Historical devt of ed tech

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Historical devt of ed tech

  1. 1. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY P a t r i c k Suppes Lucie Stern Professor of Philosophy Stanford University A a comment on t h e p a p e r s by D r . A l i o t o and M s . "hornton, I would : like to try to putthecurrenteffortsineducationaltechnologyin historical perspective, From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e I move t o t h e p r e s e n t , i" with some r e m a r k s a b o u t t h e e x t e n s i v e e f f o r t s i n San F r a n c i s c o , and on t o some p r e d i c t i o n s a b o u t t h e f u t u r e . Past EducationalTechnologies I can i d e n t i f y a t l e a s t f i v e major t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n s in the p a s t t h a t are comparable t o t h e c u r r e n t c o m p u t e r r e v o l u t i o n . f Written Records The f i r s t i s t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of w r i t t e n r e c o r d s f o r teacI1ing purposes i n a n c i e n t times. W do n o t know e x a c t l y when t h e u s e e of writtenrecords f o r instructionalpurposesbeganbut w e do have, as early as Plato's Dialogues, wrritten i n t h e f i f t h c e n t u r y B.C., sophisticated L objections to the use of w r i t t e n r e c o r d s . Today noone would d o u b t t h e v a l u e of w r i t t e n m a t e r i a l i n e d u c a t i o n , but there were v e r y s t r o n g and c o g e n t o b j e c t i o n s t o t h i s v e r y earliest innovation $ 2 e d u c a t i o n , 1 The o b j e c t i o n s were t h e s e : a w r i t t e nr e c o r d is very impersonal; i t i s very uniform; í t does n o t a d a p t t o t h e i n d i v i d u a l t i s t u d e n t ; i t d o e sn o te s t a b l i s hr a p p o r tw i t ht h es t u d e n t . I n o t h e r words, F 30 s'
  2. 2. Socrates and t h e a n c i e n t S o p h i s t s , t h e t u t o r s ofstudentsinancient Athens,objected t o introducingwrittenrecords and d e s t r o y i n g t h e k i n d ofpersonalrelationbetweenstudent and t u t o r t h a t was a p a r t of t h e i r main r e a s o n f o r b e i n g . It has become a f a m i l i a r s t o r y i n o u r own time t h a t a t e c h n o l o g i c a l innovation has side effects that are n o t a l w a y s u n i f o r m l y b e n e f i c i a l . It i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h i s i s n o t a new a s p e c t of innovation b u t h a s been with us from the beginning. Libraries The secondinnovation was the founding of l i b r a r i e s i n t h e a n c i e n t world,the most important example b e i n g t h e famous Alexandrian Library t h a t was establishedaround 300 B.C. Because of c e r t a i nd e m o c r a t i c traditions,thepreeminence of t h e c r e a t i v e work i n p h i l o s o p h y and p o e t r y , i t i s e a s yt ot h i n k of Athens as t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l c e n t e r ofthe H e l l e n i cw o r l d .I nf a c t ,t h a tc e n t e r was r e a l l yA l e x a n d r i a . From about 250 B.C. t o A.D. 4 0 0 , n o to n l y was A l e x a n d r i a t h e mostimportantcenter of mathematicsandastronomy in the ancient world--it was a l s o a major c e n t e r of l i t e r a t u r e , e s p e c i a l l y b e c a u s e of t h e c o l l e c t i o n i n t h e AlexandrianLibrary. The f i r s t r e a l beginnings of c r i t i c a l s c h o l a r s h i p inthewesternworld in literature, the editing of t e x t s , t h e a n a l y s i s of s t y l e , t h e d r a w i n g up of b i b l i o g r a p h i e s , t o o k p l a c e i n t h e A l e x a n d r i a n L i b r a r y .T h i sr e v o l u t i o ni ne d u c a t i o nc o n s i s t e dn o ts i m p l yo fh a v i n gi n one p l a c e a l a r g e number of p a p y r u s m a n u s c r i p t s b u t i n t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n of l a r g eb o d i e so fl e a r n i n g ,S c h o l a r s from a l l overthewesternworld 31
  3. 3. came t o A l e x a n d r i a t o s t u d y and t o t a l k t o o t h e r s , Libraries of a s u b s t a n t i a l n a t u r e were t o b e found i n o t h e r major c i t i e s of t h e a n c i e n t w o r l d , n o t t o mention the large collections of l e a r n i n gi nC h i n a ,I n d i a , andKorea. Printing The t h i r d i n n o v a t i o n of g r e a t h i s t o r i c a l i m p o r t a n c e i n e d u c a t i o n was t h e move f r o m w r i t t e n r e c o r d s t o p r i n t e d books, I n t h e western world we i d e n t i f y the b e g i n n i n g d a t e of t h i s J n n o v a t i o n w i t h t h e i p r i n t i n g of t h eG u t e n b e r gB i b l ei n 1452. It í s i m p o r t a n tt or e c o g n i z e , i l however, t h a t t h e r e was e x t e n s i v e u s e of b l o c k p r i n t i n g i n Koreaand China three o r four hundredyears earlier. Nearly h a l f a millennium later í t i s d i f f i c u l t t o have a v i v i d s e n s e of how i m p o r t a n t t h e innovation of p r i n t i n gt u r n e do u tt ob e ,I nt h ea n c i e n tw o r l d of t h e Mediterranean there were only a few m a j o r l i b r a r i e s , a number so small thattheycouldbecounted on t h e f i n g e r s o f onehand. One of t h e famous a s p e c t s of Alexandria,forexample, was thewealth and magnitude of i t s l i b r a r y , and the Alexandrian Library of 100 B,C. had f e w competitors. The reason í s obvious: it w a s i m p o s s i b l et oh a v e l a r g e numbers of c o p i e s of manuscripts reproduced when a l l copying had t o b e done t e d i o u s l y by hand, The i n t r o d u c t i o n of p r i n t i n g i n the fifteenth century produced a radical innovation--indeed a revolution-- i n t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n of i n t e l l e c t u a l and e d u c a t i o n a l materials. By t h e middle of the sixteenth century not only European institutions but wealthyfamilies as w e l l had l i b r a r i e s of s e r i o u s p r o p o r t i o n s . 32
