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THE NATIONAL SCIENCE
PREPARED FOR THE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, RESEARCH,
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SCIENCE POLICY RESEARCH DIVISION
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS l///,',' ",
1 h S
Printed for the use of the Committee on Science and Techni(iology
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COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
OLIN E. TEAGUE, Texas, Chairman
KEN HECHLER, WestVirciia
THOMAS N. DOWNING, Virginia
DON FUQUA, Florida
JAMES W. S YM 1INGTON, Missouri
WALTER FLOWERS, Alabama
ROBERT A. ROE, New Jersey
MIKE McCORMACK, Washintgton
GEORGE E. BROWN, JR., California
DALE MILFORD, Texas
FAY THORNTON, Arkansas
JAMES H. SCHEUER, Now York
RICHARD L. OTTINGER, New York
HENRY A. WAXMAN, California
PHILIP H. HAYES, Indiana
TOM HARKIN, Iowa
JIM LLOYD, California
JEROME A. AMBRO, New York
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
MICHAEL T. BLOUIN, Iowa
TIM L. HALL, Illinois
ROBERT (BOB) KRUEGER, Texas
MARILYN LLOYD, Tennessee
JAMES J. BLANCHARD, Michigan
TIMOTHY E. WIRTH, Colorado
CHARLES A. MOSHER, Ohio
ALPHONZO BELL, California
JOHN JARMAN, Oklahoma
JOHN W. WYDLER, New York
LARRY WINN, JR., Kansas
LOUIS FREY, JR., Florida
BARRY M. GOLDWATER, JR., California
MARVIN L. ESCH, Mi.higan
JOHN B. CONLAN, Arizona
GARY A. MYERS, Pennsylvania
DAVID F. EMERY, Maain:
LARRY PRESSLER, South Dakota
JOHN L. SWIGERT, Jr., Executive Director
HAROLD A. GOULD, Deputy Director
PHILIP B. YEAGER, Counsel
FRANK R. HAMMILL, Jr., Counsel
JAMES E. WILSON, Technical Consultant
J. THOMAS RATCHFORD, Science Consultant
JOHN D. HOLMFELD, Science Consultant
RALPH N. READ, Technical Consultant
SROBERT C. KETCHAM, Counsel
;REGINA A. DAVIS, Clerk
MICHAEL A. SUPERATA, Minority Counsel
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, RESEARCH, AND TECHNOLOGY
JAMES W. SYMINGTON, Missouri, Chairman
DON FUQUA, Florida
WALTER FLOWERS. Alabama
MIKE McCORMACK, WVashing t6n
GEORGE E. BROWN, JR., California
RAYT THORNTON, Arkansas
JAMES H. SC II E U E R, New York
TOM HARKIN, Iowa
JIM LLOYD, California
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
TIM L. HALL, Illinois
ROBERT (BOB) KRUEGER, Texas
MARILYN LLOYD, Tennessee
TIMOTHY E. WIRTH, Colorado
CHARLES A. MOSHER, Ohio
MARVIN L. ESCH, Michigan
LARRY PRESSLER, South Dakota
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,
Washington, D.C., January 22, 1976.
Hon. LINE. TEAGUE,
Chairman, Committee on Science and Technology,
House of Representatives,
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Last June, as part of this subcommittee's
oversight responsibilitie-; of the National Science Foundation, I
requested the Congressional Research Service to undertake a com-
prehensive review of the Foundation's pre-college education support
activities-past and present.
I felt there was a need for a study relating:
1. The reasons for NSF's involvement in this level of education
apart from research as it pertains to this issue;
2. The events and issues which have affected the growth of the
NSF pre-college programs, especially as reflected by the interests
of the Congress and the executive branch;
3. The accomplishments of the National Science Foundation in
this field; and
4. The evolution of the structure of these programs to date.
It is my belief that this report has accomplished the mission it was
designed to do and that it will be of marked value not only to the
subcommittee and the full committee, but to all Members of Congress
and the Foundation as well.
JAMES W. SYMINGTON,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
http://archive.org/detai Is/nasciencef001 i br
LETTER OF SUBMITTAL
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS,
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE,
Hon. JAMES W. SYMINGTON,
Chairman, Subcommittee on Science, Research and Technology, Com-
mittee on Science and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives,
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I am pleased to forward with this letter a
report entitled "The National Science Foundation and Pre-College
Science Education: 1950-1975," prepared at the request of the Sub-
committee on Science, Research and Technology.
This study examines the situations and events which led the
National Science Foundation into an involvement with educational
activities and with the teaching of science at the pre-college level,
and which have shaped the Foundation's educational programs at
the pre-college level over the past 25 years. In accord with your
request, this study is intended to relate:
1. the reasons for NSF's involvement in this level of education
and for its involvement in education apart from research as it
pertains to this issue;
2. the events and issues which have affected the growth of the
NSF pre-college programs, especially as reflected by the interests
of the Congress and the Executive Branch;
3. the accomplishments of the National Science Foundation
in this field; and
4. the evolution of the structure of these programs to date.
This study was conducted by Dr. Langdon T. Crane, Specialist in
Science and Technology and Head of the Management and Policy
Sciences Section of the Science Policy Research Division. The manu-
script was reviewed by Mr. Walter A. Hahn, Assistant Chief of the
Science Policy Research Division and Senior Specialist in Science
On behalf of the Congressional Research Service, I would like to
express my appreciation for the opportunity to undertake this timely
and challenging assignment.
Execu tive summary ----------------------------------------------- 3
A. The issue today ----------------------------------------- 13
B. A brief overview-------------------------------------------- 13
I. General background and executive policies relating to education
programs of the National Science Foundation------------------ 17
A. The mission of NSF----------------------------------- 17
B. Science-The endless frontier: University research and
C. Precollege educational needs and NSF-------------------- 21
D. Problems and objections-------------------------------- 24
II. Developing imperatives for a national program in science education:
The first 10 years of the National Science Foundation- ---------- 27
A. The early period: 1950-55----------------------------- 27
Al. The education programs begin------------------- 29
A2. Summer institutes begin for high school teachers--- 39
A3. Principles of program management --------------- 47
B. Precollege science education begins to attract national
attention: 1956-57----------------------------------- 49
Bl. Academic year institutes begin------------------ 50
B2. Curriculum development begins------------------ 51
B3. Congress enlarges the institutes------------------ 51
B4. The fiscal year 1957 precollege programs: The first
in-service institutes-------------------------- 56
B5. PSSC: First high school curriculum-------------- 58
C. Sputnik and Soviet competition: 1958 and 1959----------- 59
Cl. The National Defense Education Act: NSF agrees
to avoid involvement with schools ------------- 62
C2. NSF puts 46.7% of its budget into education------ 62
C3. NSF institutes begin curriculum instruction ------- 65
D. Summary 1950-59------------------------------------- 68
III. The middle years: Stability and growth 1960-65------------------ 71
A. Fiscal year 1960-Continued congressional intere-t in pre-
college education------------------------------------- 71
Al. "We do not deal with the state school authorities
A2. The fiscal year 1960 institutes program----------- 74
A3. Congre -'s expresses its support------------------- 75
B. Fiscal year 1961-Incereasing questions from Congress about
management of curriculum development ---------------- 76
C. Fiscal year 1962-Continued congressional concern about
curriculum development management- ---------------- 78
Cl. Inquiry into cost of curriculum development------ 78
C2. Inquiry into publishing arrangements--_----------- 81
C3. New programs for fiscal year 1962_ --------------- 82
C4. NSF's first extensive review by Congress---------- 83
D. Fi-cal year 1963-Cooperative College-School Science Pro-
gram initiates curriculum implem-entation -------------- 93
E. Fiscal year 1964-A renewed focus on graduate education-_ 94
F. Fiscal year 1965-NSF begins the Science Development
Fl. Congressional concern about the growth of science
budgets ------------------------------------- 101
F2. A question about the institutes budgets----------- 103
F3. A question about curriculum publication arrange-
ments----------------------------------- -- 103
F4. Do NSF curricula contain controversial material?-- 104
F5. Curriculum oriented institutes-------------------- 105
IV. Graduate research and institutional support: the effect on precollege Page
A. An exhaustive review of NSF by the House Committee on
Scitnce and Astronautics ------------------------------ 108
B. Fi-cal year 1966-Education funds shift toward graduate
C. Fiscal Year 1967-the education budget levels off--------- 112
Cl. An $860,000 reduction for precollege education ---- 113
C2. Elementary teacher institutes terminated --------- 114
C3. CCSS and elementary-level curriculum implemen-
tation ------------------------------------ 114
C4. Continuing congre sional int,'r,-t in curriculum
development --------------------- 116
D. Fi-c:al Year 19'( ..- precollege, education begins to be redi-
rected ------------------------------------------- 117
Dl. CCSS emphasizes curriculum implementation ------ 119
D2. A shift in enilphisis from teachvr- to schools------- 119
D3. The status of curriculum development in 1967----- 123
E. Fi-,czil 19 W-aii unexpected setback---------------------- 124
El. Public Law 90-407 provides closer relations between
Congrc-s and NSF--------------------------- 124
E2. Further empha-i-, on schools and school adminis-
V. Grt.iter coiigrc.--ional scrutiny of NSF--------------------------- 127
A. Fi.-ca1 y-,.ar 1970-the education progralis are analyzed----- 128
Al. Mr. Daddario's concern about the role and function
of the institutes------------------------------ 129
A2. Contractural arrntingiiiients for curricula---------- 131
A3. The 1970 appropriation------------------------- 131
A4. The Platt Report: a study of the NSF education
programs_ ----------------------------------- 131
AS. A few questions raised by the Platt Report------- 135
A6. Topics of particular interest in the 20th annual
B. Fi-r:i1 year 1971-NSF cuts precollege institutes----------- 140
Bi. A major reduction for institutes ----------------- 142
B2. A new focus on pr.-ervice teacher training-------- 142
B3. Some questions about the reasons behind the
B4. An emerging project emphasis------------------- 146
C. Fisc:l year 1972-NSF reprograniis precollege education ---- 148
Cl. A major reprograiirlig begins-------------------- 148
C2. Congr.ess protects the institutes------------------ 152
C3. 0MB impounds education funds----------------- 153
D. Fiscal year 1973-New objectives emerge_----------------- 153
Dl. Management by objectives for NSF's precollege
D2. A forgotten agreement not to deal with schools ---- 160
D3. The Task Force Study on Science Education------ 162
E. Fiscal year 1974-the first Stever budget----------------- 163
El. Congrss supports NSF education at all levels----- 165
E2. Education termed "A Le.,-er Priority"------------- 166
E3. Congress replies------------------------------- 168
E4. The new philosophy and operation--------------- 168
F. Fi-c:l year 1975-prelude to difficulty--_------------------ 175
Fl. The new programs create a po-sil)ility for difficulty- 176
F2. Congre'-s call, for a review of the education pro-
grams _------- ---------------------- 178
VI. Curriculum implementation: NSF's unexpected problem ----------- 181
A. The failure to anticipate difficulty------------------------ 181
B. Congress restructures NSF education--------------------- 183
C. The issue gains political focus--------------------------- 194
Cl. The MACOS curriculum------------------------ 194
C2. Some differences of opinion---------------------- 196
C3. NSF studies its programs----------------------- 197
VI. Curriculum implementation-Continued Page
D. The 1976 authorization and appropriation ----------------- 198
Dl. The Bauman amendment----------------------- 200
D2. The National Science Board issues three policy
statements ---------------------------------- 201
D3. Implementation funds eliminated for fiscal year
VII. A brief review and evaluation---------------------------------- 207
A. The question of preservice science training---------------- 208
B. The question of curriculum development and implementation 209
C. Considerations for the future---------------------------- 210
A. National Science Foundation obligations for science education as
reported in annual appropriation requests ------------------------ 215
B. Congressional record of June 10, 1963: correspondence between Con-
gressman M\iller and Dr. Jerome Wiesner regarding science man-
power _------------------------------------------------------- 219
C. A list of major projects supported under the course content improve-
ment program__ ------------------------------------------------229
D. Executive Order No. 11185: to facilitate coordination of Federal
education programs ------------------------------------------- 239
E. Policies for the distribution of publications and other materials de-
veloped under the science education programs of the National
Science Foundation February 6, 1969 --------------------------- 247
F. Pre-college science curriculum activities of the National Science
Foundation; report of science curriculum review team; May 1975,
vol. I-findings and recommendations-------------------------- 255
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
PRE-COLLEGE SCIENCE EDUCATION
This study was undertaken as a part of the continuing oversight
of the National Science Foundation by the Subcommittee on Science,
Research and Technology of the Committee on Science and Tech-
nology of the House of Representatives. In addition, the study was
intended to examine recent criticisms of the Foundation's pre-college
science education programs. The objectives of the study were to
describe and analyze:
(1) the reasons for NSF's involvement in the pre-college level
of education and specifically its involvement in education apart
from research as it pertains to this issue;
(2) the events and issues which have affected the growth of the
NSF pre-college programs, especially as reflected by the interests
of the Congress and the executive branch.
(3) the accomplishments of the National Science Foundation
in this field; and
(4) the evolution of the structure of the pre-college programs
The study was based primarily on an extensive review of hearings
testimony, of the publications of the National Science Foundation,
and of additional material referenced by public documents.
The National Science Foundation's pre-college science education
programs have generally received high praise for their accomplish-
ments. Among the Foundation's many pre-college education activities,
two programs would seem to have been of particular value from the
standpoint of national impact.
The first of these has been the institute program, under which NSF
has provided grant support to colleges and universities for science
faculty to instruct pre-college teachers in science and in science
curricula. Prior to recent reorganizations, there were basically three
types of institute format:
(1) Summer institutes: offered instruction at a university under
a summer-school format, and provided a small personal-sub-
sistence stipend for most of those who attended;
(2) Academic year institutes: offered special science courses,
generally designed as part of an advanced degree program, at
universities during the academic year for teachers on leave from
their regular employment (a stipend was provided to provide
partial salary recovery); and
(3) In-serecice institutes: offered science and science curriculum
instruction during the school year during non-school hours.
It would seem, from the comments of a number of people who
studied the changes and improvements in American pre-college
education in the early 1960's, that the contributions of NSF were im-
pressive in overcoming deficiencies in science education in the post-
Sputnik era. In his well-known 1963 study of problems in pre-college
education, James Bryant Conant, former president of Harvard Uni-
versity, said of the NSF institutes:
The use of summer institutes for bringing teachers up to date in a subject-
matter field has bec-n perhaps the single most important improvement in recent
years in the training of secondary school teachers. 1
Those who dealt with college-level students had much the same
impre-ion. Dean B. Roger Ray of the Division of Sciences, Washing-
ton State University, Pullman, Wa:,ihington commented in 1964 as
The Institute Program h:- been more responsible than any other factor in
achieving a substantial up-grarng of competence of science and mathematics
teachers in secondary schools. I believe it has been the primary factor. We con-
tinually see the results in general and specific ways. Each freshman class in the
University is better prepared in science and mathematics than the previous one,
for instance, as shown by our Mathenatics Placement Test scores. These students
are getting instruction in their basic high -chool courses that is more substantial
and modern. We have an increa-ing number of freshmen who obtain advanced
placement, in good part because additional science beyond the minimal require-
ment is being offered in the high schools by competent teachers. Frequently we
can correlate the quality of the work given in a high school with a specific teacher
who has participated in the Institute Progr;ni.2
In 1965, Francis Keppel, United States Commissioner of Education
expressed similar views:
Classroom teachers, as v., all know, face te-t- as well as give them. Perhaps the
greatest test is that of adapting to the bewildering pace of change.
Te:,i.-1i r- must provide inILi r:ction g:i,'ed to educational needs that break
sharply \' ii h tradition. Ti. y must respond to a new se.i-e of social and eco!,'mic
values. They must k.-,p abreast of constant expansion of the store of knowledge
that is to be, transmitted in the cla- room. Changes of these kinds have particlilrIly
challenged teachers of science and mathematics-subject arc..;, that have bx -n
m -t pervasively revolutionized in recent times.
The challenges are being met, and the institutes pr, gir!.-Ii :iriii4tered by the
National Sci' nce Foundation have made a major contribution to our succ .
Throu.:i these institutes, teachers have become familiar wil.h recent advances
in their special fields of knowledge. They have familiariz.id thez,--Ives with new
coPY-i-i (of study. They have developed new approaches to lezi 'iin and teacliing-
be! .fitting not only th.1;iii-,lves and their students but inspiring their fellow
t2.j:.hcrs as well.
Beyond these accomplishments, the NSF institutes program has demonstrated
that Federal efforts can produce subst:,itial educational improvement. Its suiice-
1a-; led to the development of similar institutes in other subject fields and it hlias
taught the important lesson that the quality of education in the c:hi--room is
amenable to sw\ift improvement by concentrating on the competence of the
clh-'-room's centrally important figure-the teacher."3
Until rather recently, the emphasis of the institutes program: was
primarily on raising teacher competence. Though the sheer iimgnitude
of the number of elementary school teachers needing science training,
required the development of a school-oriented approach at that level,
high school tea-ohers could generally apply to attend summer and
in-service institutes without formal permission by their school
sup e i ors.
T] .e saunmmer and in-service institutes offered courses that wern-
usually available on an individual basis. The academic year institutes
were generally designed to be part of a program leading to a master's
1 Conant, James Bryant. The Education of American Teachers. New York. McGraw-Hill
Book Co., Inc. 1963. p. 207, 8.
2 As quoted in Kreighbaum, Hillier and Rawson, Hugh. An Investment in knowledge.
New York. New York University Press. 1969. p. 310.
3 As quoted in Kreighbaum and Rawson, p. ,_OS.
degree. Teachers were admitted to such progrmLns under formal ar-
rangements. whereby they would take a sequence of courses in various
institutes to qualify for the degree. At their peak, over 2000 teachers
would receive master's degrees each year under such "sequenced
The second major activity has been curriculum development. Under
this program, which began in 1956, many eminent scientists have
worked under NSF sponsorship to upgrade old methods of instruction,
and to provide new and scientifically accurate curricula for use in
Beginning in about 1970, NSF began to change the institute format
in a fundamental way. Instead of maintaining the focus on the indi-
vidual betterment of science teachers, the institutes became a mecha-
nism to aid individual schools, or groups of schools, to adopt new science
curricula. This new activity was termed curriculum implementation,
and was structured into a sequence of three operations which could be
described approximately as follows:
(1) workshops to acquaint school administrators with a selec-
tion of science curricula for possible use in their schools or school
(2) instruction for selected personnel to use tentatively selected
curricula on an experimental basis; and
(3) the training of key personnel for the instruction of other
science teachers in each school.
A fourth form of institute was still available for the general training
of teachers, but like the other later forms of institutes this one focused
on curricula rather than upon disciplines. By FY 1974, there ap-
parently were no longer any institutes to help teachers master a
discipline, only institutes to instruct in curricula.
During the middle and late 1960's, NSF beg,,,n to support develop-
ment of curricula outside of the mathematical, physical, and engineer-
ing sciences. These curriculum development projects were carried out
under the principles that NSF had originally devised to offer insurance
against Federal domination of curriculum content:
(1) NSF only responded to curriculum development proposals.
It did not direct attention to area ,s or fields.
,(2) Though curriculum proposals were evaluated whenever a
grant was to be made, NSF did not seek to evaluate or to revise
curricula developed under its support.
(3) The completed material remained in the hands of the
developer, and though NSF did aid in transfer of the material
to publishers and did maintain control of certain financial and
administrative matters, it purposely did not take possession of
the material so as to avoid any appearance of influence on the
content, or any approval or disapproval of any part of the cur-
Such management principles seem to have answered the need to avoid
Federal control of curriculum content, but in adopting this approach
the Foundation had no way to ensure the public acceptability of the
content of curricula developed under Federal support.
In the spring of 1975, NSF's pre-college education activities at-
tracted attention in consequence of material contained in a fifth-grade
social studies curriculum entitled Man: A Courec of Study (MACOS).
MACOS had been developed with NSF support, starting in 1964,
under the design of Jerome S. Bruner, director of Harvard University's
Center for Cognitive Studies. The course was structured to use films
and short pamphlets to indicate how and why humans behave differ-
ently than animals. Instruction consisted of class discussions in which
individual students would, on the basis of the material presented, seek
their own answers to three questions:
(1) What is human about human beings?
(2) How did they get that way?
(3) How can they be made more so?
The course began with an extensive presentation of animal behavior,
and then proceeded to study the culture of a primitive eskimo tribe,
the Netsiliks. The selection of this particular culture for study seemed
to have a definite pedhi,:ogical purpose. The nece:-ities of survival in
the hostile polar climate had demanded that the Netsiliks, and pre-
-i11ably most other eskimos, adopt a number of practices which
might be regarded as inhumane and/or totally unacceptable in soci-
eties under less pressure for survival. The purpose behind this selec-
tion of material seems to have been to help students to understand
that man's human characteristics are distinct from the culture which
circumstances might force him to adopt. The idea would seem to be
an important concept in understanding certain areas of modern
thinking in the social sciences.
While the scientific integrity of MACOS seems to have been rea-
sonably aured, and while the pedagogical approach may have had
some valuable features, some of the material in the course drew criti-
cism as being either offensive or unacceptable for presentation to
children. Among those who objected to MACOS, a concern was
express-ed that 1) the Federal government was developing objectionable
curricula for use at the pre-college level and 2) the Federal government
was promoting the adoption of MACOS and possibly other Federally
sponsored curricula through the NSF implementation programs.
The criticism of MACOS attracted a good deal of attention, both in
the House of Representatives and in the Senate, during consideration
of the NSF authorization and appropriation for FY 1976. The House
Committee on Science and Technology initiated two studies, one to be
performed by a committee-appointed panel of citizens and the other
to be performed by the General Accounting Office. On the Senate side,
the Special Subcommittee on the National Science Foundation of the
Committee on Labor and Public Welfare held a full day of hearings on
MACOS and related matters. This congressional concern was one of the
factors in the adoption of an amendment in the House to the NSF au-
thorization bill, requiring that the Foundation submit all proposed
grant actions to the Congress for its consideration for 30 days, during
which Congress might disapprove NSF's intended support.
Though this amendment was not retained in the ultimate authoriza-
tion 1-i-dilation, the appropriation act for FY 1976 specifically elimi-
nated fends for curriculum implementation at NSF.
The Foundation responded to the criticism with an internal study
of its management of curriculum development. The recommendations
of its study generally favored more extensive review, by outside panels,
of curriculum development proposals and of subsequent developed cur-
ricula. The recommendations did not mention a possible need for
greater internal NSF capability for independent review, and possibly
for control of curriculum development, in order to direct, augment,
and implement the work of these advisory panels.
At the request of the internal study group at NSF, the National
Science Board, a presidentially appointed group of 24 eminent persons
having responsibility for the policies of the Foundation, issued on
June 20, 1975 three policy statements relating to curriculum develop-
ment and implementation. These included the following points and
On plurali.qmn in education:
"To en-ure that Feolpral fn.ds do not directly or inadvertently lead
to the development of a monolithic curriculum structure, and to
ensure the diversity that society requires, the following procedures are
1. The National Science Foundation should .arrv out a broad-
based analysis of future needs in subject areas and publicize
2. The Foundation should ensure competitive selection of
project developers addre-ing these needs.
3. It should encourage development of alternatives by NSF.
4. The Foundation should e-tablish administrative procedures
in the implementation stage that will avoid any appearance of
indoctrination or coen:ion."
On curriculVm derd(opment:
"The National Science Fo'indation has a continuing role in the de-
velopment of course materials and teaching methods in the mathe-
matical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, social, and other
sciences at the p)re-college level. The Foundation can and should make
a unique contribution by bringing new, intellectually challenging
science content and teaching methods to elementary and secondary
school students and their teachers. The program should be broadly
aimed at encouraging future scientists and technologits as well as
increasing the quality of science education available to all students
at the pre-college level."
On curriculm implhilentation:
"Prior to undertaking full-scale di-.-emination and assistance activi-
ties for NSF-developed materials, NS- F would d undertake a careful
review to en-,ire that the pr'po-ed subject matter fits within reason-
able limits or norms with respect to educational value and that the
scientific content is accurate. Recognizing the broad base of concern
with elementary and secondary education, the Found nation should
provide opportunitie- for input in this review by representatives of the
scientific, educational, child development, commercial publishing, and
informed public communities."
However, the Board did not seek to reduce NSF's dependence on
outside judgment and review, and on outside decisionmakin:. The
dependence on external advice and leadership may have been an
important factor in the development of the MIACOS problem; and
this dependence would soemni to have merited consideration in view of
specific recommendations from the House Committee on Science and
Astronautics (1966) and from the NSF Advisory Committee on Scienve
Education (1970) that the Foundation staff play a less passive role.
The history of NSF's activities in pre-college education indicates
that, while NSF would seom to have played an essential role in at-
tractingo scientists into the institutes and into curriculum development
programs, the primary impetus for the creation, design and growth of
the pre-college programs came from outside of the Foundation.
In the early 1950's, during its formative years, the Foundation
r' ceived continuing advice from its own staff as well as from numerous
outside scientists that the poor quality of high school science education
wV, ai major problem, if not the major problem, in science education.
Yet the Fouindation declined proposals seeking support for seminars,
workshops, or institutes for high school science teachers on the basis
that the needs of graduate education and research did not allow
support for such pre-colleg:, efforts. Support for such undertakings
continued to be declined until a proposal, seeking support for a sum-
mer institute for hiigh z:chool science teichers to be held in 1954,
arrived with the endorsement of a committee of the National Academy
of Sciences/National Research Council.
The first strong escalation of the NSF pre-college program resulted
from the concerned interest of Presideit Eisenhower, who formed a
cabinet-level committee in 1954 to examine reports of rapidly growing
strength in the technical training activities of the USSR. The com-
mittee recommended in October 1954 that NSF ". emphasize pro-
grams within its responsibility which will contribute to a solution of
the problem and provide leadership to other departments and agencies
in developing plans and activities which will contribute to a solution
of the problem." The NSF responded by doubling its planned ex-
penditure of $150,000 for science education in FY 1955, and by
obligating almost $1.5 million to science education in FY 1956.
Congressional interest in science education, particularly at the high
school level, began to appear foilov.ing the publication in July 1955 of
Nicholas DeWitt's study of Soviet professional manpower. The latter
stages of this work had been supported by NSF. On the basis of that
report the House Committee on Appropriations recommended that
NSF's budget for the institutes in FY 1957 be almost tripled, to a
total of .i.5 million. The Foundation unsuccessfully opposed the
increase in the Senate when it beeaPnme apparent that some of this
increase might have to be obtained from the increases requested in
the research budget. The $9.5 million was earmarked in the appropria-
tion act, but was able to be absorbed in the NSF budget without
apparent damage: research was still accorded a 110% increase in
The advent of Sputnik in October 1957 resulted in a series of strong
increases for science education, the budget for which amounted to
$64 million in FY 1959.
The NSF education budgets continued to escalate through the
early 1960's, and eventually reached a high plateau of almost $125
million in Fiscal Years 1966, 1967, and 1968. However, the Founda-
tion's interest in pre-college education diminished following the
issuance of a report by the President's Science Advisory Committee
in 1962 recommending a doubling of science Ph. D. output by 1970.
Following this report, NSF mounted its Science Development Program
aimed at doubling the number of institutions offering top-quality
graduate science education. The first awards were made in 1965.
