Distance education is arguably one of the major developments in education during the 20th Century. From schooling through to university education, distance education blossomed to facilitate frontier expansion in the New World, capacity-building in developing nations, access and equity provision in post-War societies and flexible professional development and workplace training for late-modernity. "The International Handbook of Distance Education" explores the array of distance education theories and practices as they have been shaped by the late-20th Century and then positions these in terms of the contemporary circumstances of the 21st Century. The "Handbook' is intended to be a comprehensive reference work for practitioners, researchers and administrators engaged in forms of distance education in private and public education, from schooling through undergraduate and postgraduate coursework to doctoral research programs. A critical thread runs throughout the "Handbook" to provide the reader with stimulation to critique policy and practice with a view to being creative and responsive in their own policy development and educational work. It discusses lifelong and flexible learning environments.