Drucker revisited (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 1997 17:11:19 -0500
From: "Neal, Ed" <emneal.ctl@mhs.unc.edu>
To: learn@listserv.oit.unc.edu
Subject: Drucker revisited

Roger Akers' recent posting of Peter Drucker's prediction of the demise 
of Universities was interesting.  It  reminded me of a book I have that 
was published in 1966:   Murphey, J. & Gross, R.  "Learning by 
Television. " New York:  The Fund for the Advancement of Education.   The 
last chapter of this work is entitled "The Future of ITV" and it contains 
some predictions  that sound suspiciously familiar:


In 1961, Lester Asheim summarized the predictions of a group of 
outstanding ITV experts in a chapter appearing in Educational Television: 
The Next Ten Years. For the purposes of this report those same experts 
were asked in 1965 to update their expectations for the future on the 
basis of their experience in the intervening four years:

Although in 1971 the normal road to the college degree is still likely to 
be residence instruction, it is not impossible that as much as 50 percent 
of the college degree program will be available for credit via television 
. . .

Not every school, rural and urban, will have television by 1971, but 
probably every *major* school, college and university will have at least 
*one* closed-circuit system, and there will not be many school children 
who will not have had some television in their educational experience . . 

Some adaptation of the Stoddard Plan will be typical:  part of the day 
utilized in the large television class, and the rest in 
smaller-than-usual groups for discussion and socialization.  The exact 
proportion in television and non-television classes is not yet 
determined, and certainly it will differ for different kinds of subject 
matter and at different levels.  But the future will probably see 
something like 20 minutes out of the hour given to television at the 
elementary and secondary levels, and 30 minutes at the college level . . 

The greatest changes will be apparent in teaching method.  ETV will 
spearhead the movement toward the better use of instruction materials of 
all kinds, with the emphasis not on the gadget but on communication.  
There will be a tendency for the discussion groups to be even smaller 
than the present classroom, with ability groupings to facilitate the 
discussion.  The emphasis on ability groupings will lead to greater 
attention to the most able students, with greater reliance upon 
independent study and the development of responsibility for learning in 
the learner himself.  

School buildings will be much more flexible and adaptable, with portable 
soundproof partitions and similar features designed with ETV in mind . . 

The respondents predicted the continued growth in the use of TV for 
direct instruction; flexibility and eclecticism in the use of 
closed-circuit and broadcasting systems; greater and more reliable 
support for instructional television in school budgets; an increased 
number of expert practitioners; further reductions in the cost of ITV; 
and greater regional cooperation and federal support leading to higher 
quality.  They expected to see libraries of videotapes and numerous 
special uses for ITV such as international conversations for language 
students via satellite, and preschool programs modeled on the lines of 
Operation Head Start.

A documentary on civil rights, the international programs beamed from 
Telstar, Robert Frost reading his own poems, the unforgettable scenes of 
President Kennedy's funeral or Pope Paul VI's visit to the United States, 
the debate and teach-ins on Vietnam--it doesn't matter whether a student 
views these by himself or with five or six of his fellows or in a group 
of 100 or 500.  But with instructional programs pinpointed in purpose, 
and with TV integrated into the classroom and made flexible, ITV could be 
used for individual as well as mass instruction, and for highly focused 
purposes in between."


Of course we know that all these predictions came to pass and that 
Instructional Television transformed American education in the 1970's.  
One final note:  A previous chapter, entitled "ITV at the Crossroads,"  
begins with a 1966 quotation from Lester Nelson, the Acting Director of 
the National Project for Improvement of Televised Instruction.  Nelson 
wrote:  "We're at the crossroads.  We've got the hardware.  There's more 
government money available than ever before, and more is promised.  We 
have the chance to do more educational good in the next five years than 
in the past fifteen."

Ed Neal (ed_neal@unc.edu)
Director of Faculty Development
Center for Teaching and Learning
Campus Box #3470
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3470
    Ph: (919) 966-1289
    Fx: (919) 962-5236
Human history becomes more and
more a race between education and 
catastrophe.  H.G. Wells