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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 61, Number 8 (Dec. 1959)

Grassroots research,   p. 27


Page 27


GRASSROOTS RESEARCH
                                        UW-M sponsored project
                                        aims at curriculum study
                                        by school people involved
  Research is an important word in the
United States today. Industry spends
millions to develop newer and better
products and services. The federal gov-
%ý   %_ 4l.. CL& O %4k1 ILIL%_CLaL l l), aLaIL%- 6UV"l-l
ments are investing heavily in research.
So are private foundations. A university
professor's activities in research are a
main criterion in the measurement of
his professional success.
  Yet an embarassingly small amount
of research has been carried on within
the American public school system-re-
search that might show the way to better
curriculum patterns, to improved teach-
ing methods and to more strongly moti-
vated students. And almost none of
these studies have been carried on by
local school systems.
  Now the University of Wisconsin-
Milwaukee and a group of public school
educators in southeastern Wisconsin are
coming directly to grips with this prob-
lem.
  After several years of preliminary dis-
cussion, the UW-Milwaukee School of
Education and more than 15 school sys-
tems have organized the unique Lake-
Wisconsin Alumnus, December, 1959
shore Curriculum Study Council, de-
signed to foster cooperative research
that will be shared by all-in cost, con-
duct, and results. The council's chairman
intendent of schools.
   Gerald Gleason, an associate profes-
sor of elementary education at the
UW-M and the executive secretary of
the new council, explains its aims like
this:
   1. The strengthening and improve-
ment of instructional practices in mem-
ber school systems through cooperative
study and research;
   2. Necessary guidance, assistance and
leadership for this research;
   3. Provision for direct involvement
of member school systems in this re-
search through their personnel, facilities
and finances.
  Other school study councils have been
formed in other areas of the country
and their findings have been helpful in
improving educational offerings. How-
ever, none has attempted to involve 1-
cal school personnel in research to the
extent proposed by the Lakeshore group.
   In actual fact, membership in the
LCSC will be available to any public
school system in the state-although it
is expected that the key role being
played by the UW-M as sponsor will
tend   to concentrate  membership   in
southeastern Wisconsin. Present mem-
bership includes Fort Atkinson, Sheboy-
gan, Waukesha and Oconomowoc, as
well as a number of Milwaukee county
systems.
   Every LCSC member has assumed
some definite responsibilities:
   One representative of each school
system will serve on the board of
directors.
   Each school system must actively par-
ticipate in at least one research project
a year.
   Each system must provide for "re-
leased time" of its personnel associated
with research projects so that projects
may be planned and executed and their
results evaluated and communicated to
other member groups.
  Each system must agree to provide
experimental and control groups when
called upon to do so.
  It will cost school systems from $200
to $300 for membership, depending
upon their size, plus up to $500 per
year for special joint research projects.
  The UW-M holds membership in the
LCSC on the same basis as the other
members, and also will furnish con-
sultative stalt and material resources to
conduct various research projects. These
latter include not only the campus ele-
mentary school, but an excellent curric-
ulum library as well as the resources of
other campus libraries.
  The State Department of Public In-
struction also will serve the LCSC,
largely in a consultative capacity.
   Dean George Denemark of the UW-
Milwaukee School of Education is en-
thusiastic about the possibilities of the
study council project.
   "Not only can we utilize the practical
knowledge of educators right on the
firing line," he remarks, "but the coun-
cil's program has a distinctive advan-
tage in producing research findings
which may be adapted for everyday use.
Psychologically speaking, a person is
most likely to modify his behavior as a
result of research if he himself has had
a hand in gathering the information."
27


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