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Mr. BRADEMAS. I am happy to hear that.
Dr. Lamkin, your research priorities at the moment as I understand it in your own area of responsibility would be libraries. Can you make any comments on new work in the information sciences field or the educational technology field that you would hope, if your own priorities were attended to, could be undertaken by the NIE? STATEMENT OF BURTON E. LAMKIN, ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER,
BUREAU OF LIBRARY AND EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, OFFICE OF EDUCATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE
Dr. LAMKIN. We look forward, Mr. Chairman, with great anticipation to the formation of NIE because we believe the research program that we currently administer in the Bureau of Libraries and Educational Technology has not been able to properly address the major research needs we have in libraries, information science, and educational technology. So I look to NIE as being the resource that we will depend on to provide the basic research that we need in this field.
If I might give an example, in the past we have supported many small endeavors undertaken by researchers to come up with various different types of research results. With the level of funding that we have been able to use for these purposes, we have found that this had very little Federal impact.
As a result, we have had to shift our emphasis from fragmenting and supporting small projects to attempting to launch several major demonstrations where we could actually show and communicate how libraries, technologies or instructional resources in general can be used to further support reform in the educational system.
Therefore, we are not using any of our funds at this time to support library information science type research endeavors, and we expect the NIE to take on this responsibility.
Mr. BRADEMAS. You are rather different in this respect from some of the other bureaus in OE which apparently do have some funds earmarked for research. Is that correct?
Dr. LAMKIN. We do have funds earmarked for research, ves, in the broad context. We consider a planning component, a demonstration component and developmental activities along these lines to be the way in which we exercise our research authority.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I wonder if, Dr. Davies, you could comment on just a couple of other questions before we conclude here.
I take it from what has been said that the several activities which are represented here today and others that may not be represented from OE will be carrying on a degree of what could be called research within their own shops, although the main focus of R. & D. would now be established in NIE. Is that correct?
Dr. DAVIES. Yes; with all of the limitations that Ed Martin provided on delineating that research role, and in most of the things that we would be talking about, research would not be the accurate term.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Given the various responsibilities of the shops within the Office of Education, how will priorities be determined for research to be supported by the NIE?
In other words, I should have thought that, given a finite sum of money, there will be, as is always the case and it is quite appropriate, a competition for those funds. Who is going to decide what kind of research ought to be undertaken? What kind of mechanism do you presently envisage for making those judgments, and what kinds of mechanisms do you contemplate for the ongoing relationships between the present constituent parts of OE and the proposed NIE?
Dr. Davies. On the former question, this is one of the most important parts of the work of the planning unit, to develop recommended processes for identifying the most important problems needing solution and setting up a process for setting priorities. Harry, or members of the planning unit, might want to comment further about that. I assume you are talking about NIE, how are they going to write priorities.
The planning unit now, as you will see in this work plan, are going to give a very substantial attention to that question.
Dr. SILBERMAN. I would guess this would involve conversations and discussions and conferences with a very wide number of people across the country.
Mr. BRADEMAS. Would you repeat that? I am sorry.
Dr. SILBERMAN. I am saying, trying to determine priorities involves getting concensus by talking to a large number of people across the country and getting people to have a dialog, talking about what things are more important in the way of current pressing problems.
These specific programs are probably going to be determined by the analysis of the general problem areas that are identified through these discussions.
Mr. BRADEMAS. That is putting it in the passive tense. Let me have a transitive verb. Who is going to be doing the deciding?
Dr. SILBERMAN. I would expect there will be a policy group, your National Advisory Council, that will provide guidance to the Director of NIE as to priorities. They should provide guidance to NIE about the problem areas that are most important.
Dr. Davies. Of course, this is also a place where the kind of interchange between OE and NIE becomes important and the kind of interchange between those of those agencies and the field, so both agencies are being as well informed as possible as to what the real problems are.
I would expect that the Commissioner would want to take a very important and active role in that priority establishment process.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I would hope and I am sure that is the case, that your planning group will be giving very careful attention to the questions of the relationships between the Commissioner and the Director, and the relationships between operating programs in OE and the research and development programs in NIE and to who makes decisions, and to how those decisions are made.
You have given me rather general responses, by which I take you to be saying that these are matters on which you are presently working and have not yet totally resolved.
Dr. Davies. That is right. On the point of relationships between operating units and NIE, we hope to establish a kind of model for that in the planning process itself by having the representatives that you see before you plus other representatives of the operating units work very closely with the planning unit on all matters in which there are some mutual interest.
