recognition of his work in the field of education by the foreign universities of: Open University of the UK, Deakin University of Australia, Open University of Hong Kong and New York University Of USA. In 1999, he received the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) prize of excellence to recognize the impact of his contributions. He received the order of merit from the Federal Republic of Germany for his international activities Served as Deputy Director of Secretary to the Educational Centre of Berlin

 Criticism
A critique of Dr. Peter‟s ideas on distance education was made by D. Randy Garrison (2000), a known expert in the field of distance education. Garrison portrays “Peters‟ industrial model” as an organizational model, whose sole purpose is to organize the educational process to realize economies of scale. Further criticism was made later on by authors such as: Joseph Weienbaum, Juan Luis Cebrian and Jaron Lanier and many more. All of which Dr. Peters answered laconically but on a theoretical level in his text Against the Tide: Critics of Digitalism,

External links
      Otto Peters: Industrialization Theory and DE (Part 1) on Vimeo Otto Peters: Industrialization Theory and DE (Part 2) on Vimeo Industrialised teaching and learning Theory and Distance Education: A New Discussion Simonson, et. al Distance Education in Transition: new trends and challenges ET&S [3(2)] - Maureen Tam - Constructivism, Instructional Design ...

     Reflection on world’s first Online 3 Minute Thesis Contest Otto Peters, Ph.D. - International Adult and Continuing Education The Theories and the Theorists:Why Theory is Important for Research Ulrich Bernath Foundation for Research in Open and Distance Learning. Wichelnstrasse 27a, 26122 Oldenburg


Reflection of the process
On numerous occasions before this assignment I had clicked on a Wikipedia document while browsing on the Internet, not even thinking twice on how the document was created or by who… that is until now for this EDID 6503 assignment. I found the instructions given on Wikipedia to create a user name was simple but then the instructions became increasing difficult (at least to me) when I was told that my user name has not been approved as yet and there are 20047 users in front of me and I can use the common page to publish until my user name is approved. The next problem was the deleting of the information that took so much time to accumulate and also uploading the picture of my theorist presented some challenges. The truth be told I was glad to post on the Weebly but there is a part of me that wants to complete the Wikipedia posting later on as I really do think this could be a fun activity just not under the time constraint.