Simultaneously, NSF reoriented its education programs to focus on
gra',luate education problems. In 1964 it mounted an ambitious pro-
gra aM of graduate traineeships to augment the older graduate fellow-
After 1965 the institutes' budgets began a decline from a maximum
of about 243 million to a level of about $15 million for FY 1974, with
an additional $2 million in a companion program called the Coopera-
tive College-School Science Program.
in recent years, at least since 1970, two factors seem to have in-
fluenced the pre-college programs.. Both are di. cult to substantiate
concretely. The first is a reported antipathy by the Office of Manage-
m.ent and Budget toward forms of activity that might be classed as
con()iauing aid to education. According to these reports, OIB has
taken the position that it might be acceptable to undertake specific
pro'i-cts to aid pre-college schools, but the repetitive support of
activities, such as discipline-oriented summer institutes, Vah to be
d iso ai' ged.
The second factor influencing NSF's pre-colle-.;, activities seems to
have been a growing concern among its administration, and among
the iaembers of the National Science Board, about competing needs
for funds, particularly the growing problem of sufficient funding for
university research programs. These concerns seem to have led the
Foundation to place an even lower priority on pr)- 'olege education,
as two Board members indicated in t ,stimony to the House Committee
on Appropriations for FY 1974.
Subsequent to 1970, NSF reorganized and reprogi-ammed its pre-
coliege education activities along lines that appear to have iwcn in
accord with the interests of the Board and the 0MB. In doing so,
NSF made the argument that the discipline-oriented institutes were
no longer effective: 50% of the high-school science teachers had
attended one institute or more so that current attendees were prii-
marily "repeaters"; and the other 50% did not seem interested in
attending, so the original institute format was no longer useful. The
ar' tument apparently lacked foundation, however, for no attempt
sims to have been made to verify the 50% attendance figure or to
asc<(tain why so many teachers still seemed to want to attend insti-
tutes. Had a detailed study been done, the need for the institutes
might have appeared to be greater. An informal survey by an NSF
:st4ff me:nber in 1970 indicates that there may have been a significantly
greater proportion of "first-time" attendees in summer institutes
than NSF arguments had indicated.
The NSF arg uients were not seriously challenged in Congressional
budget leio rings. The Foundation proceeded to re-program its pre-
coilege institutes (and related activities) around 1) curriculum instruc-
tion for teachers, and 2) the imnplemnentation of curricula in specific
schools or school systems. These activities, which were designed to
stimulate the adoption of improved curricula, were said to provide a
more di'cet means of dealing with deficiencies in pre-college instruc-
tion. On the other hand, there were no longer any discipline-oriented
in-titutes under the new format, nor was it possible for teachers to
study for advanced degrees through the institutes.
With the new focus on curricula, the institutes probably lost some of
thoir attractiveness to highly-motivated teachers who wanted to
mnaster additional subject areas, or simply to "brush-up" in a field
they had mastered previously. It thus may be that the institutes are
now less useful to teachers who are re-assigned to new courses and
must master a new subject. Questions of this sort merit study.
At this writing, the Foundation would appear to be faced with a
policy dilemma. Its recent curriculum implementation activities might
be questioned on the basis of Federal influence in local school affairs.
On the other hand, prior to the implementation programs the new
curricula were not adopted at the rate NSF deemed appropriate.
Similarly, NSF has felt that it must play a completely passive role in
curriculum development, yet in doing so it has been criticized for
ThI,-e two problems seem to pose great difficulty for NSF, which
apparently feels that important principles are at stake: 1) the new
curricula ought to be put to use and 2) the Federal government ought
not to influence curriculum content.
NSF's positions regarding these two matters seem to create a para-
d(lox in its basic policy approach. On the one hand, NSF has become
heavily involved in encouraging local schools to adopt new curricula,
while insisting on the other hand that a similar degree of NSF involve-
ment in decisions regarding the content of the curricula it develops
would be wholly inappropriate. Judging from the recent policy state-
mient (quoted above) of the National Science Board regarding curricu-
lum implementation, it would appear that the Board may sense some
of the difficulty in its former policies relating to curriculum content.
HIowever, a number of questions about the curriculum implementation
activities nnd about the former institute- programs have yet to be
addressed by the Board.
It is possible that, had the National Science Board examined these
areas of NSF activity from a broader perspective, NSF programs and
management might have been modified to avoid recent criticisms and
to be of greater benefit to the needs of the pre-college community.
In light of the recent problems, it may be worth examining the
effectiveness of the Foundation's policymaking machinery. There
seems to be little ready explanation why the Board, after some twenty
years of cautionary advice by Members of Congress to avoid influenc-
ing loc.l school affairs and to be wary of the problems that could arise
from controversial curricula, 1) apparently did not reexamine its
policies on curriculum review, and 2) apparently allowed NSF to
mount its efforts in curriculum implementation without announcing
new and detailed policy guidelines. Even with congressional advice,
the Board did not anticipate the problems that arose, and in that
sense it may not have been effective as a policymaking body.
There would also seem to be reason to inquire why the National
Science Board allowed such extensive revision of the former institutes
programs 1) without a thorough statistical examination of the func-
tions that the institutes had been serving, and 2) without attempting
some ai-e-sment of their future value. NSF officials report that there
are almost no data available for making such an analysis, and so there
v-ould seem to be a question of why the Foundation was allowed to
discontinue these highly praised institute activities. Even at this late
d(late it would be interesting to have a statistical review of the role
those institutes played, so as to understand whether current im-
plementation efforts are fully adequate in meeting the needs for pre-
college science teacher instruction.
A review of the public record suggests that the National Science
Board may not have paid continuing attention to many important
matters affecting the pre-college programs. It may be that the Na-
tional Science Board is no longer able to monitor the full range of
NSF activities and that, with its own objectives and priorities, it may
have become a complicating factor in the necessary interplay between
NSF, the Congress, and the Office of Management and Budget.
There are now indications that the Congress may seek ways to
legislate certain critical aspects of NSF operation. In consequence of
the MACOS issue, the House approved an amendment to the NSF
authorization requiring that all intended grant actions be submitted
by NSF for congressional consideration. Though this amendment
was not retained in the final legislation, it would seem to have been
evidence of doubt about NSF policies.
Most recently, companion bills have been introduced in the House
and Senate to legislate methods by which proposals are reviewed by
NSF. These measures would seem to represent an unusual degree of
congressional involvement in the operation of a Federal agency and
would, in that sense, appear to lie beyond the traditional role of
congressional oversight-agency accountability. Considered in that
light, they would seem to be strong indicators of congressional concern
about certain policies of the National Science Foundation.
A. THE ISSUE TODAY
In the course of its 25-year history, the National Science Foundation
has developed a deep and abiding commitmDient to pr_--college science
education. Recent critici.-ins of the F1oundation's educational activities
at this level, particularly of NSF's efforts to promote and facilitate the
adoption of improved science curricula in elementary and secondary
schools, raise serious questions about how NSF became involved in
these activities and whether its participation at this educational level
is-necessary. At the heart of this isue is the question of whether the
Foundation is promoting development of science curricula and then is
encouraging local school systems to adopt them. Since pre-college
public school systems are gen,-rally re-arded to be under local com-
munity control-albeit with a good deal of state regulation ad! 'or
influence in many cases-the question of overt Federal involvement in
school affairs is an important, and often highly e":iotional, issue.
This study attempts to examine (1) the rea-ons for NSF's involve-
ment in pre-college education; (2) the national i->;ues which mandated
this involvement under the guidance of Congre-s; and (3) the general
structure and philosophy of its current efforts. It is intended to provide
an understanding of the c(ircunmtances. which have led to recent
criticisms of NSF's curriculum implementation efforts, rather than to
delve deeply into the specifics of particular curricula and whether
various criticisms of tho-e curricula are valid. Tlhe intent is to illumi-
nate the Foundation's achievements and contributions, as well as its
past managerial shortcomings, in the expectation that such informa-
tion will be useful in considering how NSF's future activities in pi'e-
college education might best be structured.
B. A BTIEF OVERViIEW
Created in 1950 in consequence of the impr, sive technological suc-
cesses during World War II, successes which indicated the great impor-
tance of science to the well-being and vitality of the United States, the
National Science Foundation was assigned the task of improving the
nation's potential in scientific research and in science education.
Though it was first expected that the Foundation would limit its
educational programs to providing fellowships and stipend support
to graduate students, in the opinion of the NSF management it became
clear almost immediately that science teaching had to be improved
at the college level. Summertime instruction for college faculty at
specially designed "institutes" held at universities and taught by
graduate faculty became the vehicle for this effort to improve under-
graduate education. For 1953, the second year of operation of this
college-level institute program, the director of one of the institute.-
requested additional support to include high school teachers in his
program. Although NSF declined to support this request, funds were
able to be obtained from private sources for an experimental effort
to instruct high school science teachers.
The results were sufficiently encouraging that the Foundation
adopted the program on an experimental basis in the following year.
Shortly thereafter, in 1954, international competition in technology
began to appear. First came reports that the USSR was producing
more scientists and engineers than the United States. By 1956 the
public had become generally aware of the problem through a book
titled "Soviet Professional Manpower" by Nicholas DeWitt.1
Then the great surprise of the Sputnik launch in 1957 galvanized
the United States into action to acquire and maintain a clear superi-
ority in science and technology. Congress responded in the first
instance by increasing NSF's requested budget for improvement of
high school science teaching from $3.85 million to approximately $9.5
million for the Fiscal Year 1957 and mandating that all of the money
be spent. By this time the institute program had grown to include
both academic year and summer programs for high school teachers.
Following Sputnik, the Fiscal Year 1959 budget for improvement of
high school science teaching jumped to over $35 million. There was
no longer any question about whether NSF had been given a respon-
sibility for pre-college education in science. Congress was later (1972)
to amend the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 to say ex-
plicitly that NSF was responsible for science education "at all levels".
However, the National Science Board repeatedly expressed concern
that science education, particularly pre-college education, might "un-
balance" its overall program to develop science. Since it happened
that on several occasions the Congress increased the NSF education
budget at the expense of the research budget, the reaction of the
National Science Board may not have been entirely unreasonable.
But whatever the opinion of the Board, the Foundation itself seems
to have been aware of certain of the potential problems that their
pre-college education programs might have created, and appears to
have welcomed innovations which would improve the program. In the
former respect, NSF seems to have been careful to administer its
program so that the initiatives and the selection of material for any
particular institute program were entirely in the hands of the people
who would run the institute. Since institutes generally served a local
clientele, the selection of subject, the level of offering, and the choice
of curriculum reflected the expressed desires and needs of the schools
in the local geographic area. Thus, it seemed that the Federal govern-
ment could not be accused of meddling in the decisions of local school
boards. In the second respect, the Foundation's pre-college education
program has changed considerably with the passage of time in an
attempt to have a meaningful impact on a teacher population that
was too large to reach with direct instruction in institute classrooms.
As long as interest was limited to high school science teachers, there
was some hope of dealing more or less directly with a considerable
fraction of those who needed instruction. But when it became evident
that the poor quality of science training at the elementary level was
a serious impediment to later study in science, the Foundation had to
1 DeWitt, Nicholas. Soviet professional manpower: its education, training, and supply. National Science
Foundation. U.S. Govt. Print. Off., Washington, D.C. 1955. 400 p.
learn to deal with an enormous number of teachers in an effective
Eventually the Foundation began to support institutes that
would (1) teach administrators about available choices for new and
improved curricula, (2) train selected teachers in a school or district
in a curriculum to be tested, and (3) then instruct teachers in a school
or district to teach other teachers to use the new curriculum. In
addition, the Foundation expanded its program to support develop-
ment of new and improved curricula for instruction at all levels.
One very positive aspect of these activities was the increased com-
munication between graduate school research faculty and those who
teach at lower levels. Science education, particularly at the formative
stages, seems to require considerable care in order to inculcate the
necessary abilities for observation, analysis, and abstract thought.
Through its connection with the research community, NSF was able
to interest some of the best research minds in the country in the subtle-
ties and content of pre-college science education. Through NSF,
research people became involved in creating new instructional cur-
ricula, and in instructing teachers about the new curricula, and about
the most modern methods of teaching science. Old barriers to com-
munication disappeared in this common effort, to the apparent
betterment of science instruction at all levels.
In the midst of apparent success in this comprehensive effort,
NSF has recently come under severe attack because many of the
curricula which it developed have been featured for instruction in
the institutes' programs. Although the content of any given institute
program is selected by the institute director in concert with the
university or college whose facilities will be used, and even though
this selection is made independently on the advice of the schools and
school administrators in the immediate locality, it would still be
possible for NSF to exert influence through its selection of which
institutes are to be awarded operational support. The concern seems
to be that, directly or indirectly, NSF may be developing curricula
of a sort that its staff feels should be used, and then may be inducing
school administrators to adopt these materials.
Stated somewhat differently, the issue is whether the Federzil
government should have any hand in curriculum development and,
ultimately, curriculum adoption in pre-college schools. Specific objec-
tions have been directed both at the possibility of undue influence of
the Federal government in local affairs, and at the content of various
curricula in the social and life sciences. The Foundation has replied
by attempting to show that it has presented a reasonably comprehen-
sive overview of all major available curricula in those institutes which
are offered to help administrators and key school personnel to make
initial decisions about curriculum selection. NSF therefore feels that
any preference for its material, or the selection of any controversial
material, by directors of institutes for the instruction of teachers can
only reflect the prior curriculum selections made by the local school
The National Science Foundation concludes that, while local school
systems may have some serious problems of community relations, NSF
curricula are highly regarded by school administrators and teachers,
and that its efforts in curriculum development have been of high
quality. NSF adds that the curricula which have been criticized are
carefully designed to allow the deletion of material which a local
school wants to omit. Thus, the Foundation feels that any problems
are in the local selection process.
These are not the only issues relating to the NSF pre-college educa-
tion program. However, the purpose of this paper will be to show how
the NSF pre-college education effort was developed and managed,
rather than to analyze specific questions about various curricula. It is
hoped that this background and historical description will be useful
to those who are interested in national policy questions relating to
this issue and who want to consider how the management of NSF's
Education Directorate might be improved.
I. GENERAL BACKGROUND AND EXECUTIVE POLICIES RELATING TO
EDUCATION PROGRA-IMS OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
A. THE MISSION OF NSF
The National Science Foundation is now celebrating its 25th year
as thle principal benefactor and promoter of basic science in the
Federal government. It is, of course, not the only agency involved
with tiHe performance and support of basic science. Compared to the
history of some 100 years of research activity in the Department of
Agriculture, which began shortly after its establishment by Congress
in 18o2,2 the National Science Foundation has barely reached matu-
rity. And compared to the totality of research support by other
agencies in the Federal government, the Foundation's budget is not
verv -.nificant. This is true even in the more limited arena of uni-
versify research support, where NSF only contributes about 20% of
the total Federal outlay according to recent statements of its director,
H. G0nvford Stever.
Ho\vever, age and size are not complete indicators of importance.
In its organic act,3 NSF has been given responsibility:
To i,-itiate and support basic scientific research and programs to strengthen
scientific research potential and science education programs at all levels in the
matlhematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, social, and other sciences,
by II ,vn'ing contracts or other arrangements (including grants, loans, and other
forms of assistance) to support such scientific and educational activities and to
apprai-c the impact of research upon industrial development and upon the
Thei National Science Foundation is thus responsible for the health
and capability of science in the United States. It is to ensure that
science is available as a vital resource to the Nation, rather than
to have primary responsibility among Federal agencies for the per-
foninece of research in all sectors of national need. While the Founda-
tion is necessarily heavily involved in supporting a wide variety of
research, and is concerned about all aspects of the entire national
activity" in research, both public and private, NSF is often described
as a "balance-wheel" whose activities complement those of other
Federal agencies. The focus is thus upon "scientific research potential"
(iemp.l"'t-is added), meaning that the Foundation is to ensure that
United States science is aggressively examining new fields for under-
sta1nd ing, is creating new techniques for research, and is able to main-
tain a broad spectrum of activity from which new ideas will evolve;
ideas that will lead to new applications.
2See, fr instance, DuPree, A. Hunter. Science in the federal government. Cainl'ridge, Mass Harvard
v'niveriritv Press,  460 p.
3 The Natiionl Science Foundation Act of 1950. (P.L. 507-81st Congress; 64 Stat. 149; as amended).
B. SCIENCE-THE ENDLESS FRONTIER: UNIVERSITY RESEARCH AND
The philosophy underlying this operation was forcefully and ex-
plicitly set forth by Vannevar Bush in his report to the President in
1945 on a program for postwar scientific research. This report had been
commissioned in 1944 by President Roosevelt, who had realized the
importance of science to the war effort, and who had created a special
organization for scientific research and development prior to the entry
of the United States into World War II. Bush's report was to outline
the importance of scientific research to the peacetime needs of the
Nation. Its title was dramatically descriptive: "Science-the Endless
As envisioned by Bush, whose conclusions were predicated on the
advice of four advisory committees consisting of very distinguished
leaders from many segments of the university industrial and research
worlds, the ultimate need and justification for a strong national re-
sefrlch effort derived from its ultimate (not necessarily immediate)
importance to the economy, to the eradication of disease, to the crea-
tion of new jobs and new products, and to the national security. The
arguments and statements of this report seem as pertinent today as
they were in 1945:
Science and jobs
One of our hopes is that after the war there will be full employment, and that
the production of goods and services will serve to raise our standard of living. We
do not know yet how we shall reach that goal, but it is certain that it can be
achieved only by releasing the full creative and productive energies of the Amer-
Surely we will not get there by standing still, merely by making the same things
we made before and selling them at the sairie or higher prices. We will not get
ahead in international trade unless we offer new and more attractive and cheaper
Where will these new products come from? How will we find ways to make
better products at lower cost? The answer is clear. There must be a stream of
ntw scientific knowledge to turn the wheels of private and public enterprise. There
must be plenty of men and women trained in science and technology for upon
them depend both the creation of new knowledge and its application to practical
More and better scientific research is essential to the achievement of our goal
of full employment.5
The Importance of Basic Research
Basic r.earch is performed without thought of practical ends. It results in
general knowledge and an understanding of nature and its laws. This general
knowledge provides the means of answering a large number of important practical
problems, though it may not give a complete specific answer to any one of them.
The functinii of applied research is to provide such complete answers. The scientist
doing basic research may not be at all interested in the practical applications of
his work, yet the further progress of industrial development would eventually
stagnate if basic scientific research were long neglected.
One of the peculiarities of basic science is the variety of paths which lead
to productive advance. Many of the most important discoveries have come as
a result of experiments undertaken with very different purposes in mind. Statis-
tically it is certain that important and highly useful discoveries will result from
some fraction of the undertakings in basic science; but the results of any one
particular investigation cannot be predicted with accuracy.
4 Bush, Vannevar. Science-The Endless Frontier, Washington, D.C. National Science Foundation pub-
lication 60-40, [1'i60] 220 p.
8 Bush, Vannevar, ibid., p. 18.
Basic research leads to new knowledge. It provides scientific capital. It creates
the fund from which the practical applications of knowledge must be drawn. New
products and new processes do not appear full-grown. They are founded on new
principles and new conceptions, which in turn are painstakingly developed by
research in the purest realms of science.
Today, it is truer than ever that basic research is the pacemaker of tech-
nological progress. In the nineteenth century, Yankee mechanical ingenuity,
building largely upon the basic discoveries of European scientists, could greatly
advance the technical arts. Now the situation is different.
A nation which depends upon others for its new basic scientific knowledge
will be slow in its industrial progress and weak in its competitive position in world
trade, regardless of its mechanical skill.8
The War on Disease
The striking advances in medicine during the war have been possible only
because we had a large backlog of scientific data accumulated through basic
research in many scientific fields in the years before the war.
Progress in combating disease depends upon an expanding body of new scientific
Notwithstanding great progress in prolonging the span of life and in relief of
suffering, much illness remains for which adequate means of prevention and
cure are not yet known. While additional physicians, hospitals, and health pro-
grams are needed, their full usefulness cannot be attained unless we enlarge our
knowledge of the human organism and the nature of disease. Any extension of
medical facilities must be accompanied by an expanded program of medical
training and research.8
The Importance of Research to National Security:
Military preparedness requires a permanent independent, civilian-controlled
organization, having close liaison with the Army and Navy, but with funds
directly from Congress and with the clear power to initiate military research
which will supplement and strengthen that carried on directly under the control
of the Army and Navy.9
This report became the principal public document upon which the
National Science Foundation was later established. It served to show
that scientific research was as necessary in peacetime as in war. It
also pointed out that basic science is not a field that lends itself to
overt management and organization, depending as it does upon the
inspiration of its practitioners to carry the work forward. As the report
made clear, science is not susceptible to explicit objectives and time-
tables; nor is one able to predict where progress will first be made, or
what piece of new understanding will be the key to unlock a particular
problem, or what the utility of a new discovery may prove to be. All
that can be said is that technical progress can only come if there is
a large storehouse of scientific information available to those who
need it, a storehouse of information acquired primarily for the sake
of knowledge and understanding. Bush was very worried about the
depletion of this storehouse by the demands of World War II, and
called at tention to the need for a continuing inflow of new information
in order to sustain this essential informational foundation for our
Bush went on to point out that the demands of industry and of
government did not generally allow the kind of environment best
suiited to the performance of good basic science-albeit with some
notable exceptions. Academic institutions and endowed research
Ibid.. pp. 18 and 19.
7 Ibid., p. 13.
s Ibid., p. 14.
Ibid., p. 18.
institutes, free of commercial immediacy, were proposed as the ideal
Publicly and privately supported colleges and univcr-,ities and the endowed
research institutes must furnish both the new scientific knowledge and the trained
research workers. These institutions are uniquely qualified by tradition and by
their special characteristics to carry on ba-ic research. They are charged with the
re-ponsibility of conserving the knowledge accumulated by the )pist, imparting
that knowledge to students, and contributing new knowledge of all kinds. It. i
chiefly in the-,? institutions that -citentists may work in an atmosphere which is
relatively free from the adv.%- : pr---ure of convention prejudice, or comr i-ercial
neco.-siLtv. At their best they provide the scientific worker with a strong :.nfe of
solidarity and security, as well as a substantial degree of personal int-lectual
freedom. All of these factors are of great importance in the development of new
knowledge, since much of new knowledge is certain to arouse opposition cause
of its tendency to challenge current beliefs or practice1 .
Industry is generally inhibited by preconceived goals, by its own cle:-rly defined
standards, and by the constant pressure of commercial necessity. Satisfactory
pro,,ro--s in basic science seldom occurs under conditions prevailing in the normal
industrial laboratory. There are some notable exceptions, it is true, but even in
such c:'-,_ it is rarely po.-.:ible to match the universiti,- in rc-p('-ct to the frecudom
which is so important to sci.iitific discovery.
To -,r\v, effectively as the c(_-(iters of basic rese-irch these institutions must
be strong and healthy. They must attract our best scientists as teachers and
investigators. They must offer r .(-a-!rch opportunities and sufficient coimpi)i-ation
to enable them to compete with industry and government for the cr.-ain of -cien-
And somewhat later in the discussion:
Although there are some notable exceptions, most re-e;.rch conducted within
governmental laboratories is of an applied nature. Th:- has !,ayw been t,' 'c andI
is likely to remain so. Hence Government, like industry, is dependent upon the
coll.gt.-, universities, and research institutes to expand the basic scientific front i'rs
and to furnish trained scientific investigators."
Although these criticisms of government and industry may seem to
have been to strong in light of events subsequent to 1945, the fact
remains that academic institutions have come to be the backbone of
bw.ic scientific research in this country. And it is no mere coincidence
that re-earch and advanced science education go hand in hand.
Research is a learning process in itself, and it would be difficult to
imagine another arena for the training of future scientists. The res-earch
process, that magic art of applying all that one can learn from books
and in the classroom to achieve some new undei standing of the un-
known, is only learned by doing. Although there may be some sort of
advisor to lend a helping hand, a senior person to show how some of
more obvious pitfalls may be avoided and to offer helpful comments,
research is actually taught by letting advanced students work in-
dependently on a problem.
This is a slow process, for it demands that important work be done
by those who are often the least trained. But it seems to be the best
process that has been found, and it explains why research and teaching
are interrelated. Wherever good basic research is done, be it in in-
dustry, government, university or elsewhere, the training of junior
people inevitably appears as an essential part of the endeavor.
This interest in training is hardly an altruistic motive of senior
researchers, for they are well aware that the challenging, at times
iconoclastic, questioning of young students is an essential stimulus
to the creation of new ideas. In the physical and mathematical
10 Ibid., p. 19.
11 Ibid,. p. 20.
sciences, major advances are often made by very young scientists, as
attested by the surprising number of Nobel awards for work done by
people in the early stages of their careers. It is therefore not surprising
that scientists are uncommonly aware of the need for good training of
students and of the need to encourage bright new talent to enter
Bush and his advisors were particularly sensitive to the depletion of
science talent occasioned by World War II. His report naturally
recommended training for returning servicemen. But his primary
concern was on the need to ensure a continuing and increasing influx
of new talent into science. These would have to be students attracted
to science careers at an early age, certainly before completion of high
school. Therefore, the growth and maintenance of a vital science
community would require the development and implementation of
better instruction in both high schools and colleges. Quoting again
from the report:
Students drop out of school, college, and graduate school, or do not get that
far, for a variety of reasons: they cannot afford to go on; schools and coll'gf -
providing courses equal to their capacity are not available locally; busin--, and
industry recruit many of the most promising before they have finished the training
of which they are capable. These reasons apply with particular force to science:
the road is long and expensive; it extend- at least 6 years beyond high school; the
percentage of science students who can obtain first-rate training in institutions
near home is small.
Improvement in the teaching of science is impfrativ,, for students of latent
scientific ability are particularly vulner-lile to high school tficbhing which fails
to awaken interest or to provide adequate instruction. To enlarge the group of
specially qualified men and women it is nece-sary to incrc-ase the number who g:>
to college. This involves improved high school instruction, provision for helping
individual talented students to finish high school (primarily the r,.epoinsiility of
the local communities), and opportunities for more capable, promising high
school students to go to college. Anything short of this means serious waste of
higher education and neglect of human resources.
To encourage and enable a larger number of young men and women of ability
to take up science as a career, and in order gradually to reduce the deficit of t rztin(ed
scientific personnel, it is recommended that provision be made for a reasonable
number of (a) undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships and (b)
fellowships for advanced training and fundamental research. The details should be
worked out with reference to the interests of the several States and of the uni-
versities and colleges; and care should be taken not to impair the freedom of the
institutions and individuals concerned.12
In summary, the agency which Bush was recommending be created
to promote and maintain basic research would necessarily have to
be in the science education business as well. Further, it was recognized
that the agency's interest might properly have to extend to the pre-
college level of education.
C. PRECOLLEGE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND NSF
Congress recognized the necessity of having scientists be responsible
for science and education. The National Science Foundation Acts of
1950 13 stated in Section 3(a) that, "The Foundation is authorized
and directed-(1) to develop and encourage the pursuit of a national
policy for the promotion of basic research and education in the
sciences * *". Section 3(b) stated, "In exercising the authority and
discharging the functions referred to in subsection (a) of this section,
u Ibid., p. 26.
13 Public Law 81-507; 64 Stat. 149.
it shall be one of the objectives of the Foundation to strengthen
basic research and education in the sciences * *". Education thus
became part and parcel of the responsibilities of NSF, as if in appro-
bation of the statement by Dr. James B. Conant, President of Harvard
* in every section of the entire area where the word science may be properly
applied, the limiting factor is a human one. We shall have rapid or slow advance
in this direction or in that depending on the number of really first class men who
are engaged in the work in question * *. So in the last analysis, the future of
science in this country will be determined by our basic educational policy.14
A compact of faith concerning the importance of science education
had been made. It was only a matter of time before the National
Science Foundation was impelled, by its own sense of national inter-
est and, a few years thereafter, by impressive evidence of Russian
technological might, into a deep involvement with science education
at all levels. The need for proper preparation of students for the study
of science at the undergraduate college and university level led to a
concern for improved training of high school science teachers and for
development of better curricula for the teaching of high school science.
