Archive for January 18th, 2011

Walter James

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011


Professor Walter James, the founder Dean of the Faculty of Educational Studies, born in 1924, died on Christmas Day 2010.

The son of a railway fireman, later an engine driver, Walter James attended Grammar School due to a scholarship but had to leave aged 16 as his family could not afford for him to remain in full-time education. He joined the Royal Navy aged 18 and after war service he trained as a teacher. He was a mature student at Nottingham University between 1952 and 1955 and then a lecturer in adult education there. While working at the Department of Adult Education, Nottingham he worked on a project to integrate television broadcasts and correspondence materials into a university course. Associated Television and the University of Nottingham produced a 13-week course which 1,250 people completed. It included programmes, written notes, two tutorials and a residential weekend attended by 200 people.

Following his appointment to the OU he sought out others who had used a variety of distance teaching techniques, visiting both the University of Wisconsin Extension and the USA Forces Institute, a centre for correspondence-based education which was based nearby and had links with the Wisconsin. (more…)