Mr. BRADEMAS. A final question. We have not said anything here today that would indicate that there would be relationships between other Federal agencies that might be engaged in research and development that would have a bearing on the learning process and the work of the NIE. I should therefore invite your comment on the question of whether NIE people will be talking to, let's say, National Science Foundation personnel or Department of Defense people engaged in educational research, or to researchers at the National Institutes of Health?
Indeed, I should not be surprised that we would be expecting a good deal of research about the learning process coming out of NIĦ in the years immediately ahead.
Do you have any comment on that question?
Dr. Davies. Yes; such conversations and review of programs will go on not only during the planning period but also after NIE is established. It would seem to be essential if it is going to be effective not to wall itself off from other research enterprises, particularly since it is our intent to have as broad a base of research interest in NIE as possible, that they will have much in common with researchers and developers in other agencies.
That kind of relationship and program review will begin with a planning unit now and will continue then after the NIE becomes established.
Mr. BRADEMAS. I might say by way of concluding, Dr. Davies, that as soon as you have developed that model, you might consider talking about it with members of this committee in any event. I say that not because we are naturally nosey, but to reiterate my own conviction that the National Institute of Education is an opportunity of such constructive potential for education in this country that I hope that there can be the closest cooperation not only across party lines but between the executive and legislative branches in refining and shaping the concept. My own conviction is, as I know you are aware, that if we are really to generate substantial support for educational research and development in Congress, we are going to need to understand as fully as we can just what it is we are talking about. So I hope very much that we shall be able to continue the kind of extremely valuable conversation that we have had here this morning, and I want again to express my own appreciation and that of Mr. Quie to all of you for having allowed us to put so many questions to you and having elicited from you so many useful responses. Thank you very much.
Dr. Davies. Thank you very much. We appreciate your interest. Mr. BRADEMAS. Thank you. We are adjourned.
(The following articles were submitted for the record :) RESPONSES TO REPRESENTATIVE BRADEMAS' QUESTIONS BY LEE G. BURCHINAL,
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL COMMUNICATION, OFFICE OF EDUCATION, HEW
WHAT TECHNIQUES OF NCEC CAN BEST BE CARRIED OUT BY NIE? The function now being performed by NCEC wbich can best be performed by NIE is that of research and development on dissemination and utilization of scientific knowledge about education. What is needed is increased research and development on factors which facilitate or inhibit change in educational organizations, design of major new alternatives for communication of the results of research and development to educational agencies, and assessment of current knowledge utilization practices in education. NCEC, on the other hand, would stress enhancement and utilization of current mechanisms and instrumentalities for educational communication and apply the results of NIE research and development on dissemination in improved spread and adoption of validated alternatives to current educational practice.
HOW DO YOU THINK COOPERATION BETWEEN NIE AND NCEC CAN BEST GO FORWARD ?
Cooperation between NIE and NCEC can expand easily from the already established joint activities between NCEC and NCERD. NCEC can provide a dissemination outlet for all NIE documents through ERIC and can also assure complete access to the knowledge base in education to NIE by providing information seryices from ERIC and the Educational Reference Center. NCEC also provides an effective mechanism for fostering communication and installation of the products of NIE in operating educational settings. This will be done (as is currently the case) by enlisting the resources of other organizational units reporting to the Deputy Commissioner for Development and other Bureaus of the Office of Education. (During the current fiscal year, NCEC is supporting dissemination and installation of 10 tested R&D products). Such efforts must be based on early and continuous formal planning arrangements, even during the early development stages for complex products, so that NCEC and other parts of the Office may plan dissemination and installation strategies and program funds for later fiscal years. The resulting dissemination programs are implemented by thorough close interaction literally daily-between the two staffs.
Our successful experience could be elaborated as a guide to NIE-NCEC cooperation by :
1. Establishing formal joint planning between NIE and NCEC with dissemination and installation interests in OE included.
2. Arranging for joint NIE-OE staff work in planning, developing, and moni. toring programs so that R&D results can be moved readily from development to wide installation.
3. Exchanging staff between NIE and OE so that each group can develop confidence and understanding in the others' policies and activities.
HOW WILL PRIORITIES BE DECIDED BY YOUR PROGRAM AND PRIORITIES SET BY NIE BE
RESOLVED? WILL YOU HAVE ANY SAY IN DECIDING PRIORITIES?