But it soon became clear that NSF would have to take responsibility
for the creation and maintenance of adequate science instruction at
these levels, as well as at the graduate level.
Although the question of whether pre-college science education
might better be relegated to the Office of Education has been vigorously
debated from the outset, proponents of NSF's pre-college program cite
a number of reasons for believing that a good deal would be lost in such
a transfer. The Office of Education, very appropriately, is primarily
concerned with subjects of central interest to schools of education in-
sofar as teacher training and curriculum development are concerned.
These schools are designed to prepare teachers to teach, and they pro-
vide unique instruction is a wide range of topics related to the difficult
problems teachers encounter and must handle. But they rarely are
equipped to provide extensive education in specific subjects: teachers
generally study history, science, economics and other such fields out-
side of schools of education, for the reason that it is generally agreed
that this material is best handled by experts who are either directly in-
volved in research or who are associated with research environments.
Why, then does the NSF pre-college education effort appear to
some as inappropriate? Perhaps it is because science-particularly
mathematics but increasingly some physics and chemistry-and
social studies are generally agreed to be an important part of the
curriculum at the elementary level. This has necessarily propelled
NSF into elementary education, an area that would appear to be
far from its research mission.
But is NSF involvement truly necessary? Proponents claim that it is,
for this is the point at which important conceptual impressions are
formed. They point out that science is an abstract art, built upon con-
cepts that require careful presentation in order to be understood. The
material must be well illustrated with elaborate care, and often the
student must be able to observe, or participate in, an experiment be-
fore a clear understanding is obtained. But in order to begin to under-
stand the processes of science, the student must at least learn a bit
14 As quotfd in: Krieghbaum, Hillier and Rawson, Hugh. An investment in knowledge. New York,
New York Uitivw-rity Press  p. 84. '
about how to observe events, and then how to think about how those
specific events illustrate some general law of behavior. And this is just
the start of what needs to be mastered.
The problem of adequately presenting abstract concepts, and of
involving students in classroom experiments, needed to be overcome
if United States science education was to be improved. This in turn
required new curricula and extensive science instruction for teachers.
NSF provided the institutional mechanisms and the support for
this to be d(lone. The research community, primarily from universities,
responded( by providing senior people with the necessary talent and
experience in science teaching. Significant improvements in pre-college
science teaching might well not have been obtained without this
direct involvement of the science community.
Thus it would seem reasonable to question whether any other agency
had the sort of relationship with the scientific community that was
needed to bring such a program into being, or to maintain such an
effort once it was established. In the words of Congresimnan Tom
Railsback (R. Ill.), NSF.
has torn down old barriers to communication between th,-e who teach
in the classroom and those who do research at the forefront of our quest for
scientific understanding." ,15
In their critical review of the NSF pre-college education program,
Kreighbnum and Rawson ,6 mention the impact of the NSF training
institutes for teachers as follows:
In the long view of hi:ttory, pos-ibly the greatest contribution will be that the
NSF institlites in general, and the Sliminer In-titutes in particular, helped to
focus an evolving philosophy of teacher training on a key idea: That subject-
matter courses should receive essential emphasis. The "workshop" idea that
centered around how-to courses has been supplanted by subject-oriented work,
such as that given in institutes. This key idea has been adopted not only for other
educational areas in the United States but by foreign countries. And while this
educational reorientation was taking place, the institutes programs also played
a quiet role in helping to integrate sntme Southern colleges and universities.
While the NSF in.titute- prograni, may not be the perfect or even the final
answer, they appeared to be the best solution yet dex ised to achieve large -cale
improvements in teaching of science and mathematics in United States schols,
a goal desired by ne:trlv all Americans.
They go on to say:
In the final analysis, two things seemed clear: The institutes had hebome
embedded in the nation's educational system and, although it was difficult to
describe with .-cientific precision the effects of the.-.v training programs, they were
contributing to bettr-r science and mathematics instruction in the United States.
But. beyond this, it also was apparent that the ultimate prerequisite for better
teaching was adequate preservice training of -cience and mathematics t. achers,
whether by NSF, other Federal agencie-, the state-, local communities, or private
As stated earlier, pre-service training is the area in which the
Office of Education is felt to have primary responsibility, so that
NSF probably would not be expected to get involved. Although there
might appear to be a possible demand to develop special courses
ls U.S. Congress. House. Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. HUD-Space-Sieip.e-
Veterans appropriation for lu7i. Hearings. 94th Congress. 1st ce:p,-ion. Wahirngtrn. U.S. Govt. Print. Iff.,
1975, part 6, p. 680.
16 Krieghbaumrn. Hillier and Rawson, Hughli. An investment in knowl-dge. New York, New York Uni-
versitv Press 11464] p. 333.
17 Ibid., p. 334.
for teachers as formal offerings of science departments in universities
and colleges, science faculty have voiced strong objection to doing
so in the past.
The special science education programs sponsored by NSF for pre-
college teachers are tailored to special needs and are not felt to be
generally appropriate for other students of science. This is a major
factor in the popularity of the institutes to college and university
science faculty, for the institutes clearly have a special function that
is not likely to be confused with advanced education in the sciences.
The focus is on the curricula and methods to be used by teacher-,
rather than upon the teaching of standard science courses.
D. PROBLEMS AND OBJECTIONS
In spite of its substantial contributions to science teaching, and its
tremendous popularity with teachers, the NSF pre-college education
program has often lacked support from some of those who are re-
sponsible for it. The National Science Board has on occasion (see
Chapter IV) evidenced concern that the high school education pro-
grams at NSF might overshadow the "more important" mission of
the sponsorship of basic research. In 1956 the Board resisted the
decision of the House Committee on Appropriations to increase, by
about 21/2 times, NFS's requested budget for high school science
teacher training for Fiscal Year 1957. This was shortly after the time
when the reports had been released showing superior science training
in the USSR.
More recently, the Office of Management and Budget is reported
to feel that pre-college education belongs in the Office of Education.
This is not entirely a new suggestion, nor are the arguments for and
against such a transfer, as evidenced by Krieghbaum and Rawson:
Ever since the NDEA was passed in 1958 there has been speculation that i
management of the NSF institutes eventually would be transferred to the Office i
of Education. Such a consolidation might well create complications for the training
programs in science and mathematics. Most institute directors, for example,
undoubtedly would prefer to deal with NSF, which is part of the "scientific
establishment," than with the Office of Education, which in many quarters is
viewed as a stronghold of "educators." Some observers doubted the Office of
Education would get the same amount of cooperation from the "scientists" as
NSF has received. And there was the simple fact that the science and mathematics
institutes appeared to be running smoothly under NSF's suzerainty.18
The 0MB interest in transfer to HEW is said to be based on a
feeling that greater efficiency would derive from having all pre-college
education programs at one place. Since the participation of scientists
seems to be an important factor in the success of the program, there
is reason to question whether the NSF institutes programs would
be able to be effectively maintained at HEW. Although the influence
of 0MB on the NSF budgets for education is not well-documented in
available literature, conversations with NSF staff make frequent
reference to OMB's position and opinions along this line.
Another reputed policy of 0MB is to avoid programs which might
become sources of continuing Federal support to education. This is
said to apply to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare
as well as to the National Science Foundation. The repeated reor-
galuizations and relabelings of the NSF education programs, starting I
1 Ibid., p. 331.
in fiscal year 1968, are said to be the result of OMB's insistence that
programs not be of a continuing nature.
Whether or not these reports have substance, even in part, it would
seem that the NSF education efforts are now conducted somewhat on
a "project-by-project" basis with at least the appearance that pro-
grams terminate after some particualr objective has been acheived.
This creates a kaleidoscopic series of program titles that are often
Tlhe (Congre:s, on the other hand, seems to be of the opinion that
the NSF pre-college education programs have 1 k'en very effective and
are one of the most attractive feature, of the entire NSF operation.
As documented later in this discussion, Congroe-,, has frequently
mandated a minimum spending level for tihe-e proigransi- and has
occasionally increased the budgets for the programs above Adnminis-
tration budget requests.
In summary, the NSF pre-college education effort exists amid
coun ter pre-sures from tlie Congress, from the OMYB, and from the
National Science Board. The interest of Congress ,its served to main-
ta n these program i within NSF, while the continuing questions of
the National Se.ence Board about the appropriateii'-.-; of NSF involve-
ment at this level of education and the presumed pressure from OMB
have dlenemanded that the NSF staff and their onrantees seek wavs to
improve tihe effort and make it an acceptable part of ,SF. Thirs would
account in p 'rt for the many changes in program objective, in pro in-m
structiro, and in program title that have occur: ed, from year to year.
Later ,.li;pt( v. ill detail tl.cse changes, and relit howv the NSF
involvement in prc-college curriculum development and implementa-
tion led to serious congressional concern in 1975.
II. DEVELOPING IMPERATIVES FOR A NATIONAL PROGRAM IN SCIENCE
A. THE EARLY PERIOD: 1950-1955
To those who studied the problem of how to apply science to the
national benefit at the close of World War ii, it was apparently clear
that science education must be an essential part of any national science
effort. There seems to have been no question about the matter in the
mimi of President Roosevelt at the time when he asked Vannevar
Bush to outline a national policy for science, for the fourth of his
requested recommendations wias to deal with thle question:
Can an effective program be proposed for discov,. ring and developing scientific
talent in American youth so that the continuing future of "cientific r -cii'rch in
this country may be a--ured on a level comparable to what h:i, been done during
the war? 19
In that same letter, Preident Roosevelt underlined his exp ecta-
tions for the utility of science with the following:
New frontiers of the mind are before us, and if they are pioneered with the
same vision, boldness, and drive with which we have waged this war we can
create a fuller and more fruitful employment and a fuller and more fruitful life.
In his response, "Science-The Endless Frontier"1,20 Dr. Bush began
his liscius..ion on education by saying:
The responsibility for the creation of new scientific knowledge rests on that
small body of men and women who understand the fundamental laws of nature
and are skilled in the techniques of scientific research. While there will always
be the rare individual who will rise to the top without benefit of formal education
and training, he is the exception and even he might make a more notable contri-
bution if he had the benefit of the best education we have to offer. I cannot im-
prove on President Conant's statement that:
"* * in every section of the entire area where the word science may properly
be applied, the limiting factor is a human one. We shall have rapid or slow advance
in thi. direction or in that depending on the number of really first-class men who
are engaged in the work in question. * So in the last analysis, the future of
science in this country will be determined by our basic educational policy." 21
However, there was no realization at that time of the massive effort
that would be recognized as needed about ten years later to overhaul
the nation's pre-college educational programs.
As the concept of the National Science Foundation began to
emerge and finally became reality through the National Science
Foundation Act of 1950, it seemed to be generally assumed that
Foundation activities would( be limited to the college and graduate
levels. The wording of the Act reflected this feeling by specifying
that the Foundation was authorized to award scholarships and gradu-
19 Letter from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Vannevar Bush, Director, Office of Scientific
Research and Developimnt. dated November 17, 1944.
20 Op. cit.
21 Ibid., p. 23.
ate fellowships to implement its responsibility for education in the
FUNCTIONS OF THE FOUNDATION
SEc. 3. (a) The foundation is authorized and directed-
(1) to develop and encourage the pursuit of a national policy for the promotion
of basic research and education in the sciences;
(2) to initiate and support basic scientific research in the mathematical, physical,
medical, biological, engineering, and other sciences, by making contracts. of other
arrangements (including grants, loans, and other forms of assistance) for the
conduct of such ba~ic scientific research and to appraise the impact of research
upon industrial development and upon the general welfare;
(3) at the request of the Secretary of Defense, to initiate and support specific
scientific research activities in connection with matters relating to the national
defen-e by making contracts or other arrangi.nents (including grants, loans, and
other forms of assistance) for the conduct of such scientific research;
(4) to award, as provided in section 10, scholarships and graduate fellowships
in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, and other sciences;
(5) to foster the interchange of scientific information among scientists in the
United States and foreign countries;
(6) to evaluate scientific research progromins undertaken by agencies of the
Federal Government, and to correlate the Foundation's scientific research pro-
grams with those. undertaken by individuals and by public and private research
(7) to establish such special commissions a: the Board may from time to time
deem nece:-,ary for the purposes of this Act; and
(8) to maintain a r,'gister of -cie-ntific and technical personnel and in other
ways provide a central clearinghouse for information co-'ring all scientific and
technical personnel in the United States, including its Territories and possessions.
(b) In exercising the authority and discharging the functions referred to in
subsection (a) of this section, it shall be one of the objectives of the Foundation to
strengthen basic r- earch and education in the sciences, including independent
r,.-arch by individuals, throughout the United States, including iUs Territories
and possi'-ionsnd nd to avoid undue concentration of such research and education.
(c) The Foundation shall render an annual r, port to the President for submission
on or before the 15th day of January of each year to the Congres-:s, summarizing
the activities of the Foundation and making such recommendations as it may
deem appropriate. Such report -h:ll include (1) minority views and recommenda-
tions if any, of members of the Board, and (2) information as to the acquisition
and disposition by the Foundation of any patents and patent rights.22
Section 10 of the act specified the nature of these scholarships and
SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS
S:c. 10. The Foundation is authorized to aw:rd, within the limits of funds made
available specifi':dtly for such purpose pursuant to section 16, scholarships and
graduate fellowships for scientific -tudy or scientific work in the mathematical,
physical, medical, biological, engineering, and other sciences at accredited non-
profit American or nonprofit for,'i ,n institutions of higher education, selected by
the recipient of such aid, for stated periods of time. Persons shall be ,elected for
such scholarships and fellowships from among citizens of the United States,
and such selections shall be made solely on the basis of ability; but in any case in
which two or more applicants for scholarships or fellowships, as the case may be,
are deemed by the Foundation to be po-e-ssed of substantially equal ability and
there are not sufficient scholarships, or fellowships, as the case may be, available
to grant one to each of such applicants, the available scholarship or scholarships
or fellowship or fellowships shall be aw:irded to the applicants in such manner as
will tend to result in a wide distribution of scholarships and fellowships among
the States, Territories, possessions, and the District of Columbia.23
It was from this beginning that the NSF education effort began to
evolve, to broaden, and eventually to attempt to reach students at the
22 The National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-507. 64 Stat. 149) (May be found in the
Conference Report-H. Rept. No. 1958-reprinted in the Congressional Record, v. 96, April 27, 1950. p.
very earliest stages of educa tion as a result of a growing feeling that the
study of science at every level must be built on an adequate base of
knowledge at the preceding level. Finally in 1972, some 22 years after
the establishment of the Foundation, Congress gave specific recogni-
tion to the nature of this effort by amending the Act of 1950 through
Public Law 92-372, 86 Stat. 526 which added the important phrase
"at all levels" to the wording of Section 3.(a) (1), so that it now reads:
SEc. 3. (a) The Foundation is authorized and directed-
(1) to initiate and support basic scientific research and programi.-, to
strengthen scientific research potential and science education programs at
all levels in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering,
social, and other sciences, by making contracts or other arrangements (in-
cluding grants, loans, and other forms of assistance) to support such scientific
and educational activities and to appraise the impact of research upon in-
dustrial development and upon the general welfare.24
This reflects the Foundation's deep involvement with science edu-
cation at. levels that might seem remote from its responsibilities for
research and for the education, presumably the advanced education,
of scientists. It also raises some fundamental questions about whether
NSF has made an unwarranted invasion into the proper territory of
the Office of Education, and whether the Foundation or any office of
the Federal Government, should assume the sort of continuing respon-
sibility for pre-college education that may be needed.
Pre-college education is generally considered to be a community-
county-state responsibility, under the direction of primarily local
interests. Even with the limitations implied by the term "science",
great care must be exercised in order to avoid upsetting longstanding
relationships that exist between the Federal Government and the
local institutions that manage and support the schools.
In addition, it must be recognized that XSF's educational activities
in such fields as the life and social sciences have the potential to be
offensive to the opinions of individuals, of groups, or of communities.
And so, while the maintenance of a strong science effort in this country
would seem to be properly a national issue, and while it follows that
the training of scientists is properly a matter for national concern,
there seem to be very definite problems in trying to establish the
sort, of pre-college educational system which will enable students from
every locality of the country to get the training they need to be pre-
pared for the study of science at the college or university level.
Al. The Education Programs Begin
Although the National Science Foundation never chose to imple-
ment its authority to award scholarships, primarily because it could
not establish that a lack of college tuition support was keeping
prospective students from further study, it established the graduate
fellowships program, which persists in essential form to the present
time, soon after it began operations. These fellowship awards are
provided on the basis of demonstrated academic achievement and
ability, and allow recipients to attend the institutions of their own
In Fiscal year 1952, the Foundation made its first fellowship awards
to 624 students at the graduate level and 55 at the post doctoral
level. This was the totality of the NSF education effort in that
4 Functions of the Foundation (42 U.S.C. 1862).
year, except for a small ($7,200) investment to initiate a totally
different type of progi ain aimed at improving the competence of
teachers at the college level. Entitled "Research Education in the
Sciences," this latter program was intended to provide support for
college teachers to spend either a summer or a full year, on leave, at
institutions where they could perform actual research. This effort to
improve teacher competence was a new direction, but was designed
to meet a need that appeared urgent in terms of the Foundation's
The first Annual Report of the Foundation had reflected a growing
awareness in the business community of a shortage of scientists and
engineers. To quote:
Robert E. Wil-on, Chairman of the Boird, Standard Oil Co. (Indiana) and
Chairman of the Research Committee of the National A-.-ociation of Manufac-
turers, is one of many industrial leaders who have called attention to the present
critical shortage in trained scientists and engineers. Mr. Wilson adds that "this
shortage is certain to grow more serious over the next ftw years and to seriously
hamper our war effort."
Lawrence P. Lessing writing in Fortu, carries the thought further: "Billions
may be poured into mnere brawn and steel, or into n:.ere applied research on
weapons, but unl -. these are aniiiiiated by a rising stream of basic science and
tcifhinical brains they will come to nothing."
In closing his article Le-.iiig quotes an editorial from Cwhe,,ical and Einginteering
News: "The fast approaching bottleiieck of too few scientists and technologists
c:V.l \W\fl be the most efficient we -ipon p '--essed by Stalin and the Politburo."
Since the training of young scientists is of such crutiial importance, the National
Science Foundation has determined that a graduate fellowship program should
be the first order of bu-ines. First emphasis will be given to fellowships rather
than scholarships, becai-e the completion of graduate wi.rk will have the most
immediate effects upon the national supply of t rained manpower.25
However, there clearly needed to be some way to ,,timulate more
students into going to college and to provide the best possible training
for those who did go to college. A survey by the National Research
Council's Office of Scientific Personnel had shown that 46 percent of
the students receiving doctorates in science in the period from 1936
to 1945 had received their undergraduate training at institutions
which did not (at the time the student was in residence) offer science
doctorate degrees. In other words, the faculty in those institutions,
many of which were small colleges, were isolated from the information
and the stimulus to be obtained from a direct personal involvement
in the performance of science.
Thus the concept of research education for teachers appeared to be
very important to NSF as a means of increasing teaching performance
in science at the college level. Discussing the matter in its Second
Annual Report, the Foundation stated:
If a teacher is to inspire and stimulate his students with the desire to purueie
re-r:irch car(.,r-, it seems clear that he himself must appreciate research. He must
be aware of significant developments in his field and be able to communicate to his
students the excitement and interest in new developments as they occur. This in
turn means that he must keep in touch with recarch progress and enjoy at
intervals a chance to do research or to form fresh zi-sociations with other research
scientists, preferably away from his home campus. The Foundation is, therefore,
assisting in developing methods for incro.aing the effectiveness of teaching at
institutions of higher learning and increasing the quality of training in the
25 The First annual report of the National Science Foundation. 1950-5i. Wal-iinton, U.S. Govt. Print;
Off.,  p. 17.
26 The Second annual report of th" National Science Foundation, fiscal year 1952. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off.,  p. 29.
This was the beginning of what would later become a major effort to
improve teacher competency at all levels. Although dlire'ted at the
college level, it marked the first direct attempt by NSF to magnify its
educational investment by training those who teach, as opposed to
such alternative i;es of funds as scholarships support for students who
might not otherwise go to college.
The matter was approached with the degree of caution that has
since become a characteristic of the Foundation. In its appropriation
request for Fiscal Year 1953, the Foundation included $100,000 for
a pilot, program in research education in the sciences, of which almost
$41,000 was eventually obligated out of an appropriated amount of
$50,000 (see Appendix A).
This was to be a trial, and as such it was subject to a good deal of
revision. Although the research education theme of this early program
has reappeared again and again among NSF education programs at
the college levels, in these early years it was rapidly replaced by a
new and more generally applicable idea for college teacher training
This change in direction reflected a good deal of previous study by
the Foundation, which had begun an examination of alternative ap-
proaches to college teacher education. As early as the fall of 1951, Dr.
Harry C. Kelley, the Foundation's Assistant Director for Scientific
Personnel and Education, nmade contact with Dr. Russel Cooper,
executive director of the Program for College Teachers at the Uni-
versity of Minnesota. This MNiniu-,ota program consisted of an
academic year-lon workshop for recipients of Ford Founmdation
fellowships. Through Cooper, Kelly miet Dr. J. W. Buchtli't. chairman
of the Physic-. Department at the Univer"itv of Minne"ota, and a
member of the advisory coililmittee for Cooper's pro,_ri'v'. Asked for
suggestions, Buchta outlined three types of effort which he felt
(1) Summer programs of 5 to 7 woek duration for faculty of
small college, to convey recent re-ea.ch results in various fields
(2) A special fellowship reward for teachers who had proven
their excellence by in-pi inL,: relatively large number.: of students
to go on to graduate school; and,
(3) Summer institute-; for high school science teachers.
The third suggestion seemed particularly important to Buchta,
who pointed out in a letter of November 28, 1951, that:
When the high school science teacher return- to coll'-g during a summer
session, he often finds that he is excludtid from the graduate courses in -ei,-nce
because he does not have the stated prereqi-itr. As a result, we find many of the
more able and ambitious teachter--those who r,-trn for additional college work-
are diverted to professional cour-rs and deLree-, in educati,,n-often adniinitra-
tive phases. There is need for summer programs explicitly dt-igned for the high
school science teacher. For many young p,'.ple. the time of decisions regarding
their career- is the high -.chool period. The high -chool teacher is an important
factor in education of future scientists.27
Manpower projections began to be gloomy in 1953, indicatipc, that
the number of science and engineerinog graduates from univer--itie- and
-i c a u t
colleges in 1954 would be only 38 percent of the number produced in
1950. It was also estimated that in 1955 the -USSR would produce
27 Krieghbaum & Rawson, op. cit., p. 91.
50,000 engineers, as opposed to 17,000 for that year in the United
States.28 As a result, the Foundation apparently began to look for new
formats for college science teacher education that would not require
the amount of close supervision of research training and that would
permit greater numbers of college teachers to participate. Dr. Water-
man's concern, as Director of the NSF, was clearly evident in his testi-
mony for the fiscal year 1954 NSF budget before the House Committee
Since the research education had been clearly labeled as experimental
in nature, and possibly because the Foundation did not have a line-
item budget, the Foundation was apparently able to change its fiscal
year 1953 progrnmi considerably. It would *eem that this occurred after
the House appropriation hearings for fiscal year 1954 had been held,
for no mention was made of this change in plan during those proceed-
ings, although the research education program was specifically dis-
cussed. But whatever negotiations were held with the appropriate
congressional committees, in fiscal year 1953 the Foundation sponsored
four summer institutes of the type that had been suggested by
Dr. Buchta (perhaps in addition to some reduced support for research
education). These were the following:
1. Colloquium on College Physics, State University of Iowa, June 17-20, 1953.
2. Conference on College Mathematics, University of Colorado, June 15 through
August 8, 1953.
3. Conference on College Biology, University of Oklahoma, June 15-19, 1953.
4. In-titute for College Teachers of Physics, Univ ,rity of Minnesota, June 15 to
July 18, 1953.
Their description in the Third Annual Report of the National Sci-
ence Foundation made it clear that the State University of Iowa had
had a long history in helping to improve the competency of college
teachers, so that Minnesota had hardly been unique in its program:
The 4 institutes were attended by a total of 250 teacher. from small colleges.
The participants came largely from the surrounding regional areas, although in the
ca-e of the mathematics conference at the University of Colorado all sections of the
country were represented.
The Colloquium on College Physics, an annual event now in its 15th year was
developed by G. W. Stewart, head of the Physics Department (retired), State
University of Iowa. The Colloquium consisted of a -(-ries of lectures by leading
scientists, followed by discussion periods. A fc-:iture of the program was the exhi-
bition of experimental teaching devices created by members of the Colloquium.
The purpose and organization of the Conference on College Biology at the Uni-
versity of Oklahoma were similar. Lectures were given throughout the week by
specialists in several fields of modern biology, followed by audience participation
The Conference on Collegiate Mathematics at the University of Colorado and
the Institute for College Teachers of Physics at the University of Minnesota were
of longer duration. At Colorado lectures weie given daily throughout the confer-
ence by two outstanding mathematicians. These were supplemented by lectures
from a series of visiting scientists who covered special phases of modern mathe-
matics. A feature of this institute was the spontaneous organization, by members
of the conference, of an informal group for discussion of problems of mutual in-
terest, including curricula, methods of teaching, and new textbooks.30
But in fact, the entire summer institute concept seems to have been
developed and pioneered by the General Electric Company, which had
28 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Corn-1
mittee on Appropriations. Independent offices appropriations for 1954. Hearings. 83rd Congress, 1st session.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1953. p. 60.
29 Ibid., p. 60.
30 Third annual report of the National Science Foundation, Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., .
established an imaginative program of summer institutes for high
school teachers in 1945. The success of these was eventually to impel
the National Science Foundation into a very similar effort. Although
created by GE, the idea spread to other corporations and eventually
In late summer of 1944, the outcome and close of World War II
seemed sufficiently assured that GE corporate planners were beginning
to think about the transition to a peacetime economy. One matter for
attention would clearly be the post-war recruitment of high quality
engineering talent at GE, for such a high technology firm would
clearly need to replenish its technical staff after such a long hiatus.
In the course of studying the problem, GE officials acquired records
on public and parochial school science and mathematics teachers from
the New York State Department of Education. These indicated a
tremendous need for teacher retraining in science and mathematics to
provide adequate education for those who would later undertake
undergraduate university and college study in technical fields.
General Electric officials in Schenectedy, New York, particiularly
Mlaynari Boring, who was responsible for recruiting technical and
scientific talent, and Roy C. Muir, GE vice pro.-ident for engineering
initiated di-c tissions about the problem with Union College faculty
and officials. A Union College science faculty mrnembr described the
objectives of General Electric's interest to Dr. Dixon Ryan Fox, the
College'- president, as follows:
(a) To improve, through a long range program, the teachling of science in the
high -.hi.l- of the contrv.
ib) "To bring the General Electric Compiiiy to the attention of students in
the high -chools of the country.
(c) Tu, encourage the bringing of exceptional high school students to the
attention (if the General Electric Company.