  4. 4. Once again, however, there were d e f i n i t e t e c h n o l o g i c a l side e f f e c t s t h a t were not u n i f o r m l y b e n e f i c i a l . Those who know t h e a r t and t h e beauty of t h e m e d i e v a l m a n u s c r i p t s t h a t p r e c e d e d t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of printing can appreciate that mass p r i n t i n g was regarded by soma a s a degradation of the s t a t e of reproduction. It is a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o h a v e a sense of how slow the impact of a t e c h n o l o g i c a lí n n o v a t l o nc a n sometimesbe. It was n o t u n t i l t h e end of t h e e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h a t books were u s e d e x t e n s i v e l y f o r t e a c h i n g i ns c h o o l s .I na r i t h m e t i c ,f o re x a m p l e , most t e a c h e r sc o n t i n u e dt o u s e o r a l methods throughout the nineteenth century and i t was n o t u n t i l almost the beginning of t h e present century that appropriate elementarytextbooks i n mathematicswereavailable, It i s c e r t a i n l y m hope t h a t i t w i l l . not r e q u i r e 500 years t o d i s t r i b u t e computers y i n t o s c h o o l s , a figure comparable to what it took to d i s t r i b u t e a r i t h m e t i c textbooks i n t os c h o o l s .F o r t u n a t e l y , t h es c a l e of dissemination in the modern world is ofan entirely different order from what i t was i n t h e p a s t . P e r h a p s m f a v o r i t e example i s t h e y estimate that i t tookoverfiveyears f o r t h e news of J u l i u s C a e s a r ' s a s s a s s i n a t i o nt or e a c ht h ef u r t h e s tc o r n e r s of t h e Roman Empire, Today such an assassination would be known throughout the world i n a matter of minutes. With r e g a r d t o t h e p a c e a t whichbookshavebeenintroduced into education, i t would be a m i s t a k e t o t h i n k t h a t t h e r e was something peculiarabouttheuse of methods of r e c i t a t i o n i n t h e e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l u n t i l Zate i n t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y ; s t o r i e s of a comparable s o r t a l s o 33
  5. 5. p F hold a t t h e u n i v e r s i t y l e v e l . According t o a t least oneaccount,the last professor at the University of Cambridge i n England who i n s i s t e d on f o l l o w i n g t h e r e c i t a t i v e t r a d i t i o n t h a t d a t e s b a c k t o t h e Middle Ages was C . D. Broad. A s l a t e as t h e 1 9 4 0 ' s h e d i c t a t e d andthen repeatedeachsentencesothatstudents would have adequate time t o write e a c hs e n t e n c ee x a c t l y as d i c t a t e d . I cannotimaginecontemporary university students tolerating such methods, Mass Schooling The f o u r t h i n n o v a t i o n , and a g a i n o n e t h a t w e now a c c e p t as a completeand n a t u r a lp a r t of o u r s o c i e t y , i s mass schooling. W have e a tendency i n t a l k i n g a b o u t o u r s o c i e t y t o p u t s c h o o l s and f a m i l i e s i n t ot h e same category of m a j o r i n s t i t u t i o n s . But i t i s extremely important t o r e c o g n i z e t h e g r e a t p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n t h e s t a t u s of t h ef a m i l y and t h e s t a t u s of schools.Families are r e a l l y deep intoourblood and o u r c u l t u r e . The evidence of f a m i l i e s i n one form o r a n o t h e r b e i n g t h e most i m p o r t a n t c u l t u r a l u n i t goes back thousands of years.Schools are n o t a t a l l comparable;they are, we mightsay,very much Johnny-come-lately t o o u rc u l t u r e . A hundred , t t . years ago i n 1870, f o r example,only two p e r c e n t OE young people graduatedfromhighschool í n the U n i t e d S t a t e s . A h u n d r e dy e a r sb e f o r e that only a v e r y small p e r c e n t a g e e v e n f i n i s h e d t h i r d o r f o u r t h g r a d e . I cannot give youan exact percentage because our record-keeping, that ris, o u r s o c i a l s t a t i s t i c s , are n o t much more than a h u n d r e d y e a r s o l d and we have no s e r i o u s i d e a of howmany s t u d e n t s were a c t u a l l y i n s c h o o l 34
  6. 6. two hundred y e a r s a g o , e x c e p t t h a t we do know t h a t t h e number was q u i t e small. Even as s h o r t a p e r i o d as f i f t y y e a r s ago, i n most of the world less than one percent of the population completed secondary school. During t h e r e c e n t u p h e a v a l s c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e " c u l t u r a l r e v o l u t i o n " i n China t h e e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l s , n o t t o s p e a k of c o l l e g e s andsecondary schools, were c l o s e d f o r several y e a r s . I n o u r s o c i e t y as w e now t h i n k of i t , i t i s u n b e l i e v a b l e t o c o n t e m p l a t e c l o s i n g t h e e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l s f o r such a p e r i o d of time. From a C h i n e s e h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e , how- e v e r , i t w a s notsuch an important matter, f o r Chinesecultureextends back continuously several thousand years and t h e r e i s i n t h a t c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n no s a l i e n t p l a c e f o r mass schooling. I n many d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s of t h e w o r l d t o d a y t h e b e s t t h a t c a n be hoped i s t h a t t h e m a j o r i t y of t h e young people w i l l be given four grades of elementaryschool.Untilthepopulatíongrowth i s brought i n check, i t w i g 1 t a k e all a v a i l a b l e r e s o u r c e s t o achievethis much. The p o s i t i o n of America as a w o r l d l e a d e r i n e d u c a t i o n i s sometimes n o t adequately recognized by m fellow Americans, because y w e a c c e p t as so much a p a r t of o u r c u l t u r e t h e c o n c e p t of al1 young peoplecompleting secondaryschool and a highpercentagegoing on t o c o l l e g e . In f a c t , our leadership in creating a s o c i e t y w i t h mass education i s perhapsone of t h e most i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s of American i n f l u e n c e i n t h e w o r l d . A s r e c e n t l y as t h e l a t t e r p a r t o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h e British hilosopher, ohn tuart p J S M i l l , d e s p a i r e d of democracy ever r e a l l y workinganywhere i n t h e world f o r onereason--it was simply not 35
  7. 7. . b i . p o s s i b l et oe d u c a t et h em a j o r i t y of t h e p o p u l a t i o n . I n h i s view i t was notpossibletohave a significant percentage of t h e p o p u l a t i o n a b l e tQ read and t o b e i n f o r m e d a b o u t p o l i t i c a l e v e n t s . A s i n t h e case of many s u c hp r e d i c t i o n s ,h e was very much i n e r r o r . The r e v o l u t i o n i n mass schooling i s one of t h e most s t r i k i n g phenomena of t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . Testing The f i f t h e d u c a t i o n a l i n n o v a t i o n i s t e s t i n g , which i s i n many ways o l d e rt h a nt h ec o n c e p t of mass schooling. The g r e a t t r a d i t i o n of t e s t i n g was f i r s t e s t a b l i s h e d , i n China; t e s t i n g t h e r e began i n t h e f i f t h c e n t u r y A . D . and became f i r m l ye n t r e n c h e d by t h et w e l f t hc e n t u r y A.D. There i s a continuoushistory from t h e t w e l f t h c e n t u r y t o t h e end of t h e n i n e t e e n t h centuryintheuseof tests f o r t h e s e l e c t i o n of mandarins--the civil # s e r v a n t s who r a nt h ei m p e r i a l government o f China. The c i v i l service positions held bymandarins were regarded as t h e e l i t e s o c i a l p o s i t i o n s in the society. The importance of t h e s e tests i n C h i n e s e s o c i e t y í s w e l l a t t e s t e d t o by t h el i t e r a t u r e of v a r i o u sp e r i o d s . I f 0n.e examines, f o r example, t h e l i t e r a t u r e of t h e f i f t e e n t h o r s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y , o n e i s impressed by theconcernexpressed f o r performance on tests. A v a r i e t y of l i t e r a r y tales focused on t h e q u e s t i o n of whether sons would s u c c e s s f u l l y c o m p l e t e t h e tests andwhat this would mean f o r t h e f a m i l y , (As youmightexpect, in those days women had no p l a c e i n t h e management o f t h e s o c i e t y and no place as a p p l i c a n t s f o r civil s e r v i c e p o s i t i o n s , ) The procedures of s e l e c t i o n were as r i g o r o u s as t h o s e f o u n d i n a contemporarymedical 36
