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the gradual unfolding of attitudes and skills for continuous learning, from the earliest to the later years of life.

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The essential needs for the educative community at the adult level of the complementary-functional system are the same as for the other systems: (1) commitment to continuous learning as an instrument for facing change creatively; (2) skill in use of the learning process; and (3) development of facilities. Commitment.-Adult education directed toward more mature receptivity to change has not as yet been a major concern of either research or practice. tend to be satisfied with chronological age as an index of maturing adults. the preadult years this measure has been discarded as the sole index in favor of observable phenomena of behavior such as sociability-unsociability, effective work-idleness, eagerness-listlessness. From these observable traits, theories of maturity, early maturity, late maturity of children and youth have been derived and implications for educational planning have been developed.

What evidence of similar nature do we have about the continuum of adult maturity beyond adolescence? Very little of a useful nature, although some research theories have been formulated, and there are probably important implications to be drawn from recent advances in the behavioral sciences. We believe that wholehearted commitment of both the educator and adult learners to potential continuous education depends partially upon the way in which either or both value continuous learning as a way of maturing toward one's full potential. But such a value-judgment is possible only when we have developed some more precise measures of maturing adulthood. We believe that the discovery of such measures lies somewhere in the realm of our ability to predict both social and individual change and provision of learning required to meet it.

With increased knowledge available from the social sciences of prediction of social change, such as population projections, changes in industrial and agricultural technology, nonwork and leisure-time, we should be able to prepare adults for meeting these changes according to their levels of maturity, for meeting change constructively, creatively.

We need to extend the productive beginnings of developmental studies of growth of children and youth to similar research in the adult area. Such questions as the following need to be examined:

(1) What are the behaviors which would differentiate 30 years of growth from 1 experience repeated 30 times? Can we evolve some useful measures of maturity?

(2) What are the predictable stress points common to most adults: individual problems, family problems, problems of the changing environment, problems of the changing meanings of existence?

These questions and research designs for them are illustrative of what is needed to begin to establish some useful indices of the maturing adult. Until we move in this direction on a grand scale of research, there is little hope that the commitment of the complementary-functional system will still be much more than an opportunistic one, meeting change belatedly rather than with anticipation and creativity.

Skill in the use of the learning process

Once we can identify and predict adult growth stages, what are the things that are most important to preparing adults to meet these changes with competence and confidence? Better provisions for counseling and improved instruction specifically designed for adults are needed.

(a) Counseling adults.-Adults in our times need skillful and professional counseling about the learning process and the resources for learning. This is true because of: (a) the rapidly expanding number of alternatives in adult decisionmaking among which a person must choose; (b) the changes taking place among the alternatives within decades or less. These choices are being accelerated in numbers and complexity in the field of citizenship, personal and family health, consumer practices, and recreation, as well as in vocational life. Based upon knowledge gained from our proposed studies of the developing process of adults, we should be able to identify and characterize some of these choices and their variables with different levels of maturity.

By using some of the new mechanical resources for storing and retrieving this information, it should be possible to organize the factual materials for counseling so an adult could have a much more complete picture of the possibilities and their suitability for him. We have some evidence to assure us that adults would seek and use such information if it were available. But wider dif

fusion of such information should be a subject of research as well as longitudinal studies to verify hypotheses of the best ways to facilitate decisionmaking.

(b) Adult instruction.-While some progress has been made in improving the teaching and learning process of adults in the complemetary-functional system, particularly in industry and the Armed Forces, it is still largely derived from the sequential-unit system. Because of this, the process is inadequate on at least two counts; (1) it has no theory of continuity, since the complementaryfunctional system is not graded and graduated from one level of subject-matter achievement to another and as pointed out above, we lack information about adult maturation; (2) it has adopted the weaknesses as well strengths of the sequential-unit system, particularly in the fact that in neither system is sufficient attention given to instruction in how to learn.

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We need research that will construct new theories of continuity for adult learning, based on more reliable measures of adult development and anticipated maturity stages, rather than grade-level achievement.

Finally, we need research that will produce tests and measures of ability to learn. These measures should be applicable to any chronological age level, graduated for appropriate norms in the learning process, and subject to interpretation for the teaching-learning process.

These adult tests should help us answer such questions as the following: At what stage of ability to learn is the graduate of the elementary school? The high school? The university? The graduate of any of these, then, 20, of 50 years later? At any stage, what does the person know about how to learn when he faced a problem of life? At any stage, what does he know about the available resources for learning? At any stage, how could he manage to study, to obtain necessary new knowledge in the face of change?


Institutions concerned with the continuous education of adults have been slow to experiment with adaptations to new potentialities of individual and homestudy, group-study and community development that are uniquely appropriate for adult education.

New resources for individual and home-study of adults loom large when we anticipate the variety of adaptations of programed materials, films, film-strips, tapes. The full potential of the use of educational radio and television has not been tapped. More constructive coordination of newspapers, magazines, and professional journals with systematic adult home-study is possible. The rising tide of adult use of paperback books has, with a few exceptions scarcely been exploited in planned and systematic adult education programs.