A major instrumentality for mutual accommodation of NIE and OE policies resides in the Commissioner of Education, who can weigh and balance the differing interests and needs of the research and development and the educational practice communities. Perhaps the key OE staff position in such articulation of plans is the Deputy Commissioner for Development, who is responsible for dissemination, statistics, educational personnel development, and related activities focused on bringing about educational change. In addition, since both agencies will be addressing themselves to a single set of national goals and priorities, some degree of consensus will emerge. Third, and more concretely, both agencies will be operating under the Departmental Operational Planning System and will therefore be concentrating a major portion of their resources on identical priorities. Finally, formal joint planning through the NIE Advisory Board will commit both OE and NIE to support of major innovations and their national use.
RESPONSES TO REPRESENTATIVE BRADEMAS' QUESTIONS BY EDWIN W. MARTIN,
1. What problems have been caused in the past by a general research agency having responsibility for research in education of handicapped children?
The problems were related to priorities and individual interests. There are so many educational problems which require attention that the problems of handicapped children were generally given a low priority. When the Cooperative Research Act was originally funded, two thirds of the funds were earmarked for research on mental retardation. The earmarking was removed after two years and the amount invested in all areas of the handicapped quickly dropped to less than five percent. In contrast to this, support for research on handicapped chil. dren increased by a factor of 15 when the responsibility for research budgeting was a part of a larger program specifically concerned with the handicapped.
2. What is the Special Education Instructional Materials Center Network? Is it unique_is there a similar general education network?
Isn't this an example of the value of research support being closely related to operational programs?
The Special Education Instructional Materials Center Network began in 1964 as a demonstration project to show how to help teachers of handicapped children keep up with new teaching materials. The project was so successful that it was enlarged into a network of Regional Centers. As these centers became successful they were copied at the State and local levels until today there are over 300 centers scattered across the Nation. These centers all work together to share information, thus making it possible for information to flow two ways, from the national network office down to individual teachers and from individual teachers up to the national office and from there to the U.S. Office of Education.
We know of nothing similar in regular education. Ultimately those concerned with the problems of communicating to teachers in regular classrooms may build upon this network for that purpose.
This is a good example of the value of keeping research support closely related to operational programs. The network could not have developed as quickly were it not for the cooperation of other administrative its concerned andicapped children. The training of personnel to manage the 300 local centers was assisted by the fellowship funds administered by a Division of Personnel Training and the operation of many of the local centers is supported by other related programs managed by the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped.
3. Why has it been necessary for Congress to mandate the creation of the Bureau of Education of the Handicapped and to specify the participation of handicapped children in the Vocational Education Act, Title III of ESEA, etc.?
Historically, relatively few people have been interested in the problems of handicapped children. School administrators and program managers at various levels often pay token attention to the problems of these children and then often because of pressures generated by parents or legislators. Public school administrators rarely develop programs for handicapped children unless State laws require such programs or the cost of such programs is substantially reimbursed by non-local funds. Administrators at State and Federal levels are generally concerned with the broader issues of education and attend directly to such issues. Thus, it has been unusual for administrators to move by themselves to organize, promote and support programs for handicapped children. Because of this, the Congress considered it necessary to mandate that funds be earmarked for the education of handicapped children and that a reasonable structure be established in the U.S. Office of Education to permit a coordinated effort to bring more effective services to these children.
4. Give an example of the close working relationship between research, teacher education and actual classroom instruction support programs in the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped.
The best single example of this occurred with visually impaired children. Three research projects had demonstrated quite conclusively that many children who are considered blind actually have residual vision which could be useful if the children could be taught to use it. Actual teaching systems and materials were developed as a part of the research. The results of the research were disseminated in the traditional manner and the staff of the Division of Research assumed that people were changing their approaches to these children in light of the new findings. This was a false assumption. When the Division staff discovered that people were ignoring the result findings, steps were taken to correct the situation.
The problem was to retrain teachers of blind children across the country. To do this required the cooperation of all of the units of the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped. The challenge was made by the Division of Research to the professionals making up the field of the blind. The challenge was to have every child with low vision receiving appropriate services within one year of the date of the challenge. The management of the problem was turned over to a staff member in the Division of Personnel Training effort. A conference grant was made through the research division to train area representatives in the use of materials. The Instructional Materials Center in Louisville, Kentucky, supported through research funds, was asked to prepare materials necessary for the program.