  8. 8. s c h o o lo r a g r a d u a t es c h o o l of b u s i n e s s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . In many p e r i o d s fewer than two p e r c e n t of t h o s e who began the tests (whichwere arrangedin a complicatedhierarchy)successfullycompletedthesequence and were put on t h e l i s t of e l i g i b l e mandarins. Although t e s t i n g h a s a h i s t o r y t h a t g o e s b a c k h u n d r e d s of y e a r s , i n many ways i t i s p r o p e r t o r e g a r d t e s t i n g as a twentieth-century innovation because it was o n l y i n t h i s c e n t u r y t h a t t h e s c i e n t i f i c and t e c h n i c a ls t u d y of tests began. It is o n l y i n t h i s c e n t u r y t h a t t h e r e hasbeen a serious effort to understand and t o d e f i n e what c o n s t i t u t e s a good t e s t f o r a g i v e n a p t i t u d e , a givenachievement,or a given skill. Moreover, t h i s i n t e n s i v e s t u d y of t e s t i n g from a t e c h n i c a l s t a n d p o i n t was p r i m a r i l y a focus of American research by such e d u c a t i o n a l psychologists a s Edward L. Thorndike. The t r a d i t i o nt h a t Thorndike beganhas become a majorone i n our society and i s a source of c o n t i n u a l controversy n i terms of i s s u e s of f a i r n e s s and o b j e c t i v i t y .C e r t a i n l y currerLt s p e c u l a t i o n s a s t o t h e r e a s o n s f o r t h e d e c l i n e i n theverbal and mathematical scores on t h e S c h o l a s t i c A p t i t u d e Tests provide an e x c e l l e n t exampleof the kind of d e t a i l e d s c r u t i n y w e g i v e o u r tests t h a t is completelyuncharacteristic of any t r a d i t i o n o f t e s t i n g , whether i n China,Europe ortheUnited States p r i o r t o t h i s c e n t u r y . The f i v e i n n o v a t i o n s t h a t I havediscussed--writtenrecords, libraries,printedbooks,schools, and tests--are t h e v e r y f a b r i c ofour educationalsystemtoday. It i s almostunthinkabletocontemplate a modern educational system without each of these innovations playing an important part. 37
  9. 9. O f these five technologies, nonehadbeen i n any way adequately E o r e c a s to ro u t l i n e d a t t h e time i t was introduced, O f course, a f e w individuals foresaw the consequences andhadsomething to say about those c o n s e q u e n c e s , b u t c e r t a i n l y t h e d e t a i l s of t h e u s e of any of these f i v e technologies had not been adequately foreseen, l a m certain t h a t t h e same t h i n g will be t r u e of technologies now developing €or use í n t h e f u t u r e , and s o I do n o t want t o a p p e a r c o n f i d e n t t h a t what I s a y i s a c o r r e c t s c e n a r i o f o r t h e f u t u r e . But I want t o s a y somethingabout each of t h e f i v e . F i r s t , I havementioned, and I want t o re-emphasize, the very recent and h i s t o r i c a l l y v e r y t r a n s i e n t characterofschools. It i s a phenomenon i n a g e n e r a ls e n s eo ft h e l a s t hundred y e a r s i n t h e mostdeveloped p a r t s of t h e w o r l d , and a phenomenon of the l a s t t h i r t y y e a r s o r s o ( t h a t i s , s i n c e World W r 1 ) a 1 i n t h e underdeveloped p a r t s sf t h e w o r l d . Now, anTmportantquestion f o rt h ef u t u r e is t h i s : I n f i f t y o r onehundred years, w i l l w e a b o l i s h schools? Will we d e l i v e r i n t o t h e home, o r i n t o small neighborhood u n i t s , by t e c h n o l o g i c a l means a l l c u r r i c u l u ma n di n s t r u c t i o n ?F u r t h e r , w i l l thedesiresorgoals of t h e i n d i v i d u a l , t h e f a m i l y , t h e p a r e n t s , or the neighborhood group be such that children will n o t b e í n s c h o o l , but a t home o r i n t h e neighborhood? The answers t o t h e s e q u e s t i o n s are not e a s y t o p r e d i c t o r t o f o r e s e e . The same k i n d of f o r e c a s t may b e made f o r books. The importance ' of books t h a t we have f e l t f o r several hundred y e a r s , since the beginning of the Renaissance, and t h a t h a s b e e n a s s o c i a t e d with t h e developmept and education of a ni n f o r m e dc i t i z e n r y , may f a d e away. I 38
  10. 10. thinkthat all of us, a t l e a s t t h o s e of m age,haveseen y t h i s already i nt h ec a s eo f young s t u d e n t s . Some r e c e n t s t u d i e s h a v e i n d i c a t e d t h a t the cultural reference points of t h e younger generation are no longer I , t ' ' t o befound i n books, o r i n c u r r e n t n o v e l s , b u t i n t e l e v i s i o n andmovies, Inthe case of tests, I also p r e d i c t t h a t t h i s c l a s s i c a l t e c h n o l o g y w i l l d e c r e a s ei ni m p o r t a n c e . I b e l i e v et h a t tests w i l l d e c r e a s e i n importance because w e will h a v e t h e t e c h n o l o g i c a l means t o keep a much more s a t i s f a c t o r y and much more d e t a i l e d r e c o r d o f t h e l e a r n i n g of i n d i v i d u a ls t u d e n t s . Thus inferencesabouttheperformance of s t u d e n t s i, 1 and t h e i r c a p a b i l i t i e s f o r t a k i n g n e x t s t e p s w i l l dependupon a much L i t ' more s u b s t a n t i a l r e c o r d , a much b e t t e r b a s i s o f i n f e r e n c e t h a n w e have íncurrent tests, A s f o rl i b r a r i e s ,t h e y w i l l be totally transformed, 1 f e e l more confident of t h i s p r e d i c t i o n t h a n of of any t h eo t h e r s .E l e c t r o n i c access w i l l be widely available in homes, i n o f f i c e s , and i n s c h o o l s of what o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l k i n d we have.There w i l l belibraries but they w i l l b e e l e c t r o n i c l i b r a r i e s . I Finally,what abouts t h e w r i t t e n r e c o r d ? The w r i t t e n r e c o r d will undoubtedlycontinue t o haveimportance,but I think that when i t comes t o teaching,theobjectionsfoundinPlato'sDialogues t o thecold and n e u t r a l w r i t t e n word a s opposed to t h e warm and f r i e n d l y v o i c e o f t h e teacher w i l l o n c e a g a i n b e h e a r d a n d p e r c e i v e d a s s e r i o u s o b j e c t i o n s , What I a s a y i n g i s t h a t , i n s t a r t i n g m t o thinkaboutthefuture, w e can forecastobsolescence o r semi-obsolescence for a l l of t h e g r e a t technologies of t h e past--and t h a t is proper and a p p r o p r i a t e . 39