Of these, the first is the prime objective and it is to this end that the matter
has been brought to the attention of Union Colletge with the requo-t that we
present a- full a plan as is now feasible.31
The final plan presented by Dr. Fox to General Electric officials
was sufficiently rigorous to be justified as graduate level in-t r' ictloll,
and was designed for those having a significant background in c.ilege-
level science. As might be expected, the general format would be an
intensive course of study in the summer for a small number of partic-
ipants-hopefully one from each State as first conceived, though it
was later modified to be forty in number with no geographic restric-
tions. As proposed by Dr. Fox:
The summer session shall extend to six weeks, and cla-ses should be conducted
on five days each week. It can proceed, if de-ired, after July 1, 1945. The attend-
ance shall be limited to those nominated by the Company, and those so regi-tered
shall be known as Fellows. It is expected that all will have taken the bachelor's
degree. It is further presunmied that all shall have had at least two substantial
college, courses in Physics. They will find the work difficult if they are not familiar
with the calculus and with differential equations. Graduate credit shall be given
to those who do satisfactory work, to the extent of nine points or seme-ter hours,
representing more than one quarter-year's accomplishment, validated by the
College. a;nd presumably to be acceptedd by other institutions as toward the
Master'- or Doctor's degree. It is understood that an important part of the
Fellow's educational experience will come in his or her contacts with the staff
of the General Electric Company within the Company's buildings. As a matter
of fact. the Fellow will acquire more from six week.-,' study under these conditions
than would be possible during the same time in nearly any university, but since
31 Krieghbaum and Rawson, ibid., p. 66.
time and credit are associated in the judgments of university committees nine
points credit is all that can be feasibly allowed.
Each Fellow would be expected to take two courses. We are ready to offer two
courses in Physics, and, if de-ired, one course in Chemistry. Work of this grade
and character must be given in class sections limited to twenty students. Some
laboratory work will be given (in sections of ten), but it is not expected that, a
large amount of laboratory work will be required.
It is impossible to estimate the needs of every student, or even at the present
time to be sure of exactly what would best suit the majority. Some modifications
of plan might be nece--ary at the la-,t moment.32
The focus on courses which would qualify for graduate credit was
indicative of the sort of misunderstanding or uneasiness that university
facultv had about special courses for high school teachers. Academic
standm,,rds lie at the very heart of the problem of maintaining quality in
advanced education; and( it is the (departmental faculty themselves who
guard these standards most forcefully, for they know that their in-
dividual futures can depend upon outsi(le opinions of the quality of a
department's collective teaching efforts. One of NSF's later achieve-
ments was to provide a format which separated appropriate teacher-
training courses from the standard science curricula of academic college
and university departments, so tl,.t content and standards could be
adjusted to the real needs o(f thc;.e in the program. But this was a
lehon that was yet to be learned. The four courses proposed for
initial GE program were ambitious in terms of the general training of
high school science and mathematics teachers:
(1) "Modc'ri Physi il Theory"-an advanced lecture course on radiation
and matter or on quantum theory.
(2) "E11.c tronic-."
(3) "Topics in New World Physics" -described by Fox a-, ". interest-
in, suggestive and primarily informative, taking up for more than ca-ual
treatment such topics a4l raLdar, cyclotron, betatron, nonlinearity, servo-
(4) "Experimental Technique" -which was to instruct in glass blowing,
vacuum technique, i -trumentation, and other laboratory problems.33
Thrly of these, were approved by the General Electric Education
Committee, and were offered on the following bases:
Electronics (Vacuum Tubes-Theory and Phenomena). 4 lectures and 2
laboratory periods weekly. 3 semester hours crdit.
Modern Physical Theory and Phenomena. 32 lectures (with problemin
assignments). 3 -(enester hours credit.
Modern Applications of Physical M< a-urements. Lectures, conferences
and demon-tr:.tions (with problem a- '-.i Ients). 2 afternoons each week.
2 semester hours credit.
Although the problem of finding the proper level and scope for the
courses required a great deal of attention and adjustment, the General
Elec( tric Science Fellowships were a considerable succ .s. Over the
years, the program was expanded and came to involve four different
academic institutions in science instruction and three others in
mathematics. But later on, as the National Science Foundation pro-
grams began to grow large in the late 1950's, General Electric decided
to direct its educational efforts to other felds, such as guidance counsel-
ing for humanities teachers, where its efforts might have a more unique
impact. In 1959 General Electric terminated its pioneering effort at
the close of thle fifteenth summer s(-sion for GE Science Fellows. By
that time, approximately 2500 public, private, and parochial school
32 Ibid., p. 67.
33 ITii.., p. 68.
teachers hadl received a(lditional training under the progi,'o at a total
reportedly cost of about $1,500,000 to General Electric.
Following the initiation of the General Electric program, the
Westinghouse Educational Foundation establiled an effort with
the similar intent of improving the capabilities of science teachers.
This was done in response to a proposal from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, which proposed a six-week summer program,
(1) Daily lecture- on science by certain MIT faculty closely
connected with the teaching of physics, chemistry and mathe-
matics to freshmen and sophomore-.;
(2) Daily lectures on recent developments in physics, chem-
istry, biology, meteorology, geology, and aeronautical engineering;
(3) In.pection trip- to MIT science facilities; and
(4) Inform;l conferences on the subject of science teaching.
The program foi'ially opened in 1949, only to encounter the same
course-content problems as did the GE prgzin Even after -ome
years of operation, an MIT representative reported to Westinghouse
From beginning to end the course is c-eiicerned with the subject matter of
science. The :'ci.1i te:ich'- would prefer that the science they It.arn be directly
related to the -cienc th,-y must t,.'ch in -i-condary s-.}l' In addition they feel
that the laboratory e(xprri,'nts should be r,.'dily adaptable to their own '-uh.iol
environment. No attempt how.ve-.r, ha- 1- ii made to limit the teaching or the
laboratory along liiit-: which would better suit the -tiident. The student is dis-
appointed by the fact that nowhere in the course is he told how to t'-.1ach science
aLt the -c,)nd& vy sc!,u(ol level 34
('learlv, there was a need for teacher training programs, but ap-
parently the need was not for the type of science and mathematics
instruction that college and university faculty initially wanted to
provide. But given a bit of financial help, the high school teachers
kept applying to attend these programs and they were expanded by
Other corporations entered the field as well, including E. I. DuPont
de Nemots and Co., Shell Compai it. Foundation, Cro\ n Zellerback
Foundation, and the Burroughs Addling Machine Co. In addition, a
few universities offered special subject-oriented summer programs
without outside sponsorship. However, the lack of assistance for travel,
tuition, and living expenses seems to have been a barrier to poorly
paid teachers, and those programs were not nearly as s.ucce-ful as th1e
p)rogramls under industrial sponsorshi1) which could offer ,partial sup-
port for expenses..
Thus it seems that at the time of the creation of NSF in 1950, the
stage was set and the problem defined. Busine-.smen in high technology
industries, which were dependent upon a continuing supply of well-
trained scientists and engineers, had identified high school education
as the weak link in the educational syvtem. On the bi-
come to feel that poor high school science and mathematics teaching
not only resulted in inadequate preparation for later study, but it
also tended to discourage students from becoming interested in -cience,
engineering, and mathematics. This discouragement would deter some
students from making the effort to go to college, and would deter mnmy
who would go to college from careers in science and engineering.
u Ibid., p. 79.
While these industrial programs may have been partly justified as
long range personnel recruitment (it stood to reason that a teacher
who became impressed with a company through his or her summer
experience would communicate his or her enthu-siasm to students),
and though they certainly were good advertising, they were still veiv
serious efforts predicated on an understanding of the potentially
serious national consequences of poor science education at the high
Of course, these industrial efforts could not hope to meet the magni-
tude of the need that existed, but they (lid show a good deal about how
the problem could be met and thel d(id serve to acquaint educators, at
both the college/university level and at the high school level, with the
fact that such a need truly existed .
Under these circumstances it was almost predictable that, as soon
as it began to be actively involved in science education, NSF would
be propelled into active involvement at the high school level.
Perhaps it should be a testament to the isolation of scientists
involved in ()-raduate education and research in 1950-those who would
run the education progrnnis at NSF-that they would appear to have
been unaware of these events. Or perhaps it was merely the result of
the fact that so many United Stati,, scientists had been involved in
urgent \ wartime work and were, in 1950, putting all of their attention
toward reconstructin-t ZPraduate science programs. Since the high school
problem was extensively mentioned in "Science-the Endless Fron-
tier," it is intere-ting to contemplate the rea-,ons for the absence of
attention to this matter in records of discussions reil-ting to the creation
of the National Science Foundation and in its early congressional
hearings and reports.
Suffice it to say that the Foundation seems to have been genuinely
reluctant to become involved in science and mathematics education
at the high school level. It was only after it became obvious that
college enrollments in science were rapidly dropping that the Founda-
tion came to conclude that its responsibility to improve the nation's
capabilities in research demanded a sizeable investment of effort
to attract high school students toward science and to properly prepare
them to continue the study of science in colleges and universities.
Tle awakening began to be evident in the Third Annual .eODort
of the NSF, which recounted activities of fiscal year 1953:
If the Nation's scientific and technical manpower is to be maintained in
adequate numbers and proficiency, there must be an adequate flow of students
with aptitudes in these fields up through the secondary schools and colleges.
The Conimission on Human Resou'cf,, and Advanced Training has analyzed the
intelligence distribution of high school and college graduates in order to determine
the fraction of the student population capable of completing advanced training.
The findings indicate that 89 percent of our young people having at least the
average intelligence of college graduates finish high school in the United States.
Of these 38 percent enter college, and 25 percent graduate from college. These
figures make clear that a large loss of potential college graduates occurs between
high school and college, and that a send substantial loss occurs during the
colh'gc 3( ;iI's.
In the same study estimates wre made of the number of bachelor's degrees
and doctor's dgr ev.-, awarded for the 5-year period 1948-52 and for the estimated
period 1953-57. For the earlier period the total number of individuals receiving
bachelor's degree., in science, engineering, and agriculture totaled about 95,000
per year. The comparable estimate for 1953-57 is 66,800 per year a decline of
nearly 30 percent. For the earlier period the number of doctor's degrees granted
in the same fields averaged about 4,660 per year, compared with an estimated
5,420 per year for the period 1953-57. Since a 3- to 4-year lag exists the decline
in doctorate awards will not appear for several years, but after 1956 the number
of doctor's degrees awarded will reflect the same downward trend noted above for
bachelor's degrees. This is further shown by statistics indicating that the total
graduate enrollment at the first year level in all fields of -cience dropped from
approximately 12,000 in 1951-52 to approximately 8,000 in 1952-53.
Interpretation of the figures is complicated by a number of factors, which
prevent easy generalization. The decline in the number of graduates in science
and engineering is in part due to the effects of the reduced birthrate in the United
States during the 1930's. It also coincides. with the termination of large-scalc
Federal support. for education under the GI bill.
These factors may explain the situation but the statistics themselves indicate
that inadequate numbers of capable young persons are receiving advanced train-
ing in the sciences. They raise two questions: (1) how can the total college popula-
tion, and hence the number of students majoring in science, be increased; and (2)
how can the total number of graduate students in all fields of science be increased.35
In response, the Foundation considered the possibility of some sort
of financial assistance to students at the college level, but dismissed
the idea on the grounds that finances did not seem to be the most
important limiting factor: the time had not yet arrived when a college
education wvs generally regarded as essential for almost all who were
capable. But it did seem to NSF that something had to be done to
improve undergraduate teaching in science, which led to the first
four summer institutes mentioned above. And the need for something
at the high school level was also apparent, though NSF's reluctance
to goet deeply involved was evident in the description of activities for
fiscal year 1953:
The need for effctivw science teaching at the secondary school level is also
aci.to n cnc. it ;- :it the high school age that mnany students h.i to show an interest
in careers in scit nce. It is hoped that ways and means can be found through the
science teacher: at the secondary school level to identify and motivate toward
science those students who should become scientists.
During the )past year a grzint from the Foundation was awarded to Science
Service, Inc. for the support of Science Clubs of America. This aid has strength-
ened materially the programs of the science clubs and science fairs during the y: r.
In 14 new areas local science fairs N ere held and their finalists were able to partici-
pate in the Fourth National Science Fair held at Oak Ridge, Tenn., in May 1953.
In all the Fourth National Science Fair had exhibitors from 29 local fairs. During
the corning year the grant will assist in promoting science fairs in about 20 addi-
tional iocaliti(s. Part of the grant was used to finance the comn)ilation and publica-
tion of a booklet, Thousands of Science Projects, prepared to give students and
teachers ideas for science projects that can be undertaken. It is estimated that
activities under the grant benefited over 300,000 members of Science Clubs of
In the background, Dr. Buchta continued to promote his plan for
summer institutes for high school science teachers. Surely he was
to be taken seriously, for he had been chairman of the University of
Minnesota Physics Department since 1938; had been assistant dean
of lthe College of Science, Literature and the Arts at that institution
since 1945; was currently editor of the prestigious Reviews of Modern
Physics; had been assistant editor of the Physical Review, the prin-
cipal United States journal in physics, for 16 years; in addition to
holding a number of other high offices.
Dr. Kelly welcomed his interest in the Foundation's education
programs, and responded warmly when Buchta submitted a proposal
to hold a summer institute in physics for high school science teachers
35 The Third Annual Report of the National Science Foundation. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Offj
119541 p. 51 and ff.
'6 Ibid., p. 54.
in 1952. However, the NSF reaction turned negative when
Dr. Edwin B. Fred, vice chairman of the National Science Board,
telephoned Dr. Kelly to say that, although he had initially thought
the idea a good one, his conversations with the faculty of the Education
Department at his institution (University of Wisconsin) had indicated
that (1) such an institute should survey all fields that high school
science teachers are normally asked to teach (biology, physics,
mathematics, and so forth) so as to fairly treat all subjects and (2)
other sections of the country might benefit more from such an institute
In consequence of these statements from a senior member of the
National Science Board, Kelly decided not to submit Buchta's pro-
posal to the Board for approval.
Buchta did not give up on his idea. Hie submitted two proposals
for summer institutes in physics to be held at Minnesota in 1953. One
of these would be for college teachers and the other for high school
science teachers. They would operate simultaneously so the students
might benefit from cros,-stinulation, but would have different
NSF funded the proposal for an institute for college teachers,
but declined once again to support an institute for high school teach-
ers. Not to be daunted, Dr. Buchta managed to obtain support for
this second proposal from the Fund for the Advancement of Educa-
tion, an independent philanthropy started by the Ford Foundation.
The eventual success of this institute made a considerable impression
on the NSF staff.
At the same time, complaints from university faculty members
about the state of high school science education were increasing in
frequency. Dr. Bowen Dees, who was then head of the NSF Fellow-
ships Section, later reported that his conversations at that time with
college and university faculty on other subjects seemed inevitably
to turn to the inadequacies of high school teaching.
Buchta's proposal was by no means the only attempt to get NSF
to support activiti,-.s to help pre-college teachers or to identify and
counsel promising high school students. A variety of other requests
were made, to all intents unsolicated in spite of any conversations
that may have occurred with NSF personnel.
Through Fiscal Years 1952 and 1953, NSF apparently maintained
the official position that, while it was interested in the prob ems of
pre-college instruction, the limitations on its funds would not allow
taking on what appeared to be a new and enormous burden in dealing
with high schools. Such a position could readily be justified, not only
by the size of the NSF budget at that time but also by a legislated
limit;'tion of $15,000,000 on the total amount able to be appropriated
to NSF in any single year.
The removal of this limitation by the Congress in August 1953 may
have been the psychological turning point, for it created the prospect
of building a program that would be meaningful without necessarily
diverting funds from other programs in research and education at the
graduate level, areas which the Foundation regarded as primary. The
effect was surely hypothetical, though, for the entire fiscal year 1953
NSF budget was only $8 million.
37 Krieghbaum and Rawson, ibid., p. 98.
On the other hand, the Foundation had already developed the sort
of extensive and elaborate dependence upon advice from outside com-
mittees and individuals that has come to characterize its operation,
so that it was hard to exercise leadership from within NSF. Although
Dr. Harry C. Kelly, assistant director for Scientific Personnel and
Education, seems to have been convinced of the necess-ity of generating
some sort of program to improve the science competence of high school
teachers from the time of Dr. Buchta's first proposal, his means to this
end was complicated. However, his methods were characteristic of the
standard Foundation practice of waiting for strong, and apparently
independent, outside advice before launching a new program or
changing an old one. The many chance comments in con-T-ertions with
outstanding scientists, the proposals from Buchta and others, and the
advice from expert consultants, apparently v.ere not enough to
convince the most senior NSF officials of the need to initiate a program
to retain high school teachers in science and mathematics.
A2. Summer Institutes Begin for High School Teacb1' i'
It seems that the impetus had to come from outside of NSF, pos-
sibly because of a lack of enthusiasm from the National Science
Board, possibly because of internal politics and divided opinions
within the Foundation about the propriety of being involved in the
high school problem directly, or possibly because the Foundation
generally preferred to follow outside opinion rather than to lead or to
determine what that opinion should be. In any case, rather than
designing and announcing a program, the Foundation waited until it
received a proposal with such overwhelming outside support that it
could hardly be criticized, especially if it were to be funded as an
experiment rather than as the first grant of a deliberate program.
This proposal, from Dr. C. B. Allendoerfer of the University of
Washington, was the result of Dr. Kelly's use of professional societies
and other formal outside groups as advisors to the Scientific Personnel
and Education Division. The Mathematical Association of America
and the American Chemical Society apparently came to play a valuable
role vis-a-vis the Foundation "* * by stirring up interest in the
institute idea, by helping to prepare and select proposals, and by the
(sic) rounding up lecturers for institutes." 3s
In this case the direct link was with the National Academy of
Science,.National Research Council Committee on Regional Develop-
ment of Mathematics, which had been created in 1952. Kelly had
enlisted the committee's aid in 1952 in recommending college-level
summer institutes in mathematics and in locating qualified people and
institutions to submit appropriate propo al-s. The conference for
college-level teachers of mathematics at the University of Colorado
in 1953 had been the product of this committee's efforts.
In planning its recommendations for the summer of 1954, the
committee felt that the time had come to try the idea of a summer
'institute for high school teachers in mathematics. Along with its
other recommendations to the Foundation, therefore, there came
the proposal from Dr. C. B. Allendoerfer of the University of Washing-
tion to hold an institute of four or five weeks duration to precede a
meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics to be
m Ibid. p. 113.
held at that university in late August of 1954. The idea as stated in the
proposal was to have a conference:
. aimed at improving the quality of high school teaching in the country.
Particular empha;is will be placed upon the mathematical preparation of students
for college entrance, since all branches of science and engineering need a firm basis
of high school mathematics for effective work in college. There are many ideas in
the air relating to this aim, and it is hoped that this conference may offer an oppor-
tunity to pull these together and to serve as a real influence. It is proposed through
fellowships to the te(.chers to attract a nation-wide group of teachers who can in
turn influence the te:tching in their own school systems.
To NSF, this seem-ed to provide a highly defensible opportunity
to try a high school summer institute on an experimental basis without
opening the door to an avalanche of requests that might have to be
considered seriously. The credentials behind the proposal were impec-
cable: an.d at least one member of the Regional Committee pointed
out that in future years the Foundation might say that the proposed
conference had been funded bc,'use of its association with the later
mreetin1 of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, so as to
restrict the future submission of proposals to one per year.
Under this aura of caution, a grant for $10,000 was eventually
awarded. Then cane concerns about the reaction of faculty in colleges
of education, which turned out to appear favorable, and about the
reaction of the Office of EdIucation, which was pleased to learn of the
experiment and to be invited to participate in evaluating the results.
And uo, approximately 212 years after Dr. B;chta's strong formal
recommendation, NSF embarked on what was to become one of its
Imo-t popular programs, a proOrlim that has lately emerged as one of
its mo(st controversial efforts.
Fiscal year 1954 iwarked a significant change in funding for the
NSF teacher education efforts. Whereas only $40,844 had been
obligated in fiscal year 1953, the amount was $160,789 in fiscal year
1954. However, in s,'1!;,Pl'lliZg activities of 1954 in the Annual
Report, the Foundation gave little indication of the sense of urgency
that surrounded the issue of high school education. To quote:
The quality of science teaching at the secondary school level is of the utmost.
injp,)rt nce, for it is normally at the high school level that .tiident.- first exhibit
interest in scientificc careers. More import;, lit, decisions are made at this time in
selection of course work, such as mathematics, which is prerequisite to continuing
senintiic training in later y ';:rs. Mamy org:,iiz;itions, both private and public,
have -tudied the problem and ,g'netrally :ignre that the high school science teacher
has a unique opportunity to recognize talent early and to :.tinulate students to-
ward more intensive science training at college and postgraduate level:.. The
teacher needs guidance and assistance, however, in carrying out his responsibility.
D)utring the past year the Foundation has continued to support Science Service,
Inc., which administer: the Science Clubs of America and science fa:rs on a local
and national bsi.-s. This program provides a practical outlet for the scientific
enterprise and imagination of young students and encourages and rewards them
for their early scientific achievement. Science clubs are located in many of the
States of the country and receive strong support from many community groups.
The membership, now estimated at 300,000, continues to grow.
The Foundation also sponsored an experimental Summer Conference for High
School Mathematics Teachers at the University of Washington, Seattle, July 26-
Augu-t 20, 1954. This conference, somewhat similar to the college institutes, was
aimed at the high school teaching level and emphasized modern viewpoints in the
teaching of algebra and geometry.39
30 Fourth Annual Report of the National Science Foundation, Washington U.S. Gov't. Print. Off.,
[1.-15] p. 56.
At about the same time, Dr. Eugene P. Northrop, a professor at
the University of Chicago who had been hired on a consultant basis
by NSF to run the Education in the Sciences (formerly the Research
Education in the Sciences) Program, was to state as follows in his
report on the success of the summer institute for mathematics
The widening gap between demand and supply of teachers in the years. ahead
is appalling. We are faced on the one hand with a swelling population of school
and college students and on the other with a shrinking population of school and
college graduates prepared to teach. The shortage promises to be especially acute
in the category of science teachers for secondary schools and small colleges, where
discrepancies between teaching salaries and salaries in bu-ine-s and industry are
It therefore would appear that the senior administration at NSF
was still undecided about the Foundation's proper role in pre-college
education in the fall of calendar year 1954. There was no mention of
any plans for summer institutes for high school teachers in the 1955
appropriations hearings before the House of Representatives, held in
the spring of 1954. The Foundation only requested $150,000 for the
Education in the Sciences Program in fiscal year 1955, the same amount
as requested in the previous year even though the overall NSF budget
request sought an increase from $8 million to $14 million. This would
have implied a reduction in science education support from the final
1954 obligation figure of $160,789. The Congress voted total appro-
priation for fiscal year 1955 of $12,250,000, and before the year ended
the Foundation had redeployed funds to obligate $315,790 to Educa-
tion in tlhe Sciences.
This marked increase does not appear to have been the result of
any independent decision on the part of NSF regarding the importance
of science education. Rather, it seems to have resulted from direct
action by President Eisenhower, who hadl learned of the growth h of
Soviet scientific manpower during a Cabinet meeting and who had
therefore established a Cabinet-level body, the Special Interdepart-
mental Committee on the Training of Scientists and Engine.-rs, to
study tlhe United States' situation and to seek solutions to reported
problems. Dr. Arthur S. Fleming, Director of the Office of Defeni-e
Mobilization, was named chairman. On Mvay 24, 1954 he appointed
additional members as follows: Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of Defense
Sinclair Weeks, Secretary of Commerce; James P. Mitchell, Secretary
of Labori: Oveta Culp Hobby, Secretary of Health, Education, and
Welfare; Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman of the Atomic Enerzy
Commission; and Alan Waternan, Director of NSF.
Thus the Foundation was suddenly in a powerful association whose
members would focus on finding workable solutions to the manpower
problem without undue concern for the former priorities of the Na-
tional Science Board or of the senior administration of NSF. According
to Krieghbaum and Rawson:
The agenda for the organizational meeting of the Special Interdepartmental
Committee on July 21  listed five facets of the manpower problem:
Si) Supply is well below demand for engineers and will be for the foreseeable
i2) The number of science students is decreasing.
(3) Univ-.',rsities are losing top-grade graduate students and many teachers
10 As quoted in Krieghbaum and Rawson, op. cit., p. 1 '.
(4) High schools are having difficulty in building up a solid core of competent,
inspiring tacheii- of science and mathematics.
(5) The nation needs to retain trained engineers and scientists in their specific
The report of the Special Interdepartmental Committee was deliver-
ed in October, 1954, and recommended, among other things, that the
Direct the Nation l Science Foundation, with the cooperation of other depart-
ments and agencies to: (1) continue to study and evaluate possible courses of
action (whether or not delinem.ted in this present report) which would tend to
solve our scientific and engineering manpower problem; (2) emiphasize programs
within its responsibility which will contribute to a solution of the problem, and
(3) provide leadership to other departments and agencies in developing plans and
activities which will contribute to a solution of the problem.42
This coincided with the internal recommendations that Northrop
had made to mount programs in Fiscal Years 1955 and 1956 that
(1) Stimulation and education of those now teaching science in high schools
(2) Improvement of the high school and college science curricula.
(3) Identification, motivation, and con idling of high school students.
(4) Improvement of xi:. tilig knowled(h, about scientific ability, its charac-
teristics and identification, and the motivation and conis(ling of talented youth.43
Due to the unusual structure of NSF, the major changes which z
seemed to be demanded could not be made without approval of the
National Science Board. In its November 5, 1954, meeting, the Board
agreed with Waterman's proposed expansion of educational activity
and authorized an increase in the planned budget request for fiscal i
year 1956 of up to $1.5 million. The Board stipulated that this might .
be used to augment the original plan of $500,000 for Education in the
Sciences, or in other ways which might meet the education problem.
This marked the turn in interest and policy, for science education has :
remained a major activity of the Foundation ever since.
In retrospect, it could hardly be :.aid that the Foundation entered
the pre-college education field on its own initiative. The problem
was thrust upon it by circumstances, and responsibility to take action i
was re,,i.ted in spite of a broad and growing concern within the science.
community about the state of high school science education. Inf
addition there is ample evidence that the senior administration of the
Foundation and the National Science Board would have been pleased
on a number of occasions to have surrendered this responsibility to
any other auspices capable of performing the important job corn-
petently. On the other hand, it was at least clear in the middle and.
late part of the 1950 decade that science education could only be
improved through the active participation of first-rate research
scientists having a thorough command of the current knowledge in
their respective fields. The improvement and maintenance of quality
of the subject-matter included in science curricula, even at the pre-'
college level, therefore became an activity of the scientific community
rather than of the precollege educational community. Since NSF had
a particular responsibility for education in the sciences, the Eisen-
hower administration felt that the Foundation would have to accept
41 Ibid., p. 162.
42 As quoted in Krieghbaum and Rawson, ibid., p. 165.
43 Ibid., p. 160.
major responsibility, even at the hazard of having to direct some of its
attention away from research and graduate education.
As mentioned above, the Foundation reassigned funds in Fi.,,al
Year 1955 to expand its summer institute offering by a considerable
amount. As opposed to four institutes the previous year, there were
eleven in fiscal year 1955, six of which were for high s(.hool teachers.
The Annual Report depicted events as follows, though it did not
indicate the mariner in which the interdepartmental committee had
Several years ago the Foundation learned through exploratory studies that a
most critical and immediate linditing factor in developing latent science talent in
the youth of the United States was the dwindling supply of adequately triiripd
science teachers. In each succeeding ye:Lr the 'rloportion of college grLdi:t-
qualified for high schooll science teachin-_ has declined. Because of the unavail-
ability of science teacher,, many schoolss today have a limited icieince progrzilii
or none at all. In other schools science e teaching is on an emergency ba.-is aind many
teachers have les., than the minimum training required for certification.