The potentialities for extending facilities for group-study for adults in classes, courses, discussion groups are also promising. Some progress has been made in this direction in recent years. However there are major breakthroughs yet to be made in such developments of materials, methods, and processes that are not only for adults but are adult in quality, and designed to help meet adult problems. Moreover we have yet to explore with any seriousness the adaptation of group-study to adult groups already formulated, such as informal and autonomous groups, as contrasted to the proliferation of new and somewhat unnatural or artificial group-study programs.

The potentialities for utilizing the continuous educational opportunities in social action projects are also challenging. The problem for the educator is not that of controlling or inhibiting social action; that would be quixotic. It is, rather, to encourage and diffuse throughout various social action projects the use of the educational process of continuous study, of teaching adults to gather and interpret data, of planning social action that will have cumulative and long-term value, of learning to appraise social action procedures in terms of experience, of learning to balance consequences of social action in one direction with those in another direction.

The potentialities for adult education for responsible citizenship of this type is best seen through some of the community development projects throughout the world that have been planned from the outset not only to achieve some desirable community objective, but as "laboratories" for learning the responsibilities of rational citizenship. These more educationally sound programs of social action need to be studied, their educational potentialities sifted and strengthened and the residual educational values diffused.

Important as the refinement and extension of these three types of facilities are, we are beginning to learn in adult education that the fine art of education

is in a coordinate use of all of them. A few outstanding experiments of this use of facilities on a communitywide basis have been widely heralded by the professional educator and the participating adults alike. We believe there should be further exploitation of these beginnings, guided by patient research, communitywide planning and evaluation. This is another point at which we feel that the best educational talent of the family system of education, the sequential-unit system and the complementary-functional system should be concentrated-to utilize the best that is known about facilitating continuous education of adults as maturing personalities, parents, citizens, workers, and as architects of our community life and environment.


The key to development of continuous learning through the educative community is the commitment to it of educators and leaders of each of the systems of the total educational enterprise. The profession of education is that group in society that is, or should be, looked upon by its "professors" as one which advances and safeguards the practice of the teaching and learning process, wherever it occurs, whether in the family educational system, the sequentialunit system or the complementary-functional system. To speak of the commitment to continuous learning is not, therefore, adding any new responsibility to the concerns of professional education institutions. It is, rather, to broaden and enlarge the scope and nature of this responsibility from that of advancing and safeguarding the practice of the teaching and learning process in the sequential-unit system to include the competent practice of that process wherever it


The fact that professional education institutions traditionally have focused research and instruction almost exclusively on the sequential-unit system has resulted, at least by default, in various forms of malpractice of the teaching and learning process in other systems. But more importantly it has resulted in perpetuating the lag between the full use of our total educational resources and the need of our times.

On the more favorable side of the balance sheet, however, the professional educational institutions have great potentialities for overcoming these limitations and for influencing the emergence of the educative community. They have access to and are learning to make better use of the newer knowledges of the behavioral and social sciences for studying the individual and social receptivity to change and for accelerating creative response to it.

They have their own researchers and new knowledges of enhancing the practice and technology of the teaching and learning process, unique and peculiar to the profession of education at the sequential-unit level from which generalizations can be drawn and adaptations made to other systems.

What is needed now is the extension of these potentialities to a reconsideration of their application to continuous learning within the total educational enterprise. This enlargement of the scope of commitment of professional educational institutions will call for new qualities of leadership, the most exciting kind of research and bold new patterns of experimentation. But the stakes are high for aiding society to seize upon the possibility of learning to be at home with change.


At the outset of this paper we suggested that we would attempt to develop certain concepts basic to the advancement of continuous education through the educative community. Most of these concepts reviewed can now be subsumed under a recapitulation of the additional research needed. We use the term "research" here to cover all studied approaches to the problem. What we have tried to do is simply to suggest examples of these studied approaches. In several areas a careful ideological analysis is needed. Along with this will go patient descriptive studies and experimental testing of hypotheses.

The research we have suggested can be stated under three major categories, recognizing, of course, their interrelated characteristics. These categories are: (1) the nature of maturity; (2) the requirements of the effective educative community; and (3) the technology of education.