  11. 11. c 1 ! Issues Raisedby Computer-Assisted Instruction The current operational use of computer-assisted instruction in many schools in this country, use that is well exemplified by the a detailed discussionof Alioto and Thornton, raises number of issues a I would now like to turn. of a broad educational and social kind to which I will discuss four rather closely related issues that have had a certain prominence in the discussion computer-assisted instruction (CAI): of 1) individualization of instruction, 2) standardization of instruction, 3) complexity of instruction, and4 ) freedom ín education. Individualization of Instruction The first issue centers around the claim that the deep use of a rigid regime technology, specifically computer technology, will impose of impersonalized teaching. Perhaps the best ímage this issue in h e of t of popular press ís that student protest at being by computer represented records in the files the centralschool administration. of To those of advancing this claim deep impersonalization, ít is important to say that indeed this is possibility, Computer technology a could be used in t h i s way, 2nd ín some instances probably will. This it is little different from saying that there are many teaching of kinds and many ways ín which the environment of learning and may be teaching debased, The important point to insist upon, however, ís that ís ít i certainly nota necessary aspectof the use of the technology. Indeed, our claim would e that oneof the computer's most b important potentialsís exactly the opposite. Computers can make 40
  12. 12. learning and teaching more personalized rather than s o . Students less will be subject to less regimentation and lockstepping, because computer systems will be able to offer highly individualized instruction. It is important that the remark about individualized instruction not be passed in off as sloganeering. For many years,courses the methodology of teaching have emphasized the importanceteaching of according to the needsf individual students and therefore attempting o It to individualize instruction as much as possible. is recognized, however, by anyone who has examined the structure schools either of our at the elementary- or secondary-school level that a high ofdegree individualization ís extraordinarily difficult to achieve when the 25 to ratio of students to teachers is approximately 1. One direct approach is to reduce this ratio to something or 5 like 10 to 1, but the economics this approach is totally unfeasible in of All the long run and on a widespread basis. the evidence points to the fact that the cost having first-rate teachers in the classroom, of training these teachers appropriately, and providing them with the kind of salaries that will be competitive with other technical and for professional jobs in our society will simply make it impossible schools to afford any drastic reduction in the student-teacher ratio. One of the few real opportunities for offering individualized of instruction lies in the use computers as instructional devices. I do wishto emphasize thatI do not envisage replacing teachers It entirely, especially at the elementary-school level. would be technology only20 to my estimate that even under the maximumof use 41
  13. 13. 30 percent of students' time in the elementary school would be spent at of computer terminals. While classes or substantial parts classes were working at terminals, teachers would be able to work with the remainder. Moreover, they would be able to work intensely with individual students, partly because some the students would be at the terminals, of and equally because routine of aspectsteaching would be handled by the computer system. At A t the post secondary leve1,matters are very different.most now colleges and universities,students do not receive a great dealof individual attention from instructors. Certainly we can all recognize the degree of personal attention ís greatercomputer in a program designed to accommodate itself to individual students' progress than on in the lecture course a general subject that more than 200 has students in daily attendance. Complex intellectual problems are yet to be solved in offering tutorial computer programs on advanced subjectse university t h at level. 1 do believe that the teaching basic skills ranging from elementary of mathematics to foreign-language instruction at the college level can well be performed by computer-assisted cocrses, - Extensive results of many efforts in computer-assisted instruction at the university level at Stanford are reported in Suppes (3.981). Standardization of Instruction A second common claim is that the widespread use of computer technology w i l l lead to excessive standardization education. This of 42 d
  14. 14. claim was r a i s e d r e p e a t e d l y i n g e n e r a l d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h e d u c a t o r s and t h ei n t e r e s t e dp u b l i c .I n 1968 when I w a s l e c t u r i n g oncomputer- assisted instruction in Australia, exactly this claim was made byone -. of t h e s e n i o r p r o f e s s o r s of e d u c a t i o n i n A u s t r a l i a . When h e was asked howmany d i f f e r e n t books on A u s t r a l i a n h i s t o r y are used i n t h e A u s t r a l i a n secondaryschools,thereply was t h a t t w o books are used i n over 90 p e r c e n t of t h e c l a s s e s . To t h o s e f a m i l i a r w i t h c u r r e n t p r a c t i c e s i n t e x t b o o k a d o p t i o n and useinelementary and secondaryschools, i t i s clear t h a t a highdegree of s t a n d a r d i z a t i o na l r e a d y e x i s t s i n educatiorn, It i s i m p o r t a n tt o admit a t once t h a t a s t i l l g r e a t e rd e g r e e of s t a n d a r d i z a t i o nc o u l d arise from thewidespreaduse of computers. This i s a p o s s i b i l i t y n o t t ob ed e n i e d . It í s , however, i n no sense a necessity. It would technically be possible for a s t a t e department of e d u c a t i o n , f o r example, to require that a t 1O:lO i n t h e morningeveryfourth-graderbeadding one-half and o n e - t h i r d , o r e v e r y j u n i o r h i g h s c h o o l be reciting the amendments t ot h eC o n s t i t u t i o n . The c e n t r a ld a n g e r o f thetechnology i s that e d i c t s c a n b e e n f o r c e d as w e l l as i s s u e d , and many persons are r i g h t l y concerned a t t h e s p e c t o r of r i g i d s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n t h a t c o u l d be imposed. I think we would a l l a g r e e t h a t t h e e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g use of books from t h e s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y t o thepresenthasdeepenedthe varieties of e d u c a t i o n a l and i n t e l l e c t u a le x p e r i e n c e generally a v a i l a b l e . It i s n o t d i f f i c u l t , however, t o c o n s t r u c t a c a r i c a t u r e o f p r e s e n t c o n c e r n s i n terms of t h e h o r r o r s i t might have been claimed would be introduced with 43