As this trend continues, the introduction of -cieiie, to our potential young
scientists becomesn--; more and miire inadequate and di-torted. A poorly trained
science teacher is unable to capture the imagination of hi- students, to formulate
and teach them up-to-date and vigorous cour-e,-, and to guide their sci.-ntific
development according to their abilities.
In accord with these finding-, the Foiindatiin for the past 3 e:..- h.,. conducted
a series of experimental programs to -dtrengthen science te.iching at the high schLl
Summer Institutes and,! Visiting Li ,-lrur.-
For 3 years the Nation:il Seience Fnindattion has sp,,ni-or rd a e-rie of summer
institute' attended by -cience teacher, i at both the hiah school and col,,g':, level.
The institutee. ni'rmn.ally r:'i for si'vr:tl weeks and the tachirs atte.idi i.. th iem
were given an opportunity to review recent development- in their re--pective
fields of s-cience under the guidance of leading -cienti-t-. The talile 1below sum-
mnarize- information on all institutes that have been held during thi- period.
Nal i,'nal Science Fou la i,'n, S u mmer Isiitu tes
Pari ;cip7 rit.
Univer-.ity o(f Colorado __-___
Univer-itv of Minnte-,ota_____
Noirth Car: ina-
Mn athemll itics- -_-------
Univer,.ity of Wy,,no ing _____
Univer:-itv if Minnesota ----
Svracu.e l.niveritv_ -
Oklahoma A& 'I Colle.e_-_-
Oklahonma A & M College- ...
University of \Wi-corii-iii__ _
Oak Ridge In-titate of Nu-
Penns-ylv-ania State Univer-
University of New .[exico....
Chenii-tr __ ___v
Chl 1ui- try ------
M a then l. tics_- -- -
.\la then 'a tics
Phy-ical Sciences --
High Sch,,ol Teach' i-.
C ,,ll_-g,: Te,,:ch.-rs.
lIl;gh School Teachers.
C', ile-r- Teachers.
1-1High Shiol Teachr-.r.
High School and College
High School Teach..-r.
High School Teacher-.
High School and College
The response of the teachers attending the in-titutes has been eniithusia-tic .
and the Foundation plans to continue this experimental program. During the i
p)a-t year, however, a grant has been awarded to the Bureau of Social Science
Research, A'merican Univer.-ity, to attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of I
summer institutes as a device for improving high school and college teaching of i.
The Foundation has also provided several grants on an experimental basi4 to F
enable outstanding scientists to visit groups of colleges and lecture on recent .i
That 1955 Annual Report went on to discuss the fact that only
40 percent of those having I.Q. scores of 120 or more in the proper
age-group to go to college would actually finish college. The discussion
pointed out that a cabinet level interdepartmental committee had
been formed and "* * has attempted to gather available informa-
tion on the problem and to make recommendations for possible action.
Clearly, the problem is not one that can be solved solely by action of
thle Federal Government. Education in the United States is almost
entirely the responsibility of State and local governments and private
groups and the social pressirei required to improve or modify the
educational system is generated in the citizenry itself." 45
The discussion then described NSF research into the problem of
how to get a larger fraction of the bright students to enter college;
and concluded that a scholarship program might aid those bright
students who wanted to go to college but who could not afford to
(approximately 100,000 in number each year), but would provide no
inducement to go to college for an equal number of bright students
who did not want to attend. Presumably this consideration partly
reflected NSF's authority to conduct a scholarship program, and|
partly the discussions of the interagency committee. In any case. the
national awakening in science in the late 1950's ameliorated the con-
cern over this matter.
In a very short space of time, science manpower problems became a
matter of recognized importance. In July 1955, Dr. Waterman released
results of a survey on the impact of the shortage of scientists and
engineers on industrial research. The survey, conducted by the Bureai
of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, reached 11,600 coni-
panics, and contained extensive examinations of problems in 200 of
the largest of these companies. The report noted that:
The shortages of -cientific and engineering personnel reported by many com-
panies represented, in most cises, a demand for additional staff for eurrBnt
research prograiis; in others, a need for additional personnel to permit a planned
expansion in research activities. Approximately one-third of the companies inter-
vic\\'vtd reported major or substantial numerical shortages of research scienti-td-
and engineers. About one-sixth of the companies reported shortages of a le-;
extensive character. The remaining half of the firms said they did not have nu-
mericzl shortages of personnel, but many companies in this group emphasized
their need for scientists and engineers with more advanced training or better
professional qualifications. Officials of several of these firms said they would
expand their reseaarch and development activities if well qualified or better
trained persons could be found.
Lack of sufficient scientific and engineering personnel was reported, in many
instances, to have hindered comp)inie. in carrying c(ut going re-carch pr,'.,aran-.
A sizable though smaller number of firms said they had bk'Cn forced to curtail
projected increases in their research and development activities.
44 Annual Report of the National Science Foundation, Fi-cal Year 1955, Washington, U.S. Govt. Print.
Off. 11956]. pp. 70, 71, 72.
45 Ibid. pp. 71 and 72.
The proportion of companies reporting shortages of re-earch and development
scientists and engineers was largest, as previously noted, in the aircraft, electrical
equipment, petroleum, paper, food, and primary metals industries. * 46
But soon. after this another report was to be issued that would have
far greater impact in promoting the growth of NSF's pre-college
education efforts in size and diversity. This was a study by Nicholas
De Witt entitled "Soviet Professional Manpower-Its Education,
Training, and Supply," 47 the latter part of which had been conducted
under NSF sponsorship.
Advance copies of the report were available at the time of the NSF
appropriations hearings in the House of Representatives, though
apparently they had not yet been distributed to Congress. Members
of the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations
were clearly skeptical of De Witt's results, as quoted by Waterman.
The following interchange is illustrative:
Dr. WATERMAN. * At the same time there is every reason to believe that
the U.S.S.R. has already surpassed us in the production of engineers and is on the
way to doing so in the production of scientists.
Mr. THOMAS. I notice that you, 2 or 3 times, refer to that throughout your
justification. How much is fact and how much is fiction? How did you :arrive at
Dr. A\X TEHMAN. While there is some uncertainty as to exact figures, there are
various wa\ys of getting at information.
We have a fairly clear idea now of what is happening in a general w:'v. For
example, we do know that they apparently have pa!:-.ed us in their output of
engineers in 1952 and are now ahead of us.
Mr. Y \TES. How do you know that?
Dr. XVATFRMAN. That was in their 5-year plan, and a, evidenced by the _,"r-iiua-
tion froii their schools.
Mr. THOMAS. How do you get that information?
Dr. XV.\TERMAN. In various ways. These are public statements where they are
mentioning their accomplishments. Others are from tranvelrs and various sources
of information which we put toge t her.
Mr. THOMiAS. What are their public utterances in the field of information which
makes it any different in relation to this activity? We have had a lot of experience
with them in their other statements. We find that that is just not worth the paper
it is written on. How do you reconcile your statement that they are ahead of iiu in
this field or that field, when no one knows the truth of it?
Dr. VWATERMAN. We have their 5-year plan, in fact, a succe.-.-ion of 5-year
plans for education. We have the benefit of people who have been there traveling.
There was a book written on the subject by an Australian who was attached to the
Embassy there. I have a summary of information which came out in Business
Week as the result of an interview with me. Recently the Harvard Review came
out with a report which was abstracted, a digest of it, by Nichola" De Witt in
Aviation Age, which represents some of their findings. Of course, one cannot go
into all sources of information by which this is received.
We have to make a compilation of what we can get. Things like this are fairly
clear, things such as are stated in this article by De Witt. We have copies of this
for members of your committee, if you like.
Mr. THOMAS. What is the basis of his information? People travel from this
country into that country, but the bridle is put on them when they get there.
They are shown the things they want them to see. I do not see how you can put
too much credence in any of their propaganda.
Dr. WATERMAN. I think we can count on this, Mr. Chairman, they have a
larger population than ours, and they are evidently making a drive in education.
Mr. THOMAS. Do you have any information of what they are doing in the
public school system? Do they have a public school system?
Dr. WATERMAN. They do. We understand that 40 percent of the time of high-
school students is devoted to required science, that if they fail to pass two cour-ss
46 As reprinted in the Congressional Record, v. 101, July 27, 1955, p. 11626 and ff.
47 De Witt, Nicholas. Soviet Professional Manpower-Its Education, Training, and Supply. National
Science Foundation, Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off. . 400 p.
they are dropped. All along the way there is a selective process. We know from
n,'v-papers that they likewi-e play up scientists and scientific activities. This is
So far as we can find out in their treatment of scient ists, the scientists rank
about No. 3 in occupational standing, salary and so on. I should say the engineers
rank about that. They rank college professors and statesmen higher than that.
Every evidence is that they are doing the utmost to develop their science as a
source of economic strength and a strength in defense.
Mr. THOMAS. I think the evidence at hand will substantiate that statement.
As to the results they are producing and the numbers, that is something else.48
Though that element of disbelief about the strength of the Soviet
thrust in Science would soon vanish, the subcommittee chairman,
Mr. Thomas, raised a fundamental issue that has continued to be a
Mr. THOMAS. Here is a pretty good place for me to say this. I have read your
juiitifie:tions carefully. I ws struck with two outstanding thoughts. One is that
it is not going to be very long before you have a charge thrown in your face, and
you are going to have a hard time defending it, that the National Science Founda-
tion is trying to take over in this country the college, and the universities and
lay down the pattern and control, through a Federal bureau in Washington, the
education and training (of college students and scientists. That is No. 1.
No. 2 is that a ar-,'- part of this justification is predicated on fear of what
Russia is doing. Those are the two main reactions that we get out of your
j ust if i: itions.
Dr. WATERMAN. On the first one, Mr. Chairman, I hope we make (ourselves
quite c1,.:r. I am -iinr our friends and colleagues in science and in the universities
know that we are not planning to mastermind the educational pattern from Wash-
inmton. You will notice we have no large educational program which we are
trying to operate frnm Washington.
'". THOMAS. You ,jump from about $200,000 4 years ago up to $20 million.
D)r. WVATERMAN. This is not all training. The educatiion and -cience program
is largely a matter of conference(- and studies to determine what should be done.
Mr. THo.MAS. That is whi.r" you start.
Dr. WVATERMAN. This is available to everyone. We would expect that univer-
silies and colleges in their neighborhoods--
Mr. THOMAS. It is what yo)u lay down. You offer this bait to the colleges and
universities. "If you want this money, you take it through this channel. We are
the mastermind. This is what we want you to do. If you want this money, you
do this, or you do that or the other." Is that correct?
,)r. WATERMAN. No, sir; I would not say that.
Mr. TiiHOMAS. What would you -iy?
Dr. WATI] :IA.\N. The people holding the conferences---
Mr. THOMAS. I amn talking about schools and universities. You lay down the
pat' irn for what you \vnt them to do.
Dr. WATERMA \. No, sir.
Mr. TiHOMAS. Then you send your people in there to see that they do it. You
call it a discussion with them, an evaluation, and so forth.
Dr. WATE'RMAN. The discu--ions are not primarily our staff. They are by the
people concerned in the edua ional field.
Mr. THOMAS. They are your agents and doing what you want them to do.
Dr. WATERMAN. They are doing what they wish to do. We try to follow their
plans. These are thrown wide open for them to determine for themselves what
they think is the advantageous thing to do.
Mr. THOMAS. Before you pass out this amount of money to the univer-ity,
you lay down the pattern, do you not?
)r. VATEr MAN. V1* certainly do not here. We have several checks on that.
Ve have additional committees appointed by the Board. These are pnit-time
people who are authorities in their fields from all over the country. They are
the ones that advise us with respect to what should be done. We also have our
Board, which is highly representative of all secti,'n- of the country. They pass on
these plans, too.
4S U.S. Coiiiww'o.. House. Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. Independent Offices
Appropriations for 1,'5ti. ITHoii'g- 84th Conignrss, 1st session. Washington. U.S. Govt. Print. OfT., 1955 p.
Mr. THOMAS. When they deal with X institution, they speak as repr(-entatives
of the National Science Foundation; is that correct?
Dr. WATERMAN. In any program of the Foundation, they do; yos, sir.
Mr. THOMAS. That is what we are talking about.
Dr. \VATERMAN. The plan of conferences and studies is worked out by the
scientists and educators and not by us. We are only the agent which makes them
possible. We take their recommendations. Our whole effort is to see to it that
this is done by the people who are directly concerned. I, personally, am very
much interested, Mr. Chairman, in avoiding any dictation on the part of a Federal
agency in the field of education. That is why we have not proposed a general plan
with a great deal of money in the field of education. We are trying to determine
what it is the scientists feel should be done. These studies are made by the
scientists, by the univer-ity people, and by the industry people, to determine
what they think is the right thing to do.49
Judging by these statements, Dr. Waterman apparently felt that
the National Science Foundation was administering its educational
programs in a way that gave considerable insurance against charges
of Federal manipulation of school and community affairs. However,
the system had serious weaknesses that would impair the effectiveness
of the Foundation's leadership and would remove it from important
areas of decision. In 1975 those weaknesses would result in major
questions about the Foundation's management of its education pro-
gramins. Though descriptions of specific events leading to these questions
will be presented in their respective chronological contexts at other
points in the text, it seems appropriate here to give a brief summary
of the nature of the general management problems that would lead
A3. Principles cf Program Management
In order to understand the Foundation's management approach,
it is worth remembering that NSF's central interest is basic research.
NSF feels that it is the only agency whose mission is to promote basic
research without regard to immediate or eventual utility. It has
primarily been staffed and run by scientists, most of whom are either
directly from an academic background or who have a strong interest
in academic science. As a result, the management practices adopted
in 1950 and shortly thereafter, and many of those practices existing
today, bear a similarity to practices foi:iid in academic management.
Such practices were primarily designed for the administration of
basic research, which would seem appropriate for NSF. They have been
structured to allow for a great deal of individual discretion by those
doing research, on the assumption that the full exercise of intellectual
creativity can only occur when researchers are free from having to
adhere to definite objectives and definite schedules of progress. Since
each research investigator is presumed to be an authority in his or
her own sphere, it has been presumed to be unnecessary, and possibly
counter-productive, to require a grantee to seek approval for decisions,
either major or minor, affecting the conduct of his or her research.
The National Science Foundation designed its own management
procedures to reflect these principles. Its research grants have been, in
a very real sense, monetary awards to scientists who 1) have been
deemed to be competent and 2) have proposed worthwhile research
projects-both matters being judged primarily by other scientists
known to be expert in the fields in question or in closely related areis,
and who were not themselves members of the NSF staff. Once a
d Ibid,. p. 234,235.
grant is made, the grantee has been under little formal obligation to
meet any particular objectives or, in principle, even to work on the
problem originally proposed to the Foundation. The principal hazard
faced by the grantee has been in having to obtain favorable opinions
from the scientists who would review his or her next proposal. Un-
favorable opinions would mean that the next proposal would pre-
sumably be declined.
Tile Foundation itself has traditionally avoided evaluating the
performance of grantees, except in determining whether another
grant would be awarded to a given scientist. In this way the Founda-
tion has allowed the scientific community to control its own affairs
and has avoided exerting undue influence. In NSF's view, the success
of a basic research project is determined by whether other scientists
find the results useful, and this comes about through the publication
of research results in profe signall journals.
Though regulations relating to grants have become more formal
with the passage of time, the baic principles of NSF administration
remain much the same. While NSF now reserves the right to approve
certainn decisions of the investigators it supports via grants, the
emphasis is definitely on permissiveness and non-interference. In
consequence of procedures established by the 0MB for all Federal
agencies making grants, NSF issued a grant administration manual
in 1973. It set forth the following rules:
PROJECT OR GRANT CHANGES
400. CHANGES IN METHODOLOGY OR OBJECTIVES.
A key factor in the NSF decision to support a project involves the broad ob-
jectives of the proposal in terms of the areas of scientific knowledge to be advanced
or other aims to be achieved. The methods and procedures employed in reaching
those goals and the specific early objectives also are of importance in many pro-
gram areas. The Office of Management and Budget, in its Circular No. A-101,
recoi 5zed two principal types of projects supported by assistance-type Federal
Type 1: Those for which the course of the work is not defined precisely and
specific points in time for achievement of results are not spelled out, but the
principal objectives are stated. For such projects, the institution bears primary
responsibility for the conduct of the project and should exercise judgment toward
attaining the stated objective, within the limits of the resources provided.
Type 2: Those for which detailed objectives or goals are specified in advance
by the Government or for which the Government otherwise considers it necessary
to be able to exercise close control over the direction, specifications, methods or
schedule- of the project.
NSF believes that the Principal Investigator or Project Director operating
within established grantee polici;-s should feel free to pursue interesting and im-
portant leads which may arise during the conduct of a scientific research project,
or to adopt an alternate approach which appears to be a more promising means of
achieving the objectives of various other Type 1 projects. On the other hand,
the award instrument for Type 2 projects may provide for a degree of NSF review
and direction appropriate to achievement of the goals or objectives stated in the
applicable program announcement.
4,2. Basic Restrictions
402.1. Neither the broad category of research nor the objective, of the projects
stated in the proposal (or agreed modification thereto) shall be changed without
prior NSF approval.
402.2. Significant changes in methods or procedures shall be reported to the
cognizant NSF Program Officer. However, the award instrument for Type 2
projects may require advance coordination with the cognizant NSF Program
Officer and specific NSF approval before such change- are undertaken.50
50 NSF Grant Administration Manual. National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.,
October 1973, NSF 73-26.
Thus a person supported by an NSF grant still has practical au-
tonomy under section 401; and in practice the restrictions cited in
section 402.1, and generally under 402.2, are customarily administered
quite informally at the sole discretion of a single program officer
whose interest is directed primarily toward awarding new grants,
rather than toward monitoring existing grants.
As Dr. Waterman's statements indicated, NSF attempted to apply
thee same principles to its education programs. This would seem
to explain something about why the impetus for mounting the pre-
college programs had to come from outside the Foundation, in spite
of very strong internal advice from a number of staff members. It
would also explain why Dr. Waterman seemed unaware of the possible
negative con-equences of failing to devise procedures which would
ensure that NSF would maintain control over sensitive questions in its
There have been a number of times when events might have
prompted NSF to review its procedures and to establish methods
which would have provided such control. This could have been done
in ways that might have protected a good deal of the autonomy of
those who ran the various institute program's, and of those who
would later engage in curriculum development. But as the Founda-
tion extended its support to the development of curricula, and then
to the instruction of those curricula to teachers, and finally to assisting
in the implementation (i.e., the adoption and initiation of pupil
instruction) of its own curricula in school systems, it still operated on
the basis that grantees should make the policy decisions relating to
their grant-supported activities. As a result, the mechanisms for
self-correction were weak. When criticism erupted in the spring of
1975, the Foundation could only reiterate Dr. Waterman's statement
of 1955 (quoted above):
The I)plan of conferences and studies is worked out by the scientists and educators,
not by us. We are only the agent which makes them possible.
And as that agent, NSF found it difficult to explain why it did not
have authority over the ultimate uses of the Federal funds appro-
priated to it.
B. PRE-COLLEGE SCIENCE EDUCATION BEGINS TO ATTRACT NATIONAL
Though the Foundation's pre-college education efforts seemed
stronglh- established in 1955, events of the next few years would make
this earlier period look miniscule in terms of the size of the program,
its breadth of objectives, and its philosophy. In spite of the indications
of congressional skepticism about the Soviet educational situation in
the appropriation testimony for Fiscal Year 1956, and in spite of
congressional concern about undue influence of the Federal Govern-
ment in local school affairs, the 1956 program in Education in the
Sciences totalled $1,416,820 as compared to $315,790 the year before.
In consequence of this expansion, the NSF program titled "Education
in the Sciences" was now formally structured into three sub-programs:
Teacher Programs ($1,119,970), Student Programs ($279,440), and
Curriculum Programs ($17,410). The Teacher Programs consisted
primarily of summer institutes, now 25 in number as opposed to 11 the
National Sie, ncv Foundation Sunmmer Institutes, 1956 51
Wi-wminsin State College at
Indiana Univerit --v ----
University of Utah-_____
Botanical Society of America,
at Cornell Univer-ity.
Indiana University ---------
Montana State College-------
Oregon State College--------
Iowa State Teachers College--
University of Michigan__----
American Society for Engi-
neering Education, at the
Argonne National Labora-
tory (cospon-, ird with
AnMieric:nn Society for Engi-
neering Educ:tion, at the
Brokhaven National La-
bor:,tory (cosponsored with
University of Arktn:sis ---
American Uni.rsit y---------
M marshall College ------------
Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear
Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear
Uniiiversity of Rochester------
University of Wvy(ning- ---
Duke Univerity (cosponsored
Harvard University (cospon-
sored with AEC).
University of New Mexico
(cosponsored with AEC).
AI:!n:i College -_---
Pennsylvania State University-
Wesleyan Univer-it v-----
Biology ------ -
Botany --- -- -
Chein i -tr-v __ __ _
Chenii-t ry ___ _
Mathel i ;'tic.-
Nuclear Energy ---
Natural Sciences ------
Physictal Sciences -- ---
Physical Sciences ------
High school and college
teachers (prinmairily for
High school teachers.
High school and college
High school and college
High school teachers.
High school and college
Physical Sciences----- College teachers.
Radiation Biology ....
tea c hers.
Radiattion Biology-----.... High school teachers.
Radiation Biology --__ High school teachers.
High school teachers.
High school teachers.
High school teachers.
51 6th Annual Report of the National Science Foundation, fiscal year '1,66, National Science Foundation.
B1. Academic Year Institutes Begin
Approximately 1,300 teachers attended. Meanwhile, the Foundation
was planning to host 95 summer institutes for approximately 4,750
teachers in fiscal year 1957. In addition, fiscal year 1956 marked the
inauguration of the academic year institutes for high school teachers
of science and mathematics. Under this program, a teacher could
receive a stipend and other support from NSF, while on a leave of
absence from his or her teaching job, to take a special program of
study at a university during the academic year. Two grants were
awarded, one to the University of Wisconsin and one to Oklahoma
A and M College, both to take place in the 1956-1957 academic year.
The course work in these institutes was designed to be applied toward
requirements for the master's degree.
The other programs under "Education in the Sciences" also re-
flected the imaginative thinking that had been going on behind the
scenes at NSF. The Visiting Scientists Programn, which was to become
an important part of the Foundation's efforts at the undergraduate
level, was implemented in 1956 with offerings in mathematics, chem-
istry and biology after a pilot effort in mathematics in the academic
year 1954-55. A high school level counterpart of this programs was also
initiated with funds from fiscal year 1956, using specially trained
science teachers as traveling lecturers in the 1956-57 academic year.
Science clubs and science fairs in high schools were given continued
support with a grant of $40,000 from fiscal year 1956 funds.
B2. ('Curriculum Development Begins
Fiscal year 1956 also marked the beginning of another important
Foundation effort: curriculum development. The National Science
Foundation's 6th Annual Report (fiscal year 1956) describes the ac-
tivities of that year:
Several conferences and colloquia held during the year :-rved to bring together
educators, -cientists, and Federal officials who sought to improve science curricula
and teaching methods. Notable were the Colloquium of College Phv-ici-'ts; the
Conference on the Identification of Creaitive Scientific Talent; the Conference of
Sunmmer-Institute Directors; a conference of executive officers and educational
committee chairmen of profes.-ional scientific societies dt-igned to encourage the
selection of technical careers and improve the training of tlJented students; and
a conference on teacher education in the -ciences sponsored jointly by the Ameri-
can A-sociation for the Advancement of Science, the United States Office of
Education, nd the Foundation convened to exchange idea- on the improvenilet
of science teacher-, to expl)lore wiys to bring about )better under-tanding between
scientists and professional educators, to plan courses of cooperative action, and
to consider possibilities for new ways of training science teachers.
It would thus appear that the events of 1955 had produced a
considerable change in viewpoint at NSF. Now that the order had been
given to improve pre-college education, the Foundation approached
the matter with exhaustive thoroughness. Its former reluctance to
plan creatively seemed to be replaced by an apparent eagerness to
have a program for every conceivable problem in pre-college science
education. While this is an overstatement, the contrast in viewpoint
made it appear that NSF was prepared to try almost anything.
B3. (Congress Enlarges the Institutes
A part of NSF's new-found confidence was a re-silt of the hearings
on behalf of its budget for fiscal year 1957 before the House Com-
mnittee on Appropriation. in the spring of 1956. For the first time, the
Foundation found itself in the unexpected position of having an offer
of more money than was requested. The budget submission for fiscal
year 1957 was bold in comparison to the operating level for Education
in the Sciences in fiscal year 1956: $5,375,000 as opposed to an obliva-
tion of about $1.42 million for 1956. The 1957 budget justification
containedI the following description in its introduction:
Education in the sci(,nc(.s.-The Foundation's program of education in the
sciences is concerned with the problem of providing the necessary .-upply of
competent scientific manpower which will be so urgently needed in the years
ahead. Since training of a scientist or a science teacher is a long-term proc:.s,
from the high-school years through undeigraduate and graduate study, the
problem must be attacked on a long-term basis. Basic experimental programs
in this area are focused at the problems of strengthening present science teaching,
improving science curricula and te:!cher training and early identification, motiva-
tion, and counseling of able students with scientific aptitude to pursue careers in
science and science teaching. The amount requested for fiscal year 1957,
$5,375,000 represents an increase of approximately $4.1 million over 1956, and
provides for expansion of going programs to a more effective level. Of the amount
requested, $3 million is aimed at strengthening present high-school science teachers
by means of an experimental supplementary training program, which contemplattc
the support of specially designed year-long coursee, of study at selected univer-:
sities for high-scho( 1 science teatchers, and financial a-.-istance to -elected hish- I
school science teachers which will enable them to undertake such additional i
However, by this time the impact of Nicholas De Witts' book, I
"Soviet Professional '\Ianpower," was well developed and the members I
of the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations con-i
sidering appropriations for Independent Offices, chaired by Mr. i
Thomas, felt that the Nation's educational response should be conm-
mensurate with the apparent need for science teacher training. Three
million dollars for the academic year institutes did not seem to be I
enough to the subcommittee, but this came as a total surprise to the
Foundation. In introducing the subject of education for teachers, i
Dr. Detlev Bronk, chairman of the National Science Board, tried to
respond to the committee's doubts of the previous year:
I am one of those who h:,-. :iid that I think wv should not say we are going ti
do this or we are going to do that, because the Russians are doing it. I think we
are a country that can stand on our own feet and make our own decision.
But, nevertheless, havin- been 1 of the 5 rep)r'- ntatives to Geneva at tl,- .
Peace Conference l:-t ye:,r. I feel I have an obligation to s;ty that I was :'cok _i
by the necessity for r.vcr-.ing my previous opinion.
I had thought that the Russians were so crude in their approaches to education
and science that we did not have anything very much to worry about from them.
I thought that a lot of people had said much more than the Russians deserved
with rcg:.rd to their competence. But I w:i certainly strongly impressed by the i
fact that they had been able to do many things that I did not think they could do.
Furthermore, I was improved by the fact that we heard over and over again
that they are increasing more and more the number of students who are taking.
science and are being trained in science and in engineering. I think that this is!
almost a nece.sitv for any country which desires to hold itself high in a modern
scientific and technological age.
Every new development unfolds other developments, and the only way we can n
cope with these new scientific and technical developments is to have people who :
are competent to deal with them.