We have emphasized the need for studies that identify and refine growth stages from childhood through adulthood which can be observed and measured in relation to the ability of the individual to meet change positively, critically and constructively. We have suggested that such measures of development should be available not only to the scientist but to the individual himself. Similar measures of growth should be available for families in determining family development and for communities in self-appraisal of neighborhood and community development. In brief, we are aiming here for nothing less than new and useful benchmarks for the maturing personality in the maturing community. The requirements of the effective educative community

Here we have suggested concepts both of the meaning of the educative community and some types of study to identify its excellence in operation. These need careful scrutiny, reformulation, and testing in experimental operation. The heart of the concept we have tried to develop is that the educative community is one in which all of its educational systems are operating in full recognition of the potentialities of the others and in such a way that there are available opportunities for anyone to learn whatever he needs to learn whenever he need to learn it. Studies are needed that will aid communities to know the resources and needs to make this objective a reality. Fundamental to its organization and structure are studies that examine partially developed existing models of educational organization support and control and their potentialities for enlargement as well as studies that will design and test new models. One particular question that needs careful study is that of financing the educative community concept. For example, we have raised the question of the economy of our present concepts and stereotypes. How can we redistribute the total educational expenditure for all systems to provide the most appropriate education at the most appropriate times in our development so as to get our money's worth out of educational expenditure? The technology of education

Here we are referring to studies needed to reexamine the process of interrelation of the nature of maturity to the effective educative community. One type of study we have suggested is that which will lead all educational systems to a stronger more realistic commitment to the concept of continuous learning. For example: how can the family system of education develop continuous learning to strengthen our sense of belonging in the face of accelerated changes of jobs and habits? What are the roles of sequential-unit system and the complementaryfunctional systems in helping the family attain this objective? A related question is what is the role of the total community in influencing family development without violating its privacy and freedom?

A second type of study of the technology of education needed is that which will sharpen our skills in learning to learn and in learning to select and give priority to what needs to be learned at any given time in our development. Here we have emphasized the need for studies that will aid us not only in choosing the areas of essential learning, but also in the improvement of the teaching and learning process, once we have selected it. Here we have been concerned with such questions as the relating of the instruction in the sequential-unit system to the community experiences of children and youth and the learning most appropriate for them at different stages of their growth, the learnings needed and the counseling available for adults to meet predictable stress points in their maturing process. We have also been concerned with studies that might help to break down our stereotypes about the primary and secondary schools and higher educational institutions being the "last chance" for learning.

A third aspect of studies needed in educational technology is that of extending, adapting and inventing devices to facilitate continuous learning. We have illustrated this by suggesting studies in the extended use of facilities for home and individual study, in experimentation with new group-study methods, in more intensive analysis of the educative values of social action programs and of the autonomous and informal groups in the community. Most promising of all types of research in the use of facilities is that of learning to make interrelated and coordinative use of the many kinds according to the nature of the continuing educational situation.

The implication of further development of these three research areas for professional education institutions is clearly that unless these institutions take the initiative for such research it will probably either not get done or go by default to other agencies less well qualified. Since many of the elements of these studies are already either underway or on the boards of professional education as they relate to the sequential-unit system, we suggest that new efforts be concentrated in studies related to the family-system and the complementary-functional system, particularly at the adult level.


Washington, D.C., March 29, 1966.

Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Health, Education, Welfare, and Safety, U.S. Senate Committee on the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SENATOR MORSE: The National Education Association wishes to go on record in support of S. 293 and S. 1612, to establish a public junior college and a 4-year public college for the District of Columbia.

The need for such higher education facilities has been ably documented by the many witnesses who have testified in support of this legislation. The National Education Association concurs with the statement of its affiliated organization, the District of Columbia Education Association relative to the desirability of providing public education institutions to serve the citizens of the District just as the States provide public institutions to serve their residents.

We believe that such institutions should be supported entirely by tax sources, with no tuition charges to the students.

The platform of the National Education Association specifically commits the association to seek, under the general heading of goal No. 1 entitled Educational Opportunity for All:

(a) "In each State a system of free public education to promote lifelong learning," and

(e) "Educational opportunity beyond the high school for all who have both the desire and the ability to benefit from it."

With this commitment in mind, the NEA urges the establishment of public higher education facilities to meet the needs of the citizens of the District of Columbia.



Director, Division of Federal Relations.


NATION'S CAPITAL CHAPTER, Washington, D.C., March 29, 1966.

Hon. WAYNE L. MORSE, Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Health, Education, Welfare, and Safety, District of Columbia Committee, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. MORSE: As legislative chairman of the Nation's Capital Chapter of the National Association of Physically Handicapped, Inc., (NAPH), I wish to state that since our organization is very interested in matters pertaining to education, whether on an elementary, secondary, or college level, it heartily endorses bills S. 293 and S. 1612 to establish a public community college in the District.

However, the Nation's Capital Chapter should like to go on record as requesting that your committee recommend that prior to the construction of the above college or similar public educational establishments, certain features be incorporated into the design contract eliminating, as far as possible, such architectural barriers as steps, narrow doors, etc., in order to make these buildings accessible to the handicapped or aged. Hence, we propose that special consideration be given in building specifications to ramps or level entrances, doors 30 inches wide, accessible bathroom facilities.

At present, I am taking an evening course twice a week at the District of Columbia Teachers' College, and have encountered an excessive number of steps both outside and inside the building, thus making it difficult to continue my course there.

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