  15. 15. thewidespreaduse of books. It is e a s y t o v i s u a l i z e a c e r t a i n t y p e of critic arguing that the highly individualized and e f f e c t i v e q u a l i t i e s of t h e i n d i v i d u a l t e a c h e r ' s v o i c e c o u l d b e l o s t í n t h e c o m p l e t e l y standardizeduse of t h e w r i t t e n word and t h e w r i t t e n t e x t . The i n d i v i d u a l i z a t i o n of comment, t h e a d a p t a t i o n of comment t o t h e e x p r e s s i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s t u d e n t s and t o t h e i r r e s p o n s i v e n e s s andcomprehension, would be l o s t i n t h e u s e o f b o o k s i n p l a c e of t e a c h e r s . NOW w e a l l r e c o g n i z e t h a t t h e r e i s a t r u t h a t t h e h e a r t of t h i s caricature,but it i s not a truth that argues for the abolition or suppression of books i n e d u c a t i o n , It a r g u e s r a t h e r f o r a wide v a r i e t y of educational experiences. There i s e v e r y r e a s o n t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e a p p r o p r i a t e d e v e l o p m e n t i of C A I programs w i l l enable u s t o t a k e a h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t s t e p beyond t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n of books and t o o f f e r u n p a r a l l e l e d v a r i e t y and depth of c u r r i c u l u m t o s t u d e n t s of a l l ages,Indeed,theprobleminavoiding s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n is n o t t h e l i m i t a t i o n s of thetechnology,butour ignorance of how t o d i v e r s i f y a p p r o a c h e s t o l e a r n i n g i n m e a n i n g f u l and s i g n i f i c a n t ways, The b a s i c s c i e n t i f i c d a t a on t h e s e matters are p i t i f u l l y small, Opinionscan b e found i n e v e r y e d u c a t 2 o n a l g r o u p , b u t t h e y are o p i n i o n s . Moreover,from an o p e r a t i o n a l s t a n d p o i n t í t i s n o t p o s s i b l e t o f i n d any wide d i v e r s i t y ofapproaches t o most of t h e s t a n d a r d s u b j e c t s in e thecurriculum. D w e want a n a u d i t o r y a p p r o a c h t o t h e l e a r n i n g o of language f o r m e s t u d e n t a n d a visualapproachforanother? Do we want a politically oriented presentation of American h i s t o r y f o r some s t u d e n t s 44
  16. 16. and a socially oriented presentation for others?o we think that D different cognitive styles can be identified sufficiently deep a in way to justify and guide the preparation of vastly different curricula in thesame general subject matter? These questions are not in any way bound to computer technology. of curriculum, the These are fundamental questions about the science art of teaching, and the philosophy of education that reach out to very general questionsof social policy, The computer there to is be used in whatever way choose. Uniform standardization of the we curriculum will be the end product only areso lacking we if in imagination as to achieve nothing else. Complexity of Instruction The third claim often heard is that the limitations of the technology and the problems that must be overcome in using it will be lead to the development of curricula that will almost necessarily simpleminded ín character. There are indeed some unfortunate historical examples tn'the literature of curriulum efforts, especially curriculum efforts a technological setting. in of In the early days programmed instruction, for example, a number of texts on elementary mathematics were written by psychologists or educators who did not have adequate training in mathematics. The programmed texts were splattered with "howlers" that received the eager attention the mathematics educators charged with of reviewing thebooks. Similar kindsof blunders can occur in the case 45
  17. 17. . - 'i, of computer-assisted instruction, but there is nothing special about computers, and it hard to see that serious argument can be made is a to claim that there is any reason why computer-assisted Instruction will be worse than other forms of curriculum. The world is full of textbooks that are obviously many in bad respects. Within mathematics, for example, there are elementary books that are full mathematical of mistakes; there areo elementary als books that are mathematically correct, but pedagogically bad beyond belief. No doubt programs exhibiting these o extremes will also tw be written for computer-assisted instruction in mathematics, There are reasons, however, for thinking the situation will be more self-corrective in the case CAP than in the case ordinary of of and textbook writing. One reason is simply that data can be gathered authors can be presented in tough-minded fashiona clear with picture of the defects of the materials they have written. For example, in a program in elementary mathematics a if particular sequenceof concepts or problems is missed aby high percentageof the students encountering it, the transmission this informationto those who wrote the progrzm of ís an obvious signal that changes are needed. of Surprising as it may seem, authors textbooks in elementary mathematics seldom receive such information.They get many good and penetrating criticisms from teachers and other persons concerned with curriculum, but they seldom get hard behavioralondata individual parts of the text. Similarly, the evaluation that compares given new text a with a standard old text by looking at the achievement data for 46 r
  18. 18. experimental and control groups i s almostalways f a r too c o a r s e a n evaluation to provide any focus for revising the p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e s of t h e new t e x t . On t h eo t h e rh a n d ,t h ep r o b l e m s of g a t h e r i n g d e t a i l e d data about an ordinary textbook are t o o onerous t o b e f e a s i b l e ín mos t cases. 3 i ' Freedom i n Education The f o u r t h and f i n a l i s s u e 1 wish t o d i s c u s s is t h e p l a c e of i n d i v i d u a l i t y and human freedom i n a modern t e c h n o l o g i c a ls o c i e t y . The c r u d e s t form of opposition to widespread use of technology i n e d u c a t i o n and i n o t h e r p a r t s of s o c i e t y is t o c l a i m t h a t w e face t h e r e a l danger of men becoming s l a v e st o machines. This argument i s o r d i n a r i l y made i n a romantic and naive fashion by those who seem themselves t o have l i t t l e understanding of s c i e n c e o r technology and how i t i s used i n our society. The b l a t a n t n a i v e t 6 of some of t h e s eo b j e c t i o n s i s well illustrated by the story of t h e man who was o b j e c t i n g t o a l l forms of technology i n our s o c i e t y a n d t h e n i n t e r r u p t e d h i s d i a t r i b e t o say t h a t he h a s t o r u s h o f € t o telephone about an appointment with his dentist, No s c i e n t i f i c a l l y i n f o r m e d p e r s o n s e r i o u s l y b e l i e v e s t h a t our society could survive in anything like i t s p r e s e n t form w i t h o u t t h e widespreaduse o€ technology. It is ourproblem t ou n d e r s t a n d how t o usethetechnology and t o b e n e f i t w i s e l y from t h a tu s e .I n d e e d ,t h e claim about: s l a v e r y i s j u s t t h e o p p o s i t e of t h e t r u e s i t u a t i o n . It i s o n l yi nt h i sc e n t u r yt h a tw i d e s p r e a d use of s l a v e r y has beenabolished, and i t may b e c l a i m e d b y h i s t o r i a n s of t h e d i s t a n t f u t u r e that mankind 47