Mr. THOMAS. This little book, Soviet Professional Manpower, I read word foi
word, including most of the tables, and after reading it I completely reversed my
thinking, too, just like you s.id you reversed your thinking.
Of course, we do not have to tie it to Russia by any means, but we found out 1
what Russia is doing. This is the most alarming situation that I can imagine. I
think I speak for the committee that if we are going to be with the Foundation
when the Foundation starts out on some new programs, we are going to encourage
and help you. But this Russian progress is the most startling thing I know of.
If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt what is said in this book, in another
5 to 6 years they are going to be ahea(.d of us. Lord help us if they ever reach theIL
point where they are ahead of us, and they are too close to us now.
Certainly you ought to pursue this new program that you started for the train-
ing-I think the word "refresher" is not a very accurate word-courses for
your high school inst ructors which is estimated to cost $3 million this year. If you
can use $9 million or $10 million, we are certainly prepared to give it to you.
You are really striking at something worthwhile.
My own thinking toward the Foundation in the past has been that yot have
been living in the past. You have becn doing too much bookkeeping work to find
out what has been done in the past.
Let's forget that. The past is prologue and it may have some value. You :,re
striking out on something new now. You are going right at the fund, mental thing.
this shortage that is created by a lack of high-school teachers. When you start
doing work like that, you are really striking something that is of value to the
The other program of supplying funds for research equipment, whether or not
the committee is going to push along that line, too, in the way of encoirnain- vyu
I do not know. But get away from evaluating past work and spending four or five
hundred thousand dollars in bookkeeping, evaluating, :,'iid sifting here and there.
I think you have a fine program but I believe you can cut out some of your
paperwork. Train your manpower, that is what you need.52
Somewhat later in the hearings, Congressiman Boland seemed to
anticipate a conclusion that the Foundation would reach a few years
later. Considering the need to stimulate students into the study of
science and mathematics, he spoke as follows:
Mr. BOLAND. Woold not the -timulation have to go b;.ck beyond the hi-li-
A student graduates from high school, but I think his attitude toward mintth-
matics is developed not in high school but in grammar school. I do not know wht
the Foundation can do about it, but it would seem to me that their ouiht to be
greater empha-i-; on the local level to try to get the student to like mathematics.
If he goes into high school and the teaching i- good, then you have it.53
This undoubtedly was taken by NSF officials as a strong encourage-
ment to pursue the problem of pre-college education as far as seemed
reasonably necessary. Since fiscal year 1956 was not yet over, at the
time of these hearings such encouragement ,mA v have accounted for
some of the broader viewpoint exhibited by NSF in that year.
Before the hearings concluded, the committee and NSF had made
a bargain: the academic year institutes (referred to in the testimony
as the high school teacher training program) would be escalated from
the proposed level of $3 million to $10 million over a three y-ear
period, and the summer institutes would be raised from the propo-,ed
level of $850,000 to $3 million in fiscal year 1957. The discussion went
Mr. EVINS. Could you use $10 million in.te:d of S3 million for the high school
teacher training program at this time?
Mr. WATEIMAN'. I believe \we could
MR. EVINS. In the fiscal year 1957?
Mr. WATERMAN. I believe so; do you not think so, Dr. Kelly?
Mr. KELLY. Ultimately. One of the programs that we are most enthusiastic
about is this summer program, the free time of the teachers during the sumnier,
which we could and probably should exploit to the limit of expending the summer
institute program in such a way that we can do three things: One, to increase
their subject matter knowledge of the science, make them feel a part of the com-
munity of science, getting better relationships between the high schools and
colleges and then, in addition, to increase their yearly salary in keeping with their
monthly salary so they will not have to go out tending gasoline stations during the
summer. So that we could expand this program.
Mr. EviNs. In other words, the Foundation is staffed and ready to move if it
has the funds to go forward?
Mr. WATERMAN. Yes.54
Then, continuing in detail:
Mr. BOLAND. .. 1956 is the first year for the high school science teachers'
Mr. WATERMAN. Yes.
6 U.S. Congress. House. Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. Hearings. Independent
Offices appropriadioris for 1957 Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. OfT. 1956. p. 3522, 523.
V Ibid, p. 526.
6I4bid, pages 611, 612.
Mr. BOLAND. How many teachers are in training now? You have two uni-
versities in the program, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
Mr. WATERMAN. It will not be started until the next academic year. They are
making thier plans now and we expect 50 students each.
Mr. BOLAND. If this item were increased from 3 to 10 million dollars would it
not present a problem to the local high schools as the program would be taking
teachers away who would be needed back home?
Mr. WATERMAN. That is one thing that ha, to be reckoned with, of course.
Mr. KELLY. It is less than 1 percent of the high school teachers that would be
involved in these 10 year-long institutes.
Mr. BOLAND. If the amount were incr:ca-ed to $10 million, what would be the
Mr. KELLY. That would be something around 2 percent.
Mr. GROSS. Wa-, not Dr. Waterman's reply as to the ability to use $10 million
on the bais of a 3-year proralm?
Mr. W\ATiERM.\N. Yes.
Mr. GROSS. I doubt whether the Foundation could take $10 million over 1he
next year and wisely spend it. However, over a 3-year period, we could do it.
Mr. WATERMAN. That is quite right.
Mr. KELLY. That is for that particular program, the year-long institute.
Mr. GROSS. The summer, however, is a different question, and that could be
expanded very m.irkeldly.
Mr. THOMAS. What is your best guess as to what you could use on the summer
progriiii, and the ye:ir-long progr.ims.
Mr. GROSS. I hesitate, but I should think on these figures here you have a
ratio of $3 million for the pre-ent program we are talking about, and this would
have the effect of stepping it up 3 times to $10 million over 3 years.
Mr. WATERMAN. That is quite fe.:iile, I think.
Mr. GROSS. I think you could apply the same ratio and still be sound, .3 mil-
hon or something of that sort per year on the summer program.
Mir. WATERMAN. I should think so.
Mr. KELLY. It would be my gue(-..
MAr. GROSS. This is a gro:it need; no doubt about that.
Mr. TiHOMAS. I am not clear on that point. As it is, you have less than 100
t,.,'ehers. You are going to step this up and have 200 more?
Mr. GROSS. 1,200 ultimately.
_Mr. THOMAS. I am talking about the next fiscal year with the way your budget
stands now, you would be giving some type of training to about 300 high-school
tM.hrs, which is not a drop in the bucket.
Mr. WATERMAN. Yes.
Mr. THOMAS. The question is, How many universities can you get in line where
they can get a programii going, and how many can they train over and above what
you have set out in your 1975 budget?
Mr. WATERMAN. Ba-ed on the inquiries that we have, I should think we could
raise this from 3 to 10, and give them the year.
Mr. BRONK. I think this is going to have a lot of effect in setting the pattern
that the others will follow.
I cited the instance here this morning that the University of Pennsylvania is
going to have a high-school teachers' training program in the -ciences there on their
own. In the Pittsburgh area, having seen what has happened here in Washington,
they are going into it.
So what we are doing is putting out seed corn that, if we get a good crop of corn,
a lot of other people will start to plant.
Mr. THOMAS. Dr. Waterman, when you and your group get back to the office,
send us a little note in the mail tomorrow on this, please.
Mr. WATERMAN. All right, sir.
Mr. GRoss. Mr. Thomas, I think the limit is not anywhere in the area of just
multiplying these figures by three.
MrI, THOMAS. As I indicated this morning, we realize that it is one thing to say
that you are going to get X number of teachers to go to school, but is another
thing to say you will have that university prepared to receive them. Your blottle-
neck will be in the universities. It is not the number of teachers. Instead of 3o.00,
you can get 10,000 or 15,000. It is a question of having facilities available.
Mr. Guoss. There is a good point I might mention in passing, and that is that
the enrollment in summer schools all over the country has been on a decline, a
substantial decline, until this past year. It is about evened out and beginning to
The housing capacities and facilities are there and they are not using them in the
summer schools of the universities.
Mr. THOMAS. It would be a good year to hit it hoavy then.
You give us some information on that in black and white.55
However, this agreement with the committee came at a cost. The
House appropriation bill, H.R. 9739, reduced the total 1propl)osed(l NSF
budget for fiscal year 1957 to $35,915,000 from the original request
of $41,300.000 while including the requirement that not less than
$9,500,000 be spent on "tuition, grants, and allowances in connection
with a program of supplementary training for high school science and
The increase for high school teacher education, coupled with the
overall budget decrease, seemed to Dr. Waterman to require a $6,460,-
000 reduction in research grants and a $3,500,000 reduction in research
facilities support. NSF took its case to the Senate, which had yet to hold
Alan Waterman wrote a detailed letter on March 16, 1956 to Senator
Warren Magnuson, chairman of the Subcommittee handling
Independent Offices, of the Senate Committee on Appropriations
coml)laining of the provisions in the House appropriations bill.56 His
argument was that science supl)port must be balanced, not only between
research and education but also between various levels of education.
Waterman complained that the Foundation's balanced and considered
program had been upset, that important educational factors had been
omitted from H.R. 9739.
On the other hand, a number of other factors deserve consideration.
The first is that the Foundation was requesting an appropriation in-
crease from about $16 million in fiscal year 1956 to $41.3 million in
fiscal year 1957. The second is that, with the exception of the minimum
obligation of $9.5 million stipulated for high school teacher training by
the House, the Foundation did not have a line-item budget and was
quite free to adjust funds internally. Thus the claim of imbalance was
only merited in a limited sense.
At the levels set in H.R. 9739, it would appear that the Foundation
could have performed its mission with substantial increases in every
program area, so it would seem that Waterman's protest may have
been a further indication that the Foundation and the National
Science Board were primarily concerned that high school education
might replace research as the prime function of NSF.
'The Senate complied with Waterman's request to recommend
appropriation of the full $41.3 million request and to delete the
requirement that $9.5 million be spent on a program of Sul)plementary
training for high school science and mathematics teachers. The finial
bill, after conference, appropriated a total budget of $40,000,000,
including the stipulation that $9.5 million would be re.rrued for teacher
training (and that $3.5 million was included for a radio astronomy
facility). Education in the Sciences was now a major effort, with a total
budget of almost $11 million for fiscal year 1957.
15 Ibid., pages 613, 614.
66 Reprinted in the Congressional Record, V102, 86th Congress, 2d session, June 6, 1956, p. 9635 ff.
B4. The FY 1957 Pre-College Programs: The First In-Sereice Institutes 1
More money for education meant more programs as well as larger'
efforts within programs. Three forms of institutes were available:
summer, academic year, and in-service. Administration became
more elaborate as well. And fiscal year 1957 produced other important
changes. The Seventh Annual Report of the National Science Founla-
tion gave a good summary of the education activities and management
for fiscal year 1957:
1. INSTITUTES PROGRAM
Pursuant to strong congressional endorsement of the program, the numl)Cer of
summer institutes was greatly increased for the summer of 1957. Ninetyv-ix
summer institutes were supported by the Foundation-87 for high school teachers
of science and mathemlatics, 5 for college and junior college teachers of science
and mathematics, and 4 for participants from both groups. The 96 institutes
chosen for support were selected from a total of 189 proposals. Attendance at the
institutes was slightly in excess of 5,300 teachei-r.
Review and evaluation of proposals was accomplished by advisory panels chosen
from individuals recommended by the Nation's -ci.tific societies as being highly'
qualified to render judgment in questions involving education in the sciences.
Panel members represented all fields in the iiatiiral sciences, including mathe-
matics; industrial as well as educational institutions; high school teachers and
officials from State departments of public instruction. Final selections carefully
observed the directives from Congress "to avoid undue concentration" of support'
for education in the "cionces.
During the summer of 1957, summer institutes were held in 43 States and in 3
Territories-Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. There were 16 in New England
and New York; 19 in the other Eastern States; 16 in the Southeast; 15 in the
Midwest; 10 in the Rocky Mountain and Northwest region; 17 in the Southwest,
including California; and 3 in the Territories.
A total of 16 academic-year institutes, to begin in the fall of 1957, were supported
by the Foundation in fiscal year 1957.* * Most cour-es in science and mathe-1
mnal ics offered by these schools are especially designed for the high school teacher
who wishes to upgrade his training in the subject matter of the science or sciences
he teaches. Most schools provide curricula leading to such degrees as master of
science in science education. Approximately 775 teachers will be trained in the
1957-58 program. There were available appointments for only about 15 percent
of those who applied. The Foundation plans to carry forward a program of essen-
tially the :-anme magnitude in academic year 1958-59.
This is a new program for which support was first offered in fiscal year 1957.
This kind of institute is designed to meet the needs of supplementary subject-i-
matter training for teachers of .(cicice and/or mathematics while they are teach-}
ing. Meeting one evening per week or on Saturdays during the academic year, i
such institutes will usually provide approximately 4 -eniester-hours credit.
Classes are generally small and participants are drawn from a 50-mile radius of
the host institution. Fifty-nine proposals were received, and 21 were granted
support to begin in the fall of 1957. Approximately 850 teachers are expected tot
2. SPECIAL PROJECTS IN SCIENCE EDUCATION
These activities fell in three areas.
(A) Curricula Studies, (B) Student-Participation Projects, and (C) Teacher-
These studies seek to respond to the concern, often expressed by scientists and
educators, over failure of instructional programs in primary and secondary schools,
to arouse motivating interest in, and understanding of, the scientific disciplines.
General agreement prevails that much of the -cience taught in schools today
does not. reflect the current state of knowledge nor does it nece-.-zirily repr--,.1it
the best possible choice of material for instructional purpo-ses.
One of the most exciting activities in high school science education today
concerns the development of an entirely new curriculum in physics for use in the
high schools. This venture has been undertaken by a rather large group of senior
physicists with a similar number of high -cehool science teachers working together.
This project happens to be under the administration of the \Ia.-achuit- ts Institute
of Technology, although mo-t. of the staff comes from other schools. The first
draft of the new textbook is completed and will be used and criticized by high
school physics teachers prior to publication in first-edition form. Much progi'-s
has been made on the teacher's manual to accompany this text. An editorial
board has been selected for consideration of monographs, several of which are
now being prepared, looking toward a total of perhaps 200. Th(.c- monographs
will supplement and amplify the text material, including applied uses of physics.
New laboratory demonstration experiments, using equipment e--'ily made with
cheap materials, are being devised. Small units are being developed for students
to construct apparatus and do physics experiments outside the cla.-room when
desired. Film presentations of difficult and unusual experiments, e.g., the pres-
sure of light, are being made and tried. Although it may be 2 years before the
entire curriculum is ready to be considered by the general high school teaching
group, encouraging and very stimulating progre-s has been made.
Extensive and continuing efforts have been made to secure the cooperation
and assistance of the profes.-ional educational organizations in this work.
It should perhaps be emphasized that the National Science Foundation ha.s
supported only the initial re-cearch phase of this program. Action by appropriate
individuals leading toward a new organization to handle the development, produc-
tion, and distribution phase has already been initiated. Contacts have been made
with the American Society of Textbook Publi-hirs and others who might have a
commercial interest in these activities.
Under the direction of the National Academy of Sciencem-National Re:,-,arch
Council, a careful study is being made at Michigan State University of intro-
ductory courses in biology offered by colleges and univer-itie, anid a sourcebook
in biology for high school teachers is being prepared.
In the area of teaching aids, the Foundation is supporting studies of the po.-ible
use of motion pict ure films for instructing mathematics; of what we might glean
that is original and creative in the teaching of mathematics in the secondary
schools of other countries; and of laboratory procedures used in college courses
Other curricula studies supported by the Foundation during the year included:
a conference on the undergraduate mathematics curriculum at Hunter College;
a conference on the education of chemists at Johns Hopkins Univer'ity; and a
series of conferences in several Kentucky colleges to study the curricula for
science instruction in elementary and secondary schools.
STUDENT PARTICIPATION PROJECTS
These projects are planned to increase interest in and understanding of science
'by students at all educational levels. Examples of the kinds of projects supported
by the Foundation during the past year include the following:
1. The Triu'eling Science Library prograumt.-Oper'ted jointly with the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, this program attempts to enrich the
understanding of science by students at the small high schools by making avail-
able, on a loan 1)lbasis, well-written books on :.cience. During the 19'5(I-57 school
year, 25 libraries of 200 volumes each reached 100 of these high schools. This
program is being increased to 54 libraries which are expected to visit 200 small
high schools during the 1957-58 school year.
2. The Traveling Science Demonstration Leclure P,')grom .-Supported jointly
with the Atomic Energy Commission and administered by the Oak Ridge In-
stitute of Nuclear Studies, it permitted 7 experienced high school teachers to
be given 3 months of specialized training at Oak Ridge in subject matter and in
the construction of simple apparatus to demonstrate scientific principles. Sets
of such special demonstration equipment were then transported in station wagons
to some 200 high schools all over the country. Lectures with demonstrations
were given stressing the scientific principles involved in such subjects as solar
radiation, atomic structure, nuclear reactors, space travel, and other subjects
of scientific interest.
During the 1956-57 school year, more than 78,000 high school students heard
the lectures and some 3,700 high school science teachers were reached by the
program. In the 1957-58 school year, 10 science teachers (who were given special
training during the preceding summer) will visit some 300 high schools to give
similar lecture demon t rations.
3. The Visiting Scientists pr,,yrrnm.-This program enables eminent scientists
to visit small colleges for periods of -ever.l days to talk with students and faculty
about recent (developments and career opportunities in the fields of the visitors'
professional competence. Although the visiting scientists' program was begun
in the field of mathematics, it hao been extended to include chemi.,try, physics,
and biology. A new feature-visits to some high schools-has now been added
in the hope that contact with distinguished men of science will be of interest
and inspiration to high school students. Reports from participating scientists
and from officials of institutions visited affirm the success of the program.
4. Films for Instructional Purposes.-Three half-hour-length, color films on
aspects of the International Geophysical Year are being prepared to provide
an opportunity for developing interest in science and to acquaint young people
with the meaning and -cope of the IGY. The films will be made available to
schools and colleges, and to television stations, as a contribution to science
5. Other Sluident Participation Projects.-Included are projects, such as the
support of distribution of thousands of brochures describing career opportunities
in the life sciences and designed to awaken student interest,; studies of ways in
which the Foundation can best provide assistance to State academics of science
in furthering their interests in science education; studies designed to gather
dependable information on the effects of science scholarship awards on student
recipients; and continuation of support to Science Service to sustain its program
of information for young people about the several fields of science and to encourage
them to begin science projects through the Science Clubs of America.
TEACH ER-TRAINING PROJECTS
These projects include all those special programs for teachers designed to
improve science teaching with thi exception of the previously mentioned institutes.
Three significant examples will .-erve to indicate the scope and objectives of these
1. Opportunities for secondary school teoichers to pursue research studies in
their fields of interest are severely limited because of inadequate library resources,
lack of facilities, and absence of adequate supervision. To increase the effectiveness
of toeichers by broadening their knowledge of their fields of professional interest,
the Foundation in fiscal year 1957 initiated two pilot programs to bring competent
high school teachers into research laboratories of colleges and universities to
undertake modest research studies in subjects of their own choosing.
2. The rapid development of computing machines and their usefulness in a
wide variety of research investigations have created a demand for persons trained
in the use and operation of computers. Although such training may be considered
a proper responsibility of colleges and universities, there is a severe shortage of
teachers competent to give instruction. The Foundation has provided support for
a program of training for experienced mathematicians on the faculties of colleges
and universities; to prepare them to develop courses of instruction in the use and
operation of modern computing machines.
3. Experimental programs were developed at both Duke and Purdue Univer-
sities for the training of retired military personnel to te.ich mathematics in
colleges and secondary schools.57
B5. PSSC: First High School Carriculum
One of the more interesting new departures was the attempt to
develop new curricula at the high school level. The Foundation staff
had concluded that training teachers would be to little avail if they
were constrained to use outmoded curricula. Improved curricula, it
seemed, could best be obtained by enlisting outstanding research
scientists-people who had keen insight into fundamentals by virtue
7 Seventh Annual Report of the National Science Foundation. Fiscal Year 1957. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off. [19581 p. 71-76.
of their continuing critical examination of physical models and con-
cepts-to cooperate in the effort. The first such effort was begun with a
grant, made on November 27, 1956 to the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology to support the work of the Physical Science Study
Committee (PSSC) under the direction of Dr. Jerrold R. Zacharias, a
well known physicist.
The first goal of the PSSC would be to design a new high school
physics curriculum. The first grant, to cover the "study phase",
provided the relatively large sum of $303,000. The PSSC would
eventually become a fairly permanent fixture of the NSF education
budget as a result of the Foundation's feeling that there was a con-
tinuing need for the creation of new curricula and for the revision of
older curricula. But it is interesting to note that NSF took considerable
care in establishing review procedures and in approaching prospective
publishers from the private sector. Both matters were to raise questions
in later years.
C. SPUTNIK AND SOVIET COMPETITION: 1958 AND 1959
Fiscal year 1958 was nothing less than shocking. On October 4, 1957
the Soviet Union successfully launched and placed in orbit its Sputnik
I, and thereby became a fearsome technological competitor of the
United States. Until that time, even with Nicholas De Witt's book
on Soviet manpower, it could be assumed that the implied technological
threat of the USSR was several years from reality. Now that tireant
The Foundation's appropriation request for fiscal year 1958 was
prepared in late calendar year 1956 for submission to the Congress
in early 1957. The 1958 request was ambitious, as was the request
for the previous year, and sought an increase of $25 million over the
fiscal year 1957 appropriation of $40,000,000. The increase was
justified by statements indicating: (1) The need for more basic re-
search support; (2) the need for graduate student support; (3) the
need for more training for high school science teachers; (4) the need
to motivate more high school students to select science as a career;
(5) the need for more modern research equipment in universities and
colleges; and (6) the need for better means of disseminating research
results. There was no new and expensive undertaking: the increase
was primarily intended to expand existing programs.
Discussion in the House Appropriations hearings reflected a good
deal of careful study by the Foundation of the education problem, and
once again served to emphasize the Foundation's paradoxical situation
in finding that it had to do something immediately to effect a great
improvement in pre-college science education, and yet feeling that its
methods had to be as indirect as possible.
Dr. WATERMAN. Referring to the question you i-ked, Mr. Chairman, about
the high-school situation, the disturbing thing insofar as the supply of teachers
is concerned is that, as Dr. Kelly can tell you more in detail, of those science
teachers who have been fully prepared each year for the last few years only half
of them actually go into secondary-school teaching. You see, the demand for
scientists enables them to find better jobs. Here is where we are really losing a
great many teachers.
Our program is, therefore, designed to encourage teachers in every po.s.ible way,
help them out with the materials they need, such as the use of curriculum aids,
tne revision of elementary courses, and through our summer institutes.
MIr. THOMAS. That practice of "piracy" is a good old American institution,
and I suppose the general good is served through it. So, y,-ou are going to have to
contend with it and start making plans to do the next best thing.
If you have good men, you are not going to keep them all in a high school.
They are going someplace else. So you have to keep them coming in and prepare
for the new life.
Dr. \VATERMAN. Our position in the Foundation is that if there is any way
possible this should be done in the traditional way, by the local mechanisms-
the communities, the school boards, and the States. If they are convinced that this
problem is acute and needs attention, they can take the right steps most simply i
and, I think, most efficiently. But, my personal opinion is that we in the Founda- i
tion have to watch this, analy-ze the situation, and see that something is done-
hopefully, that it can be done locally. That is the way, but it seems to me the
Federal Government must be in a position to stand behind this whole thing and
see that action is taken.
Mr. THOMA s. There is not anything too wrong with the average local school
system that an incre-ie in pay to those tecahers will not cure, is there, Doctor?
Dr. WATERMAN. If we could achieve that, that would be a great step; yes, sir.
Mr. THOMAS. Well, the local communities and States have that job, and it
should remain their job. However, my own judgment is that they are certainly a
little behind, or away behind. The teachers are underpaid, and the school systems
are not going to continue to attract the talent that they are entitled to, nor will
they be able to hold them.58s
And once again, Coingre-sman Boland expressed the view that the
simulation of student interest in science begins at the elementary
level, and that the Foundation would have to direct attention at that
earlier stage of instruction:
Mr. BOLAND. Dr. Bronk makes a sigiifiie:nit point when he says the students
say it is too hard, and they will not study. I think prob:ibly the re.-pon-ibility is
17',;.ter on the National Science Foundation than it is upon the Atomic Energy
Coimmis-ii,.n to develop some sort of salesmanship in our teachers and in our
D)r. BRONK. That is right.
MIr. BOLAND. I think you have to go beyond the high school. I think you should
go into the grammar school and make matheniinatics attractive there.
I think if you can build up a yearning, a love and de-ire and appreciation of
mathematics not so much in high school but in gratiniar school, you would get
But in spite of a considerable interest by the Congre-s in NSF, the
fiscal year 1958 appropriation was held at the $40 million level of
1957 and again included a statement earmarking $9,500,000 for the
traininmi of high school teacher of science and mathematics.
Then came Sputnik and an aura of overwhelming urgency, both in
the Eisenhower Administration and in the Congress, to regain tech-
nological supremacy. Though President Eisenhower had been making
a tremendous effort to balance the budget, this emerging power of the
Soviet Union nullified his hopes. The National Science Foundation
was allowed by the Bureau of the Budget to seek a supplemental
appropriation for fiscal year 1958 of $9,900,000 to increase its activities
in research and education. This included $2,107,000 for education, of
which $1,415,000 was to be for institutes. The remaining $7,750,000
was to b)e for research. Congress did not quite agree, and appropriated
a total of $8,750,000, with $2,367,000 earmarked for institutes. Once
again the Foundation had more money for education than it wanted.
Of the 126 Summer Institutes held in 1958, five were for college
teachers only; three, for both high school and college teachers; and
5 U.S. CnHi^!,. Iouse. Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. TTparinga;. Independent
office? iir'-ltq' it -iis for 1958. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off. 1957. p. 120-1281.
5 Ibii., p. I2'-!.
the remaining 118 were for high school teachers only. Approximately
6,000 high school teachers and 300 college teachers were in attendance.
The Academic Year Institutes were 19 in number and served about
925 teachers, many of whom were pursuing masters' or other graduate
degrees. In addition, the In-Service Institutes Program served an
approximately 3,000 participants, and was rapidly becoming one of
the Foundation's most valuable programs.
Among NSF's other education programs there was constant change
and experimentation, though the major components remained essen-
tially as they were in fiscal year 1957. Total obligations in the education
area totaled $20,398,468, with $5,602,120 in fellowships, $12,212,030
for institutes, and $835,372 for course content improvement.
This last effort had, by that time, become more definite in form and
in its future plans. The Senate hearings on the supplemental appro-
priation contained the following description and justification:
There has been widespread concern among scientists and educators alike over
the failure of the instructional programs in the primary and secondary schools
to arouse greater interest, and understanding of the scientific discipline,. College
teachers have often found entering students inadequately prepared to undertake
work in the sciences at the college level. An important factor contributing to
this situation is the subject-matter content of the science courses taught in the
schools. There is general agreement that much of the science taught in the
schools today does not reflect the current state of knowledge nor does it represent
the best pos-ible choice of material for instructional purposes.
The Foundation has, therefore, given substantial support to a careful reexam-
ination and revi-ion of the subject matter taught in physics. These studies have
been unde-rtaken by eminent -;cientists working in cooperation with competent
and experienced teachers, and a new and original approach to the teaching of
physics in the -(-condary schools is being developed through their efforts.
