Case Studies in U. S. Distance Education: Implications for Ghana’s Under-Served High Schools
Gabriel Kofi Boahen Nsiah
DOI: 10.4236/ce.2011.24049   PDF    HTML     6,490 Downloads   11,084 Views   Citations


Ghana, like many other nations in recent years, has made education a top priority for national development. Despite newly developed policies, however, there remains a significant quality gap among high schools; due largely to an inequitable ratio of government’s educational spending by geographic area. While most urban schools flourish with better funding and more resources, many rural schools are substandard due to funding inequity, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of logistical support, material input, and qualified teachers. These problems call for attention and resolution and distance education is considered a panacea to these problems. To achieve this objective, three distance education sites/cases—two parochial schools and one large state-supported public school were studied. Using a variety of data collection interview methods—video conferencing, Skype, face-to-face conversations, and e-mail—interviews were conducted with individuals representing various roles at the three case study sites in the United States: teachers, principals, local and district administrators, and technical and program directors. Effective and ineffective practices at these focus sites provided contextual referencing for future program development/replication in Ghana. Interviews revealed many common issues and themes for success in facilities/program development, program management, and instructional delivery. Recommendations and a model for online distributed education emerged to aid in addressing Ghana’s educational needs. The study findings can inform other systems, nationally and internationally, though the study specifically emphasized concerns in Ghana—where quality education is needed to better prepare under-served school populations for higher education and for further contribution to the development and prosperity of that nation.

Share and Cite:

Nsiah, G. (2011) Case Studies in U. S. Distance Education: Implications for Ghana’s Under-Served High Schools. Creative Education, 2, 346-353. doi: 10.4236/ce.2011.24049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Chamez, K. (2003). Grounded theory. In J. A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (pp. 81-110). London, UK: SAGE.
[2] Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[3] Davies, M. B. (2007). Doing a successful reseacrh project using qualitative or quantitative methods. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
[4] Eisner, E. W. (1991). The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and the enhancement of educational practice. New York, NY: Macmillan.
[5] Flick, U. (2007). Managing quality in qualitative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[6] Freed, K. J. (2003). A history of distance learning: Interactive distance learning. Media Visions Journal. URL (last checked 10 March 2010)
[7] Gillis, M. (1999). In higher education in developing countries: Peril and promise, 2000. Washington, D C: World Bank.
[8] Giorgi, A., & Giorgi, B. (2003). Phenomenology. In J. A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods (pp. 20-25). London, UK: SAGE.
[9] Harber, C. (2010). Education and theories of development. In: E. Lemmer and N. van Wyk (Eds). Themes in South African education. Cape Town: Pearson.
[10] Huberman, A. M., & Miles, M. B. (2002). The qualitative researcher’s companion. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[11] Maso, I. (2001). Phenomenology and ethnography. In P. Atkinson, A. Coffey, S. Delamont, J. Lofland and L. Lofland (Eds.), Handbook of ethnography, (pp. 136-144). London, UK: SAGE.
[12] Nava, A., Fischer, K., Bruer, J. T., Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., Caviness, L. D., Arvidson, M., & Immording-Yang, M. H. (2007). Critical issues in brain science and pedagogy. Burr Ridge, IL: McGraw Hill.
[13] Phillips, D., & Schweisfurth, M. (2007). Comparative and international education: An Introduction to theory, method and practice. London: Continuum.
[14] The Task Force (2000). Higher education in developing countries: Peril and promise. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.