Volume 11, Issue 2 (1982)
Synthesis and Editorial Comment
Douglas T. Brown, Bartell W. Cordon
The scenarios generated by the participants at Olympia demonstrate the difficulty in predicting long term futures. However, certain themes emerged. Reduced resources and the need to improve cost efficiency in the provision of services was a central theme. Major structural changes in the educational system were also cited. This included growth in the private educational system and a movement toward contracting with private firms to provide basic services in the schools. Accompanying these changes could be a progressive decentralization of the education process both in terms of regulating authority and funding sources. The federal government was seen as playing a progressively smaller role in education throughout the remainder of the century. Repeatedly, the computer revolution was cited as having impact on all of society beyond that which can be currently imagined. By the 1990's computers will be fundamental tools utilized in the homes and schools in this country. There was recognition that computers may supplant many of the traditional roles of educators and psychologists. The result of this micro-electronic revolution could be the polarization of society on the basis of technical knowledge or the lack of it. Public education may find itself struggling to retrain much of society in this new technology. In this regard, educators will need to diversify the mechanisms used to communicate knowledge. The need to educate the majority of the population continuously will foster new and innovative approaches to information exchange. The net result could be drastic structural changes in the fundamental education process as we know it today. The consensus seems to be that school psychologists should be preparing now for this change. Special emphasis should be placed on research and development in areas such as computer assisted instruction, post secondary continuing education, and program evaluation technology. School psychologists seem to be uniquely prepared to carry out these endeavors. A consensus which can be drawn from the conference is that school psychologists must change the direction of current service provision strategies in order to meet the demands specified above.
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