The new approach is not merely a revision of the traditional subject matter
in high-school physics courses but represents a totally new and original instruc-
tional program in this discipline. The plan includes the preparation of new
text material, new monographs on supplementary and reference material, the
development of motion-picture films to teach subjects not easily handled in the
classroom or laboratory, new experinrintal equipment and new laboratory exer-
cises. In short, by drawing upon the knowledge and experience of the ablest
1)physicists in this country as well as highly competent and experienced high-
school teachers, a fundamentally new and imaginative course in physics is being
developed. The new course will serve to bring understanding of the principles of
science as well as the principles of phy-.ics to students. It will at the same time
provide the college-bound students with a more adequate foundation for advanced
study in this subject.
The additional $400,000 requested for this program will be ii;ed to accelerate
the timetable so that additional films under the revised physics curriculum can
be made available in the spring -einester of the 1958-59 academic year, and
to begin a similar broad approach to basic revision of the high-school mathe-
Current plans ,f the physics curriculum revi-ion grant (at the MIa-aehii-hetts
Institute of Technology) call for relea-_, of a total of sixty 10-minute films to
illustrate portions of the curriculum. About 30 can be released by June 30
with present funds available ($300,000 from fi-cal year 1958). In order that
the remaining 30 can be released in the early spring of 1959, for use in the
1958-59 academic year an additional $200,000 will be required. If funds arc
not available the timetable will be delayed so that these films will not be com-
pleted and di-tributed until the fall of 1959.
The reminaindor of the $400,000 requested will enable professional cities in
mathematics to begin a badly needed comprehensive revision of the high-zchool
mathematic; curriculum in much the same manner as the high-school physics
curriculum revi-ion is being revi-,d. Availability of funds in fi-cal year 1958
will permit the work to get underway at an earlier date than would otherwi-e
1' U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Appropriations. Hearings. Second supplemental appropriation
bill, 195S. 51h Coingress, 2d session on HR 10S81. Washiiigtou. U.S. Govt. Print. Off. 1958 p. 108, 1'..
Clearly, curriculum development had now become a definite and
large-scale activity at NSF.
01. The National Defense Education Act: NSF Agrees To Avoid
Involvement With Schools.
January, 1958 marked the formal beginning of a much deeper
Federal involvement in pre-college education. In that month, Presi-
dent Eisenhower sent the Congress a message calling for new pro-
grams in education, with special attention toward education in science
and engineering and a fivefold increase in the NSF education budget.
These recommendations were given very serious consideration by the
Congress, which responded with the National Defense Education
Act of 1958. This legislation greatly enlarged the scope of activity
of the Office of Education, and one of its many features was estab-
lishment of institutes for guidance counselors and foreign language
te.-tachers. These were broadened in 1964 to include teachers of English,
geography, history, reading, plus teachers in certain specialized areas.
But this message, and the resulting legislation which replicated the
NSF approach to improving pre-college education, had a far greater
import for the Foundation. The Pre-i(ident's recommendations, and the
subsequent Congressional action, were predicated on an agreement
between NSF and the Office of Education that the Foundation would
deal exclusively with science and operaite mainly through scientific
societies andl science departments of colleges and universities.
In contrast, the Office of Education would attempt to strengthen
all areas of education, including science, by dealing primarily through
state and local school systems.61 This served to codify the NSF ap-
proach, perhaps to the relief of the Foundation, and to prevent its
being pulled into the maelstrom of a more direct involvement with the
institutions of pre-college education. The Foundation would thus limit
its programs to those in which it dealt with pre-college education
through colleges and universities, or through scientific societies, or
possibly through individuals from the scientific community. But it did
not deal with high schools, junior high schools, or elementary schools,
in direct fashion. Nor would NSF have to concern itself to an un-
nece-,arvy degree with obtaining approval for its activities from the
Office of Education.
C2. NSF Puts 46.7% of Its Budget Into Education.
Fiscal year 1959 was remarkable in a number of ways. For one thing,
it set something of a record in the relative amount of NSF resources
devoted to the education area: 46.7 percent of NSF obligations in that
year were through the Scientific Personnel and Education Division.
it also marked the first year in which NSF supported an institute to
teach one of its own Foundation-sponsored curricula. And it saw the
introduction of three new fellowship programs; two new institute
programs, one of which was at the elementary level; six new programs
in the special projects area; and one new program in the curriculum
field. Sputnik had made it possible to consider what needed doing,
rather than how much money could be obtained, in planning for
Even the appropriations hearings were somewhat remarkable.
Though one or two National Science Board members customarily
attended appropriations hearings, this time eleven members of the
61 Recounted in Krieghbaum and Rawson, op cit, p. 22S, 229.
National Science Board attended the House hearings, and gave an
unprecedented endorsement to NSF pre-college education efforts.
The consensus appears to have been expressed by Samuel M. Nabrit,
President of Texas Southern University, who said:
In general, we cannot expect immediately the full return of what is being done
in basic research and hence we cannot appraise its full value in terms of invest-
ment put in it at the time it is being carried on so these value's are remote, but
without them you would not have the applied technology that we speak of in any
of the fields.
Secondly, I should like to refer to the high-s.chool program. Frankly, a year and
a half ago I think many of us would have been somewhat reluctant to say a pro-
gram as large as the one we now have in high-school teacher improvement was the
most important phase of improvement in science.
Today, after having had first hand experience and having followed through some
of these institutes and -;sen the values that accrue to the participants, we think
that this is one of the most worthwhile investments which has been made in the
entire field of science, because in this way we can broaden the base of competence
from which we can draw talent in the future.62
Clearly the Board had changed its mind since its objection to a
greater proportionate emphasis on education at NSF during the
hearings for the fiscal year 1957 appropriation. Another Board mem-
ber, Sophie D. Aberle, Special Research Director of the University of
New Mexico, gave an insight into how little was known about how to
improve pre-college education:
I will confinp myself to secondary education. At least in New .\Iexico there is
an opportunity today to do something we have n-\'er been able to do before and
that is to take a new look at our high schools and our whole educational system
and the need for a new look, not necessarily because this person made a mistake
or that person didn't do something or something was left out, but they nrd a
new look because science has moved so fast in the last few years that the children
need to know more when they get to college than they ever knew before. We have
to do something about new cours-e, new wavs of teaching, new curriculums of all
kinds, in elementary schools and high schools both.
That means an enormous amount of experimentation, trying out new methods.
What can the children learn more quickly? Are the method& we are using today
the best? Can't these children who see so much television at home and know so
much about science when they go to school, go faster than our first, second, third,
and fourth grades now allow them to go?
There is an awful lot of work which needs to be done to see how fast each group
of children can be brought along in both the elementary and high school education.
That means somebody ha.- to study new methods in the curriculums, and the
foundation has a very strong program on that. However, whenever you get into
exp)erimnentation with people, children, the social sciences, you make a lot of mis-
takes. You cannot helpl) it. If you knew what you were going to do it would not be
What I want to tell you is that we are going to do these experiments and we will
do a lot of them and we will make mistakes and you have to be patient because
you have to expect them.
However, we will end up with something that is new and helpful to the bright
Mr. Boland endorsed her statement shortly afterward in the hear-
ing, making it clear once again that he thought NSF would have to
extend its efforts to all levels of pre-college education:
Mr. BOLAND. I have been saying in this committee, and also on the Atomic
Energy Subcommittee on which I sit, that. I think the problem reaches down
below the high schools, into the elementary schools, where we don't have good
teachers in mathematics and there is no love or yearning for the sciences.
62 U.S. Congress. House Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. Hearings. Ildepei'ndit
offices appropriations for 1959. s-3th Contgress. 2d session. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Office. 1'.5.3. p. 230.
5 Ibid, p. 231.
That is the place it should start. If you start it there you could build up a
yearning for the sciences and mathematics, you could build up a desire to take
those courses when they get to high school, instead of steering away from them
as many high-.chool students do, if they are taught by good teachers, and they
have to be good teachers.
Should this agency make some sort of recommendation to pay mathematics
and science teachers more so that we will have better teachers? There is no doubt
about the fact it is a more difficult subject to teach than the ordinary subject
taught in the elementary schools. If we can get the right teacher to do the job the
students will go along.
If we do that we are increasing this desire to learn as they get into high school.
Perhaps we cman develop a better student. If we do, if we do not pay him but
supply a scholarship to enable him to go on to a school of higher education, per-
haps that is one of the answers to it. I think what Dr. Bronk and the other dis-
tinguished people here today have said is true. This will not be done overnight.
It will take yoars to do it. I agree with my chairman when he sa-w he does not
believe we are as far behind as some people would lead us to believe. Is this policy
of Dr. Berkner, for whom I have gr.eatt respect, the policy you need? Do you need
a crash progrnui:, or do you have to rearrange your thinking on a national policy
for science, and if you do, how are you going to do it? Will it be done by all the-se
methods that the headline -c*.kers are now talking about?
WVhat ought to be done? Are w\% proceeding in our kind of growth the way we
ought to proceed, or perhaps we are not proceeding fast enough? Tho-e are my
Mr. THoMAS. He lih:; more sense than any one man has use for having. Thank
you, Mr. Boland. That is very much to the point.64
Od(lging by C(hairman Thomas' response, it would seem that MIr.
Boland spoke for the majority of the committee. Dr. Lloyd Berkner,
who was a very highly regarded spokesman for science but who was
not a member of the National Science Board, had recently published
an article in the Atlantic Monthly stating that United States' science
onl tentIl it ttnhen Atlcntic
hia( received only intermittent attention, generally being neglected
except when some National threat, such as Sputnik, required urgelt
attention. He had called for a national science policy to provide stabil-
ity and( proper long-term growth of science. The committee was con-
cerned by Berkner's claim that science had been subordinated to strict
economic concerns, and seems to have wanted to get both science and
science education established on a lprop)er footing. Thus the reference
to Dr. Berkner was an indication that the committee had wanted to
know what was really needed to ensure a healthy science community.
The fiscal year 1959 budget request was almost staggering in size
compared to those of former years. In contrast to the fiscal year 1958
apl)ropriation of $48.75 million, with about $20 million for Scientific
Personnel and Education (SPE), NSF requested $140 million with
almost $79 million for SPE in 1959.
Sputnik was not the sole cause for this large increase, for calendar
1958 was the year in which President Eisenhower appointed
Dr. James R. Killian, Jr., president of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, as his special assistant for science and technology and
the year in which the Science Advisory Committee was moved( from
the Office of Defense Mobilization to the Office of the President. For
the first time, NSF had a strong advocate to represent it in high-level
discussions-particularly in the budgetmaking process. Thus it was
asking considerably more support for SPE in fiscal year 1959 than the
whole Foundation received in 1958.
The Congress responded very favorably, with an appropriation of
$136 million for fiscal year 1959. Once again a sum was earmarked for
64 Ibid, p. 251, 252.
programs for high school teachers, in this case $30,250,000-the
amount the Foundation had requested. This is not to say that the
appropriations process was uneventful, however. As was becoming
customary, the House of Representatives initially passed an appro-
priation of only $115 million, whereas the Senate voted an approp)ria-
tion of the full amount and the final figure was the result of a conference.
C3. YSF Institutes Begin Currici,,!n Instruction.
The record of the fiscal year 1959 appropriations hearings in the
House of Representatives contains yet another indication of the conm-
mittee's active interest in the Foundation's pre-college education
efforts. NSF proposed to escalate its Course Content Improvement
Program. from. about $600,000 (estimated at the time of the hearings--
January 21, 1958) in fiscal year 1958 to $6,000,000 in fiscal year
1959. The intent was to add a number of other curricula to the original
development effort in physics. The subcommittee chairman, M r.
Thomas, became concerned that such a largo investment in the
development of new curricula might be to no avail unless some means
were found to get school boards to adopt them:
Dr. KELLY. This program I described in physics hai- resulted in a draft of a new
text in physics, monographs to go along with that t,(-xt describing some of the
applications, a series of films of 20 minutes each which will de-cribe some of the
experiments which are difficult.
Mr. THOMAS. You referred to the text yesterday and again today. Who wrote
the text? A text is only a text when it is adopted, in my language, by States,
universities, et cetera. What assllra since do you have this will be adopted?
Dr. WATERMAN. This is a draft text to be tried out at the present time.65
Perhaps in consequence of this interest, NSF expanded a small
experinment it had made during the 1957-58 academic year to offer
teachers instruction in the new curriculum through an in-service
institute; that is, an institute during the school year which teachers
attend( in non-working hours. This first in-service attempt is reputed to
have been conducted by Dr. Noel C. Little at Bowdoin College,
though there may have been additional pilot studies. But work began
in earnest in the summer of 1958, when five summer institutes offered
instruction in the content and requisite teaching methods for the PSSC
The effort to teach the new NSF-sponsored curriculum also seems
to have been a response to increasing pressure from teachers and
schools. Everyone seemed suddenly to become aware of the poor
science instruction offered in high schools and wanted to do something
about it. However, the PSSC physics curriculum, as with many later
NSF-sponsored curricula, was set up in such a way that the student
learned by doing experiments, by making his or her own observations,
and( by generalizing on this first-hand experience. This curriculum
required that the teacher be able to teach students how to operate as
scientists in the classroom. In the case of this first PSSC course the
students were to operate as physicists. Since very few high school
teachers knew physics, much less how to operate and think as a
physicist must (even on a very elementary level), the National Science
Foundation found that it had to get involved in teaching teachers how
to use modern science curricula.
65 Ibid, p. 431.
This program, generally referred to as curriculm implementation, i
grew to become a major component of the NSF education effort in
later years. It would also come to be a focus for debate on the issue
of whether pre-college curriculum instruction was an appropriate I
activity for the Federal Government; the question being whether
such activities would lead to undue Federal influence in local school
and community affairs and whether the new curricula contained
unacceptable material. But in the post-Sputnik era of 1958 and 1959
it seemed a matter of national urgency to improve high school science
education as rapidly as possible. Curriculum instruction undoubtedly
had a very high priority in many minds, and apparently had consid-
erable congre-ssional support as well.
The National Science Foundation capitalized on the newfound
support in the Administiration and in the Congress by seeking to
introduce 16 new programs in the Scientific Personnel and Education
Directorate. Those new programs relating to pre-college education
requested in Fiscal Year 1959, were as follows. Descriptive text is
from the NSF budget justification for fiscal year 1959 and from the
9th Annual Report of the NSF:
I. FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
A. SUMMER FELLOWSHIPS FOR HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS r
This new progrzmu is needed to round out the Foundation's efforts in ili)ro0ving
secondary -chool science and mathematics instruction. Summer institutes offer i
preplanned training progr:niis for groups of people and are, for many teachers, .
an ideal form of further study. Summer fellowships, on the other hand, are
intended for those teacher- who for various r,..aons would profit from a com-
pletely individualized form of study. Some, however, may wish to combine study
at an institute with additional individualized study. The summer institutes and
fellowships would be flexible on this point.
B. PRESERVICE TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM
There are now in the labor force many able persons who, after high school
graduation, did not enter upon college-level studies either for financial or motiva-
tional reasons. Provided the necessary financial support were now available,
many of them would seize upon the opportunity to undertake studies to become
-.condary school science and mathematics teachers. Trainees in this program
would be drawn from this pool of persons, and selected on a nationally competi-
tive baisis but cooperatively with the grantee institutions.
Special training programs for them would be developed at specially chosen
academic institutions. At each institution cooperative planning among ediica-
tors, scientists, and mathematicians would rc-ult in a new and specially con-
struicted curriculum. Trainees would undergo training in two phases.
The first would consist of 2 calendar years of study (academic years 1959-60
and 1960-61) interrupted by only a short summer vacation (c.f., the Navy V-12
program during World War II). This would be the equivalent of 3 normal aca-i
demic years of study. Phase II would consist of 3 additional full summers of study
(1962, 19-3, and 1964) interspersed with 3 academic years of on-the-job teaching
in high school on provisional certification. At the end of the third summer each :
trainee would have had the equivalent of a full 4 academic years of study, would
be eligible for a baccalaureate degree and teaching certificate and would already
have taught 3 years (by the fall of 1964).
II. INSTITUTES PROGRAM
A. SUMMER INSTITUTES FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SUPERVISORS
This program was developed on an experimental basis in 1959. These experi-
mental institutes are specifically designed to give key teachers and supervisory
personnel in elementary schools an opportunity to increa-e their knowledge of the
sciences and mathematics, in order that science and mathematics can be taught
more effectively to students in the elementary schools.
This experimental program of 12 institutes provided training for 515 to:iche-rs
and elementary school science supervisors.
B. IN-SERVICE INSTITUTES FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHERS
A very limited program of in-service institutes for elementary school teachers
and supervisors of mathematics and science will be supported on an experimental
basis during the 1959-60 school year. Eleven grants were made to 11 different
institutions in 10 States and Puerto Rico. About 350 elementary school te:chcrs
and supervisors will have an opportunity for further study under this program.
III. SPECIAL PROJECTS IN SCIENCE EDUCATION
A. COOPERATIVE COLLEGE-SCHOOL PROGRAM
This program would be administered through grants to universities which, in
turn, would carefully select secondary schools in their areas and then cooperate
with these schools in the planning and provision of the most effective instruc-
tional programs possible for the high-ability students. Schools would be encour-
aged to use their most outstanding teachers in this progTam, and every effort
would be made to encourage science and mathematics teachers in the prograni to
gain still greater mastery over their subjects through summer work or study at
B. LABORATORY TRAINING OF TEACHERS
(To instruct teachers on classroom laboratory technique)
C. TEACHER SELF-IMPROVEM E NT PROGRAM
(Actually piloted in fiscal year 1958. Books, films, and other material is made
available to teachers for self-instruction.)
D. SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT-TRAINING PROGRAMS
This is a new program designed to encourage the scientific interests of high-
school students of high ability by providing them an opportunity to associate
with a college science program. This will be accomplished by providing support
for summer institutes for such high-school students in science and mathematics
at colleges and uIiversities.
IV. COURSE CONTENT STUDIES AND DEVELOPMENT
A. ELEMENTARY AND JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE
1. Science and Mathematics in Elementary Schools.-Throughout the country,
elementary schools may soon teach science in every grade, along with mathematics.
The problem is to identify significant content; to determine at what lrvelv p)artic-
ular concepts can be grasped (taking variations in -tudent background& and
abilities into account); and to develop written materials, apparatus, and other
aids for pupils and teachers. Teachers' manuals and similar materials are par-
ticularlv important, for many elementary school teachers have had little prep-
aration in science. In this field, projects are still exploratory and experimental.
Among them are work by mathematicians and teachers at Stanford University
on adding geometry and other topics in grades 1-6, investigate n by a group at
the University of California at Berkeley on science for the-e gradc and develop-
ment of teaching materials in geology under the sponsorship of the American
Geological Institute and the University of Minnesota.
2. Malhematics.-The School Mathematics Study Group was organized in
mid-1958 to carry out an extensive program to improve mathematics te:iching in
elementary and secondary schools. -Manv eminent mathematicians and accom-
plished teachers are engaged in this project, which is sponsored by Yale University
and directed by Prof. E. G. Begle.
Not all of these proposed programs were actually implemented.
The Pre-service Teacher Training Program does not appear to have
survived for long, if in fact it was even tried. The Special Projects
in Education Program was soon re-structured into broad categories:
Science Education for Students, Science Education for Teachers, and
Public Understanding of Science. While grants may have been made to
support projects that might have fit the various specific program
objectives outlined in the budget submission for fiscal year 1959, the
Foundation came to prefer these less specific titles which seemed to i
promise greater flexibility.
In addition to the general effort mentioned above to revise mathe-
mnatics curricula at all levels, the Foundation maintained its curriculum'
program in physics, and added studies in chemistry and the life
sciences. The following reports were included in the Ninth Annual
Physics.-High school physics is the subject of the pioneering comprehensive
study. By September 1960, revised instructional materials will be available
through commercial channel, for all schools wishing to adopt the course. The
result of 4 years of effort by several score of the Nation's top physicists, as well :
as several hundred teachers who participated in developing the material and I
testing preliminary versions, the course focuses upon the great ideas of physics
and provides insights into the -way these ideas have developed. A textbook, lab-
oratory guide, a special kit of apparatus, films presenting major experiments
not readily conducted in the classroom, examinations, a teachers' guide, and sup-
plementary books on special topics have been fashioned into a carefully articulated
learning experience. This course represents a new approach to high school physics
and, for the first time in many years, brings the indispensable range and depth !
of knowledge of a number of eminent scientists into the development of as second-
ary school curriculum. The Physical Science Study Committee, of which Prof. i
J. R. Zacharias is chairman, under the sponsorship of the Massachusetts Insti- :
tute of Technology and Educational Services, Inc., has made educational history
with the aid of grants from NSF and from other groups.
Chemistry.-Several approaches may prove desirable in high school chemistry.
Conferences in 1957 and 1958 led to a summer writing conference at Reed College
in 1959, where research leaders and college and secondary school teachers pre-
pared a preliminary textbook and demonstration and laboratory experiments for
a course using chemical bonds as the central theme. Meanwhile an interim com-
mittee of distinguished chemists, sponsored by Ohio State University, is preparing
plans for a chemistry project comparable to that in physics.
Life Scicle.,x.-In the life sciences a large group of eminent biologists and
teachers have initiated the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) under
the chairmanship of Dr. H. Bently Glass of Johns Hopkins University and the
sponsorship of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. It is the intention
of the BSCS, first, to develop a new high school course in biology, and later to
contribute to the improvement of biological instruction at other levels.
Support has also been granted to the National Academy of Sciences for com-
pleting the revision of a sourcebook of laboratory and field studies for high school
biology, the preliminary edition of which has received widespread commendation.
D. SUMMARY 1950-1959
Fiscal year 1959 marked the end of an era in which the National
Science Foundation developed its educational programs and phi-
losophy. When the Foundation began operations, it limited its atten-
tion to graduate training in spite of the many statements in Science-
the Endless Frontier and elsewhere that the high schools were the
bottleneck in science education. In the first few years the advice of the
staff and of consultants regarding the need to improve secondary
school science education was ignored. Nor was there anyone on the
National Science Board who might have been expected to articulate
the problems in secondary school education. In fact, the Foundation
largely ignored the entire area until the scientific societies, and the
President of the United States, and the United States Congre-s each
made it clear that NSF would have to take action.
Once started on the road to helping pre-college education, the Foun-
dation began to exhibit le:~ timidity, and occasionally some real
initiative, in institutinfl programs to treat important aspects of the
problem. It responded favorably to the NM IT-Zacharias proposal
to initiate curriculum revision along a broad front, and began to play
an unusually useful role in getting articulate and eminent scientists
from the research community involved in developing pre-college
curricula. As the new decade of the 1960's approached, the general
form of the NSF educational programs became essentially complete.
The coming years would be much less tumultuous than the later
years of the 1950's, in which so much had to be accomplished so
III. THE MIDDLE YEARS: STABILITY AND GROWTH, 1960-1965
In contrast to the years of experiment and development from 1950
through 1959, in which the National Science Foundation discovered
its full range of responsibility in science education, the years im-
mediately following offered stability and growth. There eventually
came a point at which the Congress began to be concerned about the
rate of growth of the Foundation's budget, including the budget
for education. But such concerns did not appear until around the
mid-decade of the 1960's, and even then the NSF's pre-college educa-
tion programs seemed to maintain the sympathetic interest of the
A. FISCAL YEAR 1960-CONTINU'ED CONGRESSIONAL INTEREST
IN PRE-COLLEGE EDUCATION
Negotiations for the fiscal year 1960 budget were exceptionally
smooth, bearing in mind that the National Science Foundation never
has enjoyed unquestioned allegiance in Congres-, for any great length
of time. In the hearings for fiscal year 1960, which took place in
February 1959, some members of the House Committee on Appro-
priations seemed to think that the Foundation's efforts to improve
high school education were not sufficiently diirect: NSF did not work
with the school boards which would necessarily be the instruments for
improvement in the schools.
Al. "We do not deal with the State school authorities"
Mr. Jonas opened the discussion in the hearings with a question
about how the general status of high school science education was to
be improved, apart from the special instruction for gifted science
Mr. JONAS. It -e,.m- to me that your principal emphasis is on helping students
who have already displayed superior qualities in this field. Are you doing any-
thing to encourage the strengthening of the curriculum for all high schools and
secondary school students? That cannot be done by you alone but only through
the cooperation of the State school authorities.
Dr. WATERMAN. Yes. We do not deal with the State school authorities because
that is in the juri.-,diction of the Office of Education.
Mr. JONAS. You meaIn you do not deal with the State boards at all?
Dr. WATERMAN. No, we deal directly with the State institutions, and through
them make grants for the institute, and then the institution invites applications
from teachers to come there to attend the institute.
Mr. JONAS. I am not thinking about improving the ability of the teachers,
which I think can stand some improvement all right, but I am thinking in terms
of strengthening the regular high school curriculum.
Dr. WATERMA.\N. We feel this is properly the function of the Office of Education.
Mr. JONAS. Do you not think you h ive authority to move in that field?
Dr. WATERMAN. Only in science. Of course, we have said a great deal about
this. However, in many subjects, our Advisory Committees and our Board are
working with the Office of Education. There is a planning group on this at the
present time. I know the National Academy of Sciences is interested, too.
Dr. KELLY. May I comment on that too?
Mr. JONAS. Yes, sir.
Dr. KI.LLLY. We think our role is, first, to get the leading scholars in a particular
field to work with a group of teachers in developing a program or curriculum.
We have a list of principles that serve in initiating such a study, and if you like,
I would like to read a few of them to answer the question.
Mr. JONAS. By all means, go ahead.
Dr. KELLY. Thank you. The initiative for a study should arise from a con-
viction on the part of r.-,ponsible scientists of high professional stature and of
competent and experienced teacLchers at all appropriate levels that a serious
educational problem exi-tsA in a scientific discipline or in a group of disciplines.
I would also like to read you gentlemen where we put our limitation in: The
Foundation must have assurance that scientists distinguished as teachers or as
investigators in the disciplines concerned will be willing to give leadership, time,
and effort to the proposed study. The Foundation's interest in these projects
is to support studies of course content as a kind of research enterprise, including
reasonable trial and testing in schools, but Foundation funds must not be used
to promote the general acceptance of the new courses or materials.
That is if these groups of scholars do develop material which is good itself,
it should spe:ak for itself. We do not want to impose these on any State, but we
believe if it is good enough, it will develop interest. It is already beginning to
work that way.
Mr. JONAS. Is that not a rather restricted interpretation of the authority con-
ferred on the Foundation by the act itself? I think it is far broader than you have
interpreted it. I do not see anything in the act, as I recall it, that would prevent
your working with State school authorities in an effort to strengthen local
Dr. KELLY. No, sir.
Dr. WATERMAN. That is the Office of Education.
Mr. JONAS. Let us see that act. The principal function now is granting
At this point Mr. Thomas interrupted with a short inquiry about
the budget. Then the discussion continued:
Mr. THOMAS. Excuse me, Mr. Jonas. You wanted to read the act. Go ahead.
Mr. JONAS. I wanted to cite subparagraph 6, section 3, which represents one
of your directives to evaluate scientific research programs undertaken by agencies
of the Federal Government and to correlate the Foundation's scientific research
programs with those undertaken by individuals and by public and private research
Dr. WATERMAN. This is research, you see. We have in section 3(b) in exercising
authority, and that is the functions referred to in subsection a, it shall be the
job of the Foundation to strengthen basic research, and study in the sciences,
including independent research, and so forth: and in general we are regarding
this as a very important policy for the country right now, and our policy is very
clear in forwarding resea rch.
Mr. JONAS. You do not think you have any authority to work with State
school boards now?
