Television's Impact on American Culture

By William Y. Elliott | Go to book overview

members can be spread out rather thinly over the increased enrollments expected by colleges and universities before administrators will be faced with the necessity of finding additional classroom space as well as more staff members. Those educators who advocate the use of kinescopes in this fashion do not believe that the quality of instructional offerings will suffer.

Some of the administrative problems connected with increasing use of educational television programs as a device for coping with increased enrollments have already been discussed on previous pages.

The day may not be too far away when students who desire a college education, but who have been denied admittance because of the shortage of facilities for higher learning may be able to fulfill requirements for a bachelor's degree entirely by television.


SUMMARY, MAJOR PROBLEMS FACING IN-SCHOOL EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION

It is significant that the number of communities which believe that their needs for in-school television service can be met only through a station exclusively devoted to educational television is growing. The number of such stations as of early 1956 is twenty-two with ten additional stations in the planning or construction stage. These communities have become convinced that despite the many obstacles in the way of financing, staffing, and maintaining educational television stations of higher caliber, educational television programs have sufficient purpose and place in the teaching process to justify the attempts to overcome these hurdles. Research and time will tell if they are on the right track.

Sufficient experience has already been accumulated on the relation of educational television to formal education to insure its potential as a powerful tool in aiding pupil learning. However, not enough evidence has as yet been produced to guarantee its educational effectiveness. Study projects now in progress and planned for the future should help to validate this hypothesis.

Prevailing opinion on the basic uses of educational television seems to be that of supplementing the resources already possessed by the teacher in the sense of fulfilling his needs for teaching materials not available to and not procurable for him. Those programs which make good use of local realia are most popular with teachers and pupils alike. Local materials, cultural and educational, tend to dictate the general nature of educational television programming in the area of formal education just as administrative patterns develop along lines best suited to local conditions. Although there is a need to exchange information and know-how between educational stations, it may be that educational television's greatest strength lies in the special peculiarities and characteristics of the separate local developments.

There is some reason to believe that after the novelty and enthrallment

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