  19. 19. could n o t do w i t h o u t s l a v e r y , b e c a u s e j u s t a s human s l a v e s are being abolished, within a s h o r t time span they w i l l be replaced by machine s l a v e s whose u s e w i l l n o t v i o l a t e o u r e t h i c a l p r i n c i p l e s andmoral sensibilities Q One can indeedimagine a h i s t o r i c a l t e x t of 2500 o r 3000 A . D . asserting that for a short period in the l a t t e r p a r t of t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t h e r e was l i t t l e s l a v e r y p r e s e n t on e a r t h , b u t t h e n i t was discovered that machines could be made t h a t c o u l d do a l 1 t h e work of human slaves, and so i n t h e t w e n t y - f i r s t c e n t u r y t h e l u x u r y o f s l a v e s and t h e p e r s o r , a l s e r v i c e t h e y a f f o r d e d was b r o u g h t n o t t o t h e p r i v i l e g e d few as had h i s t o r i c a l l y b e e n t h e ease b e f o r e t h e t w e n t i e t h century, but as a standard convenience and luxury for a l l people on earth I n our judgment, t h e t h r e a t t o human i n d i v i d u a l i t y andfreedom doesnot come fromtechnology,but Erom a n o t h e r s o u r c e t h a t was well described by John S t u a r t Ml i n h i s famous e s s a y O L i b e r t y . i l n He said, The g r e a t e s t d i f f i c u l t y t o b e e n c o u n t e r e d d o e s n o t lie i n t h e a p p r e c i a t i o n of means towardanacknowledgedend, but in the indifference of p e r s o n s i n g e n e r a l t o t h e end i t s e l f . If i t were felt t h a t t h e f r e e development o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s one of t h e l e a d i n g e s s e n t i a l s o f well-being;that i t i s n o t only a co-ordinateelement w i t h a l l t h a t i s designated by t h e ternns c i v i l i z a t i o n , i n s t r u c t i o n ,e d u c a t i o n ,c u l t u r e ,b u t is i t s e l f a n e c e s s a r y p a r t and condition of a l l t h o s e t h i n g s ; t h e r e would b e no d a n g e r t h a t l i b e r t y s h o u l d b e u n d e r - valued,andtheadjustment of theboundariesbetween i t and s o c i a l c o n t r o l would p r e s e n t n o e x t r a o r d i n a r y difficulty. J u s t a s booksEreed serious students from t h e t y r a n n y o f o v e r l y simple methodsof oral recitation, s o computerscan €ree s t u d e n t s from 48
  20. 20. the drudgery of d o i n g e x a c t l y similar t a s k s u n a d j u s t e d a n d u n t a i l o r e d totheirindividualneeds. As in the case of other p a r t s of o u r s o c i e t y , our new andwondrous technology is t h e r e f o r b e n e f i c i a l use. It i s ourproblem t o l e a r n how t o use i t well. When a c h i l d of s i x b e g i n s t o l e a r n i n schoolunderthedirection of a t e a c h e r , h e h a r d l y h a s a concept of a f r e e i n t e l l i g e n c e a b l e t o r e a c ho b j e c t i v e knowledge of the world, H e dependsheavily upon every word and g e s t u r e of t h e t e a c h e r t o g u i d e h i s own r e a c t i o n s and responses. This i n t e l l e c t u a l weaning of c h i l d r e n i s a complicated process that w e do n o t yet manage orunderstandvery well, There a r e too many a d u l t s among us who a r e n o t a b l e t o express their own f e e l i n g s o rt or e a c ht h e i r own independentjudgments. W would c l a i m t h a t t h e e wise use of technology and s c i e n c e , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n e d u c a t i o n , p r e s e n t s a majoropportunityandchallenge. W do n o t want t o claim t h a t w e now e know very much about how t o r e a l i z e t h e f u l l p o t e n t i a l of human beings; b u t w e do n o t d o u b t t h a t our modern instruments can be used t o r e d u c e thepersonaltyrannyofoneindividualoveranother,andincrease individual.freedom. I n t e l l e c t u a l Problems of t h e F u t u r e Computers That Talk Let me b r e a k t h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f f u t u r e i n t e l l e c t u a l problems i n t o four parts that w i l l take us back through some of t h e earlier technologies, The f i r s t problem i s s i m p l yt h a t of t a l k i n g( o r a ls p e e c h ) . What d o e s - i t t a k et o get a computer t o t a l k ? The f a c t i s t h a t t h e t e c h n i c a l i s s u e s
  21. 21. a arealreadypretty well í n hand. P e r h a p st h er e a d e rh a ss e e n on t e l e v i s i o n "The ForbinProject"--a movie about two l a r g e computers í n the Soviet Union and t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s g e t t i n g t o g e t h e r t o dominate t h e world. To t h o s e who haveseenthatmovie, l e t m e make a c a s u a l remark a b o u tt a l k i n g . A t e c h n i c a lc r i t i c i s mo ft h e movie i s t h a t t h e two very l a r g e and s o p h i s t i c a t e d c o m p u t e r s were conducting only one conversation a t a time. Already i n ourcomputersystem a t Stanford, w e have eighteen channels of independent simultaneous talk and t h e computer t a l k s i n d e p e n d e n t l y and d i f f e r e n t l y t o e i g h t e e n s t u d e n t s at t h e same time. So you see, we h a v e t h e c a p a c i t y f o r t h e computer t o talk. What w e need, however, is b e t t e ri n f o r m a t i o na b o u t what i s t o be s a i d . For exrmple, when L serve as a t u t o r ,t e a c h i n go n e of you, o r even when one of you is teaching me, intuitively and n a t u r a l l y w e follow cues and say things to each other without having an explicit theory of how w e saywhat w e say. W speak as p a r t of our humanness, e i n s t i n c t i v e l y , on t h e b a s i s of o u r p a s t experience. But t o satis- factorily talk with a computer,weneedan explicít theory of talking. Computers That L i s t e n The r e p l a c e m e n t o f t h e w r i t t e n r e c o r d , t h e k i n d o f r e c o r d t h a t was o b j e c t e d t o i n P l a t o ' s P h a e d r u s , c a n b e a v a i l a b l e t o us i n t h e talkingcomputer. The o t h e r side of t h a t c o i n which S o c r a t e s a l s o emphasized, or shouldhaveemphasized, concerns listening. It i s a much more d i f f i c u l t t e c h n i c a l problem, The problem of d e s i g n i n g a computer t h a t c a n l i s t e n to a student talk i s much h a r d e r t h a n havi-ng