Dr. WATERMAN. I think it would be very confusing since the Office of Education
has the experience and the authority too. We are glad to support them. For
example, the subject of scholarships was mentioned a while ago; and, as I said,
we have thought this would not be wise, but we have supported the Office of
Education in the attempt to get a scholarship program in general, not just science
Mr. JONAS. I guess I had a misconception of the authority or the basic responsi-
bility placed on you. I was thinking the act charged you with the responsibility
of trying to develop a national policy along the line of scientific education, and
that would include efforts to do just what I have indicated I think needs to be don e
at the present time, and that is to strengthen the base of the curriculum that is
used in secondary and high schools.
Frankly, it is a surprising thing to me that you need to devote so much attention
to efforts to strengthen curriculums in colleges.
Dr. WATERMAN. It is done by colleges.
D)r. KELLY. We are sensitive on this point you bring up, Mr. Jonas. We
think the attack should be to encourage the local and State colleges and univer-
sities to take an active interest in improving the quality of education at the high
Mr. JONAS. Do they need stimulation; that is, the colleges themselves?
Dr. WATERMAN. Yes.
D)r. KELLY. Yes. That is what we do through our summer institutes. We do
encourage them to set up such summer programs, in science and mathematics,
especially designed for the teachers. I know that there is a relationship between
this and the State departments of education; but we believe that the responsibility
for developing coordination and cooperation with local and State departments of
education should be with the local people and the local colleges and universities
that plan courses.
Dr. WATERMAN. One misconception probably is that while we make grants to
colleges and universities, they are aimed at improving the level in .ecndary
and elementary schools; so if you look behind these titles, you will see that a
major part of it all is directed toward an improvement of the content, bringing
up to date the content of the -cience courses and methods of teaching.
Mr. THOMAS. Page 260 has a chart. Is that in colleges?
Dr. WATERMAN. Yes; those are undergraduate courses.
Mr. JONAS. I yield
Mr. OSTERTAG. Mr Chairman, may I ask a question at this point?
Mr. THOMAS. Certainly.
Mr. OSTERTAG. You were wondering in connection with the National Education
Act where this program is associated. Is it directly associated with that in any
way or indirectly associated?
Dr. WATERMAN. We coordinate the program with the Office of Education.
Mr. THOMAS. I think they are hard to express. I think Mr. Jonas' point is well
taken. The language of the act is broad enough to do practically anything you
want to do. Now, it is a question of what you do in connection with the Depart-
ment, of Health, Education, and Welfare, and others, where you have overlapping.
If you did not have the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, you
could do anything you want to under it. Is that not a reasonably accurate statement?
Dr. WVATERMAN. I would suppose so.
Mr. JONAS. That section 3(a)(1) is open-ended, I think.
Dr. WATERNIAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. JONAS. I do not see why you would have any difficulty doing what I have
suggested under that very first authority. I would like to read it into the record,
and then I will not have anything more to say: "To develop and encourage the
)pursuit of a national policy for the promotion of basic re-earch and education
in the sciences." 66
Thus it would seem that NSF's refusal to take direct action to
bring about an improvement in high school science education may
have constituted a problem in the Foundation's effective relations
with certain Members of the Congress. On the other hand, other
Members felt otherwise and expressed concern about closer Federal-
school relationships. Mr. Thomas was of that opinion.
66 U.S. Congress. House. A Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. Hearings. Independent
Offices Approriations for 1960. Washington. U.S. Govt. Print. Off. 1'.i51.'. pp. 573-!76.
A2. The fiscal year 1960 institutes program
The budget justification for Fiscal Year 1960 included the following
recapitulation of the summer institutes activity and methodology:
Number of Support
Number of NSF stipend Provided
Fiscal year and type institutes holders by NSF
1953: College--------------------------------------------------- 2 42 $21,200
High school---------. -----------------....--------------------........ 1 26 10,000
College----------......----------.............--.....................--------------------------- 3 71 40 500
High school.----.-----......-------------------------------------................................ 4 126 59,000
High school and college-------------------------------------- 2 (1) (1)
College.--..-------------------------------------------------........................... 5 173 75,000
High school ---------------------------------------------......................................... 13 750 380,000
High school and college ------------------------------------- 5 (1) (1)
College -------------------------------------------------- 7 450 235,000
High school---------------------------------------------................................................... 87 4,800 5,055,000
High school and college.................... -------------------------------------- 4 (1) (1)
College---.----------------------------------------------- 5 300 278,000
High school ---------------------------------------------.... 120 6,000 6,400,000
College...................................................... -------------------------------------------------5 300 285,000
High school--....------------..--..-----------..------------------....... 320 16,000 19,750,000
College institute ------------------------------------------ 35 1,400 2
College conferences ---------------------------------------- 20 800$ 2,200,000
Technical institutes----------------------------------------- 2 80 100,000
Elementary.-.------------------------- ------------------- 10 450 500,000
High school.......-------------------------------------------- 320 16,000 19,750,000
College institute ------------------------------------------ 35 1,400) 2 200, 0
College conferences---------.-------------..--....---------------- 20 800 2,20,
Technical institutes-----.----------------------------------- 2 80 100,000
Elementary....------------.... --------..------------ ------------ 10 450 500,000
1 Included in figures for high school and college.
From two in 1953, the number of summer in-titute.s sponsored by the Founda-
tion had grown to 125 in 1958, and approaches 400 in 1959. Some 50,000 appli-
cations wt-re received for the 6,300 available stipends in the summer of 1958.
Nearly 19,000 teachers will be enrolled in the 1959 summer institutes.
Summer institutes have proved to be remarkably successful in their immediate,
fundamental purpose: improving the mastery of subject matter by science and
mathematics teachers, in order that their classes can be better taught. They
are also proving to be effective in encouraging colleges and universities to provide
programs suited to the needs of teachers. Some new degree programs designed
for teachers have been established.
For the summer institutes, the Foundation provides funds for participant
support, and instructional management costs for the institutes.
The support given each stipend holder includes: a stipend of not more than
$75 per week, a dependency allowance of not more than $15 per week for each
dependent up to a maximum of four, and a travel allowance at the rate of 4 cents
per mile for one trip from home to institute and return, up to a maZximum of $80.
In addition the Foundation pays tuition and fees for the stipend holders, plus
instructional and management costs of the institute to the amount that these
exceed the amount granted for tuition and fees.
Institute enrollment is not limited to stipend holders. Other individuals,
acceptable to the institute staff, can be admitted so long ais their number is not
so great a-, to diminish the effectiveness of the institute.
A typical summer institute has about 50 stipend holders and several nonstipend
holders. It may offer work in a single science or mathematics area, or it may
include offerings in several subjects. Prominent visiting scientists supplement
the local staff. The institute ordinarily provides seminars, lectures, etc., in addition
to specially designed courses. Also, it ordinarily provides considerable opportunity
for informal discussions between registrants, and between registrants and staff,
both in and out of classrooms. These discussions and group learning are encouraged
through housing registrants (and staff) in an area set aide for them, through
group meals, and through informal activities such as field trips, special lectur',,
etc. The benefit is greatest when the regisktrant group is coherent, having similar
problems and enrollment in a common program, but come from different regions
or sections of the country, so that developments in each section can become
available to others.
The first summer institutes -upported by the National Science Foundation
were for college teachers. Under congressional directives, the preponderant
number since 1956 have been for high schooll teacher.-.67
The In-SerVice Institutes were discussed as follows:
To the host institutions conducting in-service institutes, the Foundation con-
tributes support toward institute operational costs. Teacher participants receive
neither stipends nor dependency allowance, but do receive travel allowances at
the rate of 7 cents per mile for nuce-.sary travel to participate in the institute,
and tuition is paid for them. Beginning in fi-scal yc-ar 1960, it is proposed to allow
each participant a nominal allowance of about $10 for purchase of textbook-.
(Such an allowance for textbooks was. strongly recommended by 1958-59 in-.ervice
institute directors.) In fiscal year 1959 (school year 1959-60) the Foundation plans
to provide support for some 200 in-service institutes for high school teachr-.
It is expected that about 7,500 teachers will enroll, at a cost to the Foundation
of $1,500,000. It is estimated that fi.,cul year 1960 will continue at the -:.1>e level
as fiscal year 1959.
The National Science Foundation inservice program was begun with two
institutes for high school teachers during the spring -.emester of 1957. During
the 1958-59 -7choolyear, some 3,000 high school te(;chers are receiving training
in 85 inservice institute,.
Some colleges and universities are proposing a combination of in-ervice and
summer institutes, with a continuing body of participants. Through full-time
summer enrollment added to the part-time school year participation, progrc.-s
toward an advanced degree can be hastened.68
Academic year institutes were somewhat in the form of sabbatical
fellowships with specially designed curricula and with some special
courses not normally offered by the host institutions.
A3. Congress Expres..ses its Support
Suffice it to say that, of all the programs offered by the Foundation,
the institutes were the congressional favorites,. The congressional
mandate of a minimum allocation for the training of high school
teachers of mathematics and science became a regular feature of
the NSF appropriation, as if to insure that the research-oriented
managers of the Foundation not be able to place other interests
ahead of those of the high schools. And as time passed, the institutes
came to be regarded as a constructive way to promote greater geo-
graphic distribution of NSF money.
The report of the House Committee on Appropriations reflected
For several years the Committeer, h:ts been very interested in the programs for
the supplementary education of high school science and mathematics t( aeliers
and on -several occa-ions h:ai provided fund- in excess of the budget e-timlate for
their expansion. Their value is now well est:ablis-hed ;ind the bill contains $33,050,-
000 as recommended in the budget estimates for continuing the pre-1,t high
level of these programs in 1960.69
As in other years, the House attempted to trim the proposed budget
while the Senate sought a restoration of funds. Of the $160,300,00
proposed by the Administration, the House reported an appropriation
of $143,273,000 with only a reduction of about $150,000 in the total
67 Ibid. p. .589.590.
SIbid, p. 595.
51 U.S. Congress. House. House Report 350. 86th Congress, 1st session.
$66,599,000 requested for the education programs. This final total
appropriation was for $152,773,000, with the education programs'
budget essentially as proposed.
B. FISCAL YEAR 1961-INCREASING QUESTIONS FROM CONGRESS ABOUT
MANAGEMENT OF CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
In the hearings of the House Committee on Appropriations on the
fiscal year 1961 budget, the subject of curriculum improvement
received a good deal of attention. The committee was sympathetic
to the $6,000,000 being requested for curriculum improvement, but
wanted to see substantive signs of progress. It apparently seemed to
Mr. Thomas that curriculum improvement might become a never-
ending and expensive project, and lie questioned the NSF extensively
about details-albeit saying that he was trying to help the Foundation
justify its request, which was to be spent as shown in the table:
NSF CURRICULUM IMPROVEMENT
Estimate, Estimate, (-), fiscal
Actual, fiscal fiscal year fiscal year year 1961
year 1959 1960 1961 over 1960
Elementary and junior high schools-..----------------- $558,910 $500,000 $750,000 +$250,000
Secondary schools ---------------.. --------------- 3,519,000 3,000,000 3,000,000 0
Colleges and universities------------------ ---- 210,950 1,000,000 1,000,000 0
Supplementary teaching aids---------------------
4,288,860 4,500,000 4,750,000 -L-2bQ, o000
1,741,465 1,500,000 1,250,000 -250,000
Program total-- ------------------------- 6,030,325 6,000,000 6,000,000 0
Mr. THOMAS. Your request for 1961 is in the amount of $6 million, the same
amount as you had last year.
What are you doing in that field? Can you put your finger on some concrete,
Dr. DEE:s. Mr. Chairman, this is an area where we have a really new, burgeoning
and already-proven :fet of ideas coming forward.
Mr. THOMAS. You have four big programs. You have the elementary and
junior high schools, where you are requesting the sum of $750,000; this shows
an increase of $250,000 over 1960.
Then you have your secondary ci(-ools wherein you are requesting $3 million,
the sanii- amount as last year; you have your colleges and universities wherein
you are requesting the same amount as last year, $1 million; and then you have
supplementary teaching aids wherein you are requesting $1.25 million, which
represents a dccrn-se of $250,000.
Dr. KELLY. This is the program we discussed a little bit yesterday, and Dr.
Stratton from MIT spoke so highly of. The program, I think, is one that we can
be most proud of; this has resulted in the top leaders of science, Nobel Prize
winners in some cases, working with high school teachers on the course content
material for the high schools.70
But while Mr. Thomas was impressed with the Course Content
Improvement Program and with the people who were involved, his
basic concern seems to have been the uncertainty about the duration
and about the cost of the entire effort:
Mr. THOMAS. This is a recurring item. You started it in 1959 and you had an
appropriation in 1960 and you now want one in 1961.
70 U.S. Congress. House. A Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations. Hearings. Indeperinrlent
Offices Alp i'pii, alionis for 1,6Ii. Wasllington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off. 1'i;l. p. 142, 143.
How long is it going to take to rewrite these textbooks? In brief, this is a re-
writing job; is it not? In my opinion it is the best part of your prograln which
totals $18 million or $20 million.
We are trying to help you to justify it.
Dr. KELLY. We have experience as to the probable cost of each one of the
other studies. The total for the Physical Science Study Committee was apprxi-
matelv $5 million.
Mr. THOMAS. You have already gotten $6 million for it in 1959 and 1960.
Dr. KELLY. But we have three other fields plus the college and plus the ele-
mentary school level.
Mr. THOMAS. How long is this program going to continue before it is complete?
Dr. WATERMAN. The phy-ical-science study- is beginning to wind up. The
others are only beginning. However, we expect the physics one will be completed
Mr. THOMAS. You estimate a $5 million cost. You have had R12 million already
appropriated for this purpose.
Dr. DEES. $5 million for physics at the higlh-chool L-,vcl only, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. THOMAS. What is it going to cost at the high-school l-vel to complete your
program for phy-ics, chemistry, math, and all the rest?
Dr. WATERIMAN. Chemistry is just beLini ing, and bi,,logy is under\"i;:,-.
Mr. THOMAS. Pl(:;Sie give us a preview, and how long it is going to take to do
Dr. Dlvs. It is very likely that at the -,.iLior-high-school level, that is, grades
9 through 12, that it will take on the irdt r of $20 million to ..25 million to do the
same quality of job acro- the board in biology, physics, math, and chemistry
that is already bin2 accompli-hed in the physics ILr, ;t.
Mr. THOMAS. -25 million for one subject?
Dr. DEES. For these four subjects.
MIr. THOMAS. Phy-ic-, chtmistrv, biology, .nd .h?
Dr. )EES. All of the high--chool science, and mathetmitic-.
Mir. THOMA.'-.S:. How much have you had appropriated for that puro,-,se to date?
Dr. DFEs. Of the order of S13 million, because prior to 1959 we had on a VryV
small amount for this.
Mr. THOMAS. WVhat about the colleg-e-lovel problem? Are you '-.,ing to attack
the textbook problem at the college level also in the stiw- fields?
Dr. DEES. Ye-: but it is very likely that this \i! be approa,ched in a necessarily
different, way b,_-c;iu-e wherea-; it is possible to prepar(---
Mr. THOi.MAS. Are you spending any of your 812 million that you have in hand
now for fiscal 1959 and 1960 for college-work imlAr'ivemnient?
Dr. DEES. Yes, sir.
Mr. THOMAS. Thev are going hand in hand-high sch( ,I and college?
D)r. DE:s. Yes, sir.
Mr. THOM.AS. What will your course improvement at the coll!2, level in text-
books cost? You gave a figure of $25 million for the high schools. What will the
college work co-t?
Dr. DEEs. The college problem, as you knew, is very much more complex
because it includ,-. other fields as, for example, ( ii'Prring.
Mr. THOM S. Doctor, we understand thait, or at lia-t we ctni take your wor,
What about the dollar mark?
Dr. DEE.S. Frankly, _Mr. Chairman, we do not at this point in time have a
firm figure, because thi- is an area-the college level-that we rtr'*,,nly beginning
to tackle in a substantive or substantial way. If you wish an educated guess, the
cost would be sriiething of the order of S30 million to $40 million over a period of a
number of ears, Mneining 4 or 5 years, more or less.70a
In the end, Mr. Thomas seemed to accept the uncertainties about
the cost. However, he did expre:,s the view that the project wIas taking
Mr. TiHo.%x. (;Gntlemen, if thi- bu-iNie-:.- is as important as we all think it is,
should not drag on over a period of 10 or 15 years aind be that indefinite.
Let us get on top of it and -c(. if we cannot guet it behind us.
If it is a, valuable as we think it is, why wi all this time dragging it out? 71
~~ ~ h w.. ....e all this time dra gginitot
70a Ibid, p. 145, 146.
71 Ibid, p. 148.
On the other hand, Mr. Jonas' concern was about the business
arrangements entailed in publication and distribution of the PSSC
Mr. JONAS. Who makes the profit on publishing the text materi:dl?
Dr. DEES. There was a series of bids from the various publishing houses to the
Physical Science Study Committee in determining who would publish the basic
textbook, which is to be published in the next 3 or 4 months. D. C. Heath & Co.
will publish the book and the royalties from the sales will revert to the nonprofit
gr:up, Educational Services, Inc. (which was set up more or less specifically for
this purpose), and the disposition of these royalties is to be determined by the
Foundation in consultation with ESI.
SIr. YATES. Why should not that money go to the Government?
Dr. DEES. This is one of the possibilities. The point is that, although this is an
important contribution to high school physics, there will not be large moneys
resulting from the royalties. There will be the need for continual revision of this
material, another of the possibilities is that-rather than continuing to seek
separate appropriations for that kind of revision-if the royalties are adequate,
they could be used for this purpose.72
Taken in its entirety, the PSSC curriculum presented a great many
1)roblems. It was a very new pedagogical approach, using films as
well as text material. It was proving expensive to develop (about $4
million by the beginning of 1960), it needed extensive testing before
it could be evaluated prol)erly, and separate private facilities had to
be established to distribute the text, the films, and the laboratory
apparatus. These problems were harbingers of NSF's experiences in
later curriculum projects.
In spite of these difficulties, the NSF budget continued to increase
steadily. Though the House recommended only $160 million of a $190
million request for fiscal year 1961-approxinmately a constant level
of effort-the Senate endorsed the full amount and the conference
committee reported a figure midway between the two. The NSF
budget for Scientific Personnel and Education stayed constant, with
no Congressional stipulation as to institute support that year.
C. FISCAL YEAR 1962-CONTINUED CONGRESSIONAL CONCERN ABOUT
CURRICULUM- DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT
Fiscal year 1962 marked another strong advance for NSF's Division
of Scientific Personnel and Education. Obligations were 18 percent
larger than the previous year, an increase of about $12 million over
fiscal year 1961. However, the largest increases went to other Founda-
tion programs, with the total appropriation rising to about $263
million from about $176 million in fiscal year 1961.
As usual, the House Committee on Appropriations exercised its
authority to examine financial matters rather carefully. One of the
main topics of interest in the hearings that year was the cost of devel-
opment and publishing arrangements for the new curricula being
C1. Inquiry into Cost of Cutrriculum Development
The NSF was requesting an estimated increase of about $3.7
million to a total figure of $10 million for curriculum development.
Members of the committee were concerned that curriculum develop-
ment projects seemed to be never-ending; seemed to be incredibly
expensive; and seemed to put NSF in a rather unusual position of
7 Ibid, p. 149.
transferring entirely a government-developed product to the civilian
sector. Chairman Thomas clearly felt that these points deserved
careful examination, and he pursued the matter directly:
Mr. THOMAS. Let us take up course content, pages 288 and 289. This is a
tremendous increase of $3.8 million to $10 million. This deals with your elementary
and secondary schools, and then the colleges and supplemental training aids. This
is perhaps one of your most important programs.
Give us the status of this program. The language on this page is a little vague.
The amount requested for fiscal year 1962 repre-ents a 63-percent increa-r- over
the sum available for fiscal year 1961. The major portion of the increase, $3.7
million, will permit significant advances in current program areas and substantially
augmented activity in improving instruction at upper elementary and junior
high school levels.
You have a group of experts, college presidents and professors writing text-
books. Just what is the status of this?
Dr. DEF:s. I can speak to that, sir.
Mr. THOMAS. When will you wrap up the program?
Dr. DEES. Your comment to the effect that this is one of our very important
p)rogramrns is quite correct. We feel this represent: one of the breakthroughs in
science instruction which has been made over the last 100 years, at least.
Mr. THOMAS. How many new textbooks have been written by virtue of this
Dr. D:E-s. At the secondary school level
Mr. THOMxS. To whom doe- the $10 million go?
Dr. )EiS. Primarily to groups of scientists set up in special study groul,-. For
exanmpl)e, the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, which operates under the
aegis of the American Institute of Biological Scit ilc', the lar~a,-t of the profes-
sional groups in the life -cience field, the Sch,,:'l \Matthemiatics Study Group- 73
After insertion of some data from the budget, Dr. Does continued
Dr. DEEs. SMSG wa -,,f up through the joint cooperation of the American
MathemNatical Society, the Mathemn:itical Association of America, and the Na-
tional Council of Teacher- of Maithematics in the country. There are other
groups in chemiistry, and you will recall, I am sure, the work of the pioneer group,
the Physical Science Study Committee, has resulted in the publication not only
of a text. but of a great minany additional supplementary materials which aid the
teachers, and which improve laboratory instruction. Thev actually hav\, devised
a large nuimher of new laboratory devices and t,,-hniqu,--, and they are also instru-
mental in the production of a large number of monographs which aid the students-
in their suppleirtentary reading.
Finally-, with respect to the Physical Science Study Committee, their work on
new and very much improved instructional films for use in cla-.,rooms is also
important to mention.
Mr. THo.MAs. Do you paY any salaries in connection with this?
Dr. DEE:s. The grant to the Physical Science Study Committee, for example,
Mr. THOM AS. That is a grant?
Dr. DEES. Yes.
Mr. THOMAxs. How much?
Dr. D:iEs. Up to the present time approximately $4.7 million to the Physical
Science Study Committee.
Mr. THOM AS. How is the committee made up?
Dr. DEES. The leadership of PSSC has come from a group of scientists at
MIT. Dr. Jerrold Zacharias ther- is the leading per-on.
In addition they have drawn from the staffs of the University of Illinois.
Cornell, Princeton, Bryn Mawr, and a large number of other institutions of
In addition they have brought in a large number of high school teachers-
outstanding high school teachers-to work with them during the summertime
when they have done most of the writing that has been done in connection with
71 U.S. Congress. House. A Subcommittee of the Committee on Appropiialions. Hearings. Independent
Offices Appropriations for 1962. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off. 1P.1. p. 52(J.
At the pre.-se.nt time the grants we make in connection with the Physical Science
Study Committee are made to a group known aI. Educational Services, Inc.,
which is located in Boston, and which has as the chairman of its board Dr. James
Killian, and has on the board a number of outstanding scientists and school
Mr. THOMAS. You pay -alaries, is it on a fee basis?
Dr. DEES. Salaries of the people who devote full time to this kind of activity
are paid from the grant.74
MIr. Thomas pressed further to get some understanding of theI
expene,- and expected duration of the curriculum projects:
Mr. THo-i.s. What is the ultimate goal-physics, math, chemistry?
Dr. DEES. :M Tithematics perhaps is the large-t of the other activities. New
books for use in the schools exist from grades 4 through 12 in mathematics, repre- i
senting an entirely new approach to the teaching of mathematics at all of these
Mr. THOMAS. You already spent $21 million. When will you wind this up?
When will the job be completed?
Dr. W AT:L A.. For high school physics it is practically completed. We have
listed only $200,000 for next year.
The others are not -o, far rJ!ong. Engineers, by the way, are thinking of doing i
a- similar thing.
Mr. THOMAS. What is a good opinion as to the ultimate cost in the four big i
subjects-math:ii :tics. l)hysics, (h,'ni-ntr'v and biology?
D)r. Di.::-. They will run, in all likelihood in excess of $20 million.,
Mr. THOMAS. You already spent $21 million.
Dr. )DEE:s. Let me qualify my earlier comment to say that included, alo, are I
the supplementary traiiitig aids which you menti,,n.d in reading off the items on i
page 288. Furthermore the $21 million I spl)oke of la-t are distributed over all of
the activities. under the co(r-, content improvement h-.ading.
For the secondary school pr1r',r:]iiim proper we have expended through fiscal
year 1961 to date approximately $11 million to $12 million for the secondary
school component in this total activity.
In the natural course of events what probably will happen is that once the
quantum jump, as we like to s.:iy, h:ti been achieved in each of these areas, going
from a completely n.:itisfactory progrtni of study to one which the scientific
community and the t.:ich'r-i gt.' is a much better approach to the problem by i
field, that there then will be need to take a very long look at how one can coordi-
nate physics and chemistry, miathemati( --phyics-chemistry, chemist ryv and biol-
ogy, for example. It is our hope that this element of the problem which really
could not have been done fir-t--
Mr. TnoMA\s. Let me interrupt. Your program envisages course content and
textbooks. That is what we understand.
Dr. D)EES. And all of the ancillary things that go with texts.
Mr. THOMAS. High school and collg--math, chemistry, physics and biology.
When you get through with this programs how long will it take and what is a
good opinion as to how long it will last? You have already spent $21 million. Is
it 50 percent completed?
Dr. D)iEES. At the college level
Mr. THOMA--. In high shcools it is almost wrapped up. What about colleges?
Dr. Di.] i.s. In the development of individual cour-es at the high school level
it is at lkmast half finished. At the college level we have merely begun to scratch the
Mr. THOM\S. How about ch(-.ni-try in high schools and the other subject?
Dr. D)EES. Chemistry and mathematics are wll along.
Mr. THOMAS. You have already spent 5 years. Are you going to take another
Dr. DEES. The first materials that will actually appear in hard cover as the
physics book has and as its ancillary materials have will perhaps all be complete
bti-.:.l year 1963.
This does not mean that this is the end of it because clearly these things need
to be watched to be sure they are good and that they do mesh.
Dr. WATERMAN. We regard thi- as a n-.earch project. These materials have been
tested in the schools so we think they will be accepted.
7 Ibid, p. 521,522.
The hope is that this will carry its own weight in the future through
Mr. JONAS. How many people did you have in all working on this physic" text-
book? How many would you say?
Dr. DEES. There perhaps were in excess of 400 people at various times working
on this, and that in addition to -everal hundred teachers who, as the workers in
this field say, provided feedb-cek information.
Dr. \\ATiWR. MAN-.. They tried it out.
Mr. JONAS. Do you think that is the best way to get up a textbook? Would it
not be better to pick out the be-t physicist in the country and let him write a
I never saw five law-ur-; who could write a brief. One man has to write it. You
put 10 lawyers behind a table trying a lawsuit and you cai-r more confusion than
One man I am sure can do a better job than ten.
When you have 400 people you turn it into a debal ing society. Someone in-
dividual will have to do the writing.
I)r. WATER.kM AX. That w., done. The 400 were required to determine what the
course should include in such a way that this would be m(o-t acceptable to the
Mr. JON.\AS. Each man had to be paid a salary or a lot of travel expense and
other costs. You could have done this job in half the time with half the money in
nmy humble judgment.75
C2. Itniquiry into Publishing Arrangements
iMenmbers of the committee were very concerned about publishing
arrangements, in spite of their approval of the quality of work evi-
(lenced in the p)hvyics text of the Physical Science Stu(dy Committee,
which w-as beginning to be published and sold. The price of the text
seeme(l high. considering that the development costs had been borne
by the government. At 85.60 the book cost a bit more than mc-t
commercial texts in the field at that time. But to eliminate royalties,
and to effect