  22. 22. a student listen to the computer talk. However, the problem is solvable. The Use of Knowledge To have an effective computer-based systeminstruction, of we must transcend mindless talking and listening and learn to understand and use a large knowledge base.For example, ifwe were simply to require information retrieval from a knowledge base, it would be relatively simple in the near future to put the entire American Library of Congress in every elementary school, The capacity to store so information is increasing rapidly thatwe willbe able to store much more information than could ever possibly be used. A different and more difficult ris how to get the student question A s we come to understand to interact with the sizable knowledge base, how to handle such a knowledge base, the school of the future computer should be able to answer any wayward question that the student might know, once a student uses such a like to ask. Moreover, as we all capability, he will have a strong tendency to pursue still further questions that are more difficult and more idiosyncratic. will, I It think, be wonderful to see how children interact with such a system; in all likelihood, we will see children give to learning the high degree of of concentration and the sustained span attention they now give to commercial television. There is one related point want to emphasize. From the very I beginning of school, students learn quickly the of the land" and "law 51
  23. 23. know theyshouldnotaskquestionstheteachercannotanswer.This t a s k of d i a g n o s i n g t h e l i m i t a t i o n s of t e a c h e r s b e g i n s e a r l y and continuesthroughcollegeandgraduateschool. So, once w e h a v et h e capacíty f o r answeringout-of-the-way q u e s t i o n s , i t w i l l bemarvelous t o see how s t u d e n t s w i l l take advantage of t h e o p p o r t u n l t y and t e s t t h e i r own c a p a c i t i e s w i t h a r e l e n t l e s s n e s s t h e y d a r e n o t e x h i b i t now. Need f o r Theories of L e a r n i n g a n d I n s t r u c t i o n The fourthproblem,and i n many ways t h e l e a s t - d e v e l o p e d f e a t u r e of t h i s t e c h n o l o g y , i s t h e development of anadequatetheory of l e a r n i n g and i n s t r u c t i o n , W can make t h e computer t a l k , l i s t e n , e and adequately handle a l a r g e knowledge d a t a b a s e , b u t w e s t i l l need t o develop an e x p l i c i tt h e o r y of l e a r n i n g and i n s t r u c t i o n .I nt e a c h i n g a student, young o r o l d , a g i v e n s u b j e c t m a t t e r o r a givenskill, a computer-based learning system can keep a record of e v e r y t h i n g t h e studentdoes. Such a systemcangatheran enormous amount o€ i n f o r m a t i o na b o u tt h es t u d e n t . The problem í s how t o u s e t h i s ínformationwisely,skillfully,ande€ficientlytoteachthestudent. i This i s something t h a t t h e v e r y b e s t human t u t o r d o e s w e l l , even though he does not understand a t a l l how hedoes i t , j u s t as h e d o e s n o t understand how h e t a l k s . None of u s understands how w e t a l k andnone of u s understands how w e i n t u i t i v e l y i n t e r a c t w i t h someone we are teaching OR a one-to-one basis. S t i l l , eventhoughourpastandpresent t h e o r i e s of i n s t r u c t i o n h a v e n o t c u t very deep, í t does n o t mean t h a t we havenot made some progress.First, w e a t l e a s t r e c o g n i z et h a t - 52
  24. 24. t h e r e i s a s c i e n t i f i c problem; t h a t a l o n e i s progress. One hundred f i f t y y e a r s ago t h e r e w a s no e x p l i c i t r e c o g n i t i o n t h a t t h e r e was even a problem. There i s not s t a t e d i n t h e e d u c a t i o n l i t e r a t u r e of 150 y e a r s ago any view t h a t i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o u n d e r s t a n d i n d e t a i l t h e process of l e a r n i n g on the p a r t of t h e s t u d e n t . Only i n t h e t w e n t i e t h century do w e f i n d any s y s t e m a t i c d a t a o r a n y S y s t e m a t i c t h e o r e t i c a l i d e a sa b o u tt h ed a t a . What p r e c e d e s t h i s p e r i o d i s romance and f a n t a s y u n s u b s t a n t i a t e d by any s o p h i s t i c a t e d r e l a t i o n t o e v i d e n c e . So a t l e a s t w e c a n s a y t h a t w e have begun t h e t a s k . Alternative Educational Structures L e t m g i v e some examplesofchanges e we can effect in the s t r u c t u r e of e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s by u s i n g a p p r o p r i a t e l y t h e new technologyofcomputersandtelevision.Because of m own s p e c i a l y interest in computers,I shall concentrate on computer p o s s i b i l i t i e s ; but i t s h o u l d b e u n d e r s t a o o d t h a t t e l e v i s i o n would a l s o be a component fortheproposedchangesinstructure. High Schools M f i r s t exampleconcernstheorganization y of h i g hs c h o o l s . An American phenomenon,much d i s c u s s e d i n t h e h i s t o r y o f e d u c a t i o n i n t h e twentiethcentury,hasbeentheintroduction of t h e c o n s o l i d a t e d h í g h schoolthatbringstogetherstudentsfromsmallschoolsto a centrally located large school that offers a v a r i e t y of e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s and r e s o u r c e st ot h es t u d e n t s . The American c o n s o l i d a t e d h i g h schools i s oneoftheglories of t h e h i s t o r y of education. Today, however, many 53
  25. 25. of us €eel t h a t t h e l a r g e h i g h s c h o o l h a s become oneof t h e most d - i f f i c y l ti n s t i t u t i o n s t o d e a lw i t h from a s o c i a l s t a n d p o i n t . The mass aggregation of a d o l e s c e n t s i n o n e s p o t creates an environment that is on the onehandimpersonal,and on t h e o t h e r p o t e n t i a l l y e x p l o s i v e , partlybecause of t h e l a r g e numbers of s t u d e n t s and s u p e r v i s i n g a d u l t s in close quarters. The use of our new technology w i l l make p o s s i b l e a n a l t e r n a t i v e s t r u c t u r et h a t will r e t u r n u s t o t h e small s c h o o l s of t h e p a s t . The ideal high school of. t h e f u t u r e may c o n s i s t of no more than a hundred s t u d e n t sa n d ,i n many c a s e s , b e l o c a t e d c l o s e t o s t u d e n t s ' homes; i t =ay b e a s p e c i a l i z e d s c h o o l , c a t e r i n g t o s t u d e n t s ' p a r t i c u l a r interests. The v a r i e t y of curriculumandothereducationalresources, such as l i b r a r i e s , t h a t h a s b e e n s o ímportant a f e a t u r e of t h e consolidated high school, w i l l be made a v a i l a b l e by computerand t e l e v i s i o nt e c h n o l o g y . I shouldsay i n t h i sc o n n e c t í o nt h a tt h e changes that can be broupjhtabout through the use of computers are more d r a s t i c and more r a d i c a l t h a n t h o s e t h a t c a n b e e f f e c t e d o n l y t h r o u g h television. The d i f f e r e n c e i s t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of a high level of i n t e r a c t i o n 'between t h e cornputerprogram and t h e s t u d e n t , t h e s o r t of thing that is not possible with a standard television lecture or laboratory demonstration. ElementarySchools M second y exampleconcerns a l t e r n a t i v e s t o elementaryschools. Through most of t h e h i s t o r y of c i v i l i z a t i o n , young c h i l d r e n h a v e been 54
  26. 26. taughtprimarily a t home, o f t e n p e r h a p s i n an extended family group. W now h a v e t h e t e c h n i c a l p o s s i b i l i t y e of r e t u r n i n g t h e s t u d e n t to the home o r t o a small neighborhood group. Althoughthese alternativeshave not y e t b e e n t h o r o u g h l y e x p l o r e d , it is important t h a t d i s c u s s i o n of t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y b e g i n as e a r l y as p o s s i b l e . A s f a r as I know, t h e new r o m a n t i c s í n e d u c a t i o n h a v e n o t d i s c u s s e d the radical possibility of d i s s o l v í r g e l e m e n t a r y s c h o o l s e n t i r e l y and returningthechildtothe home--or t o a neighborhoodgroup of t h r e e o r f o u r homes--for his education. In describing this possibility, l e t m e emphasizethat 1 a not m m a i n t a i n i n gt h a t i t is n e c e s s a r i l y a wise move, 1 do,however,think i t i m p o r t a n tt h a tt h i st e c h n i c a lp o s s i b i l i t y i s now a v a i l a b l e . At t h ev e r y l e a s t , i t s h o u l db ee x p l o r e de x p e r i m e n t a l l y . By p r o p e r use of c o m p u t e r t e c h n o l o g y , t h e b a s i c s k i l l s of reading,mathematics,and language arts can e a s i l y b e b r o u g h t t o t h e s t u d e n t i n t h e home o r i n a c l u s t e r of homes. Most of t h ee l e m e n t a r ys c i e n c ec u r r i c u l u ma l s o can be handled by c o m p u t e r .O t h e rp a r t s of t h e e l e m e n t a r y s c i e n c e curriculum, of t h e s o c i a l s t u d i e s program,and much of t h e work i n a r t and m u s i cc o u l db eh a n d l e db yt e l e v i s i o n . I envisage a s i t u a t i o n i n which a master t e a c h e r would d i v i d e h i s time among several u n i t s . The mothers of t h e c h i l d r e n wouldassume responsibilities for super- v i s i o na n d some would work as t e a c h e r s 'a i d e s . Such anapproach would b e c o m p l e t e l y n a t u r a l , b e c a u s e of t h e p r o x i m i t y of t h e s c h o o l t o t h e i r homes. I n many u r b a n s e t t i n g s , €or example, i t would be n a t u r a lt op l a c e classrooms i na p a r t m e n tc o m p l e x e s .I no t h e rd i s t r i c t s , 55 I
  27. 27. a small one-room b u i l d i n g c o u l d b e added, or it might even be feastble t o pay a small r e n t t o one of t h e f a m i l i e s f o r t h e u s e o f s p a c e in a home. The main t h i n g t o a v o i d i s h e a v yc a p i t a le x p e n d i t u r ef o rp h y s i c a l p l a n t s ; w e have had too much of t h i s i n t h e p a s t . Higher Education The t h i r d a l t e r n a t i v e s t r u c t u r e d e a l s w i t h h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n . Here the possibilities are p e r h a p s t h e easiest t o implementand may b e r e a l i z e ds o o n e rt h a nt h eo t h e r s . In t h e areas s u r r o u n d i n gS t a n f o r d , several community c o l l e g e s are a l r e a d y o f f e r i n g c o u r s e s f o r c r e d i t by television. A s w e face t h e c o s t s t h r o u g h o u t t h e world of p r o v i d i n g highereducationforincreasingnumbers,theuseofcomputersand televisiontoreducecosts and t o d e c e n t r a l i z e t h e e d u c a t i o n a l e f f o r t seems almost i n e v i t a b l e . One can see t e r m i n a l sa v a i l a b l eí na p a r t m e n t complexes f o rs t u d e n t s a t t h e community-col2.ege level. A t a later stage,onecanenvisageterminsls i n plantswhereemployees work f u l l - time, b u ta l s oa c t i v e l yp u r s u et h e i re d u c a t i o n . I s h o u l dm e n t i o nt h a t in C a l i f o r n i a , for example, a r e a s o n a b l e p e r c e n t a g e of s t u d e n t s i n t h e state h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n a l s y s t e m are employed f u l l - t i m e , s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t ht h e i re m o l l m e n t as s t u d e n t s . The developmentofsuch a delivery system for higher education w i l l also n a t u r a l l y a n s w e r demands f o r c o n t i n u i n ge d u c a t i o nf o ra d u l t s . A t a more d i s t a n t d a t e , o n e can expecttheterminalresourcesdescribed earlier t o b e a v a i l a b l e i n t h e home f o r t h e t e a c h i n g of a w i d e r a n g e o f s u b j e c t s , f r o m f o r e i g n languages t o a d v a n c e d t e c h n i c a l c o u r s e s i n s c i e n c e a n d m a t h e m a t i c s . 56
  28. 28. I emphasize,however, thattheproblems of i n s t i t u t i o n a l change of t h e s o r t j u s t d i s c u s s e d are poorlyunderstood.There i s evidence that universities, for example, are among t h e mostConservative i n s t i t u t i o n si no u rs o c i e t y . I n any case, t h e r a p i d development of alternatfve structures for education will b e n e i t h e r s i m p l e nor easy. O t h e o t h e r hand, t h e w i l l i n g n e s s of community c o l l e g e s , which do n i n o t have a l o n g t r a d i t i o n , t o c o n s i d e r new methodsof instruction i ! r; and new approaches i s encouraging,There are problems of p r e j u d i c e 3 and entrenchment, but there are a l s o i n t e l l e c t u a l problemsofunder- s t a n d i n gt h ek i n d s of o r g a n i z a t i o n w e want f o r t h e f u t u r e . The technology affords many p o s s i b i l i t i e s , b u t we have not thought through which of these possibilities we c o n s i d e r t h e mostadvantageous, t h e most i n t e r e s t i n g , o r t h e most e x c i t i n g . The c e n t r a l i d e a I havebeenstressing í s thatthroughcomputers we have t h e means t o d e v e l o p a l t e r n a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s t h a t will effectivelydecentralizethepresenteducationalsystem. - T h e i s s u e of i d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of s e r v i c e s , of places of work, ofalmost a l l aspects I of our l i f e i s g r a d u a l l y coming t o t h e f o r e as a c e n t r a l s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l problemof t h e l a s t p a r t of t h et w e n t i e t hc e n t u r y . The issues involved in decentralizing education w i l l be among t h e most s i g n i f i c a n to ft h e s ep r o b l e m s of d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , The problems t h a t f a c e us are n o t r e a l l y t e c h n o l o g i c a l : t h e y are conceptual, i n s t i t u t i o n a l , and s o c i a l . I h a v ec e r t a i n l yn o t made anyconcrete suggestionsfortacklingtheseproblems; a t most, I h a v e t r i e d t o b r i n g them t o y o u r a t t e n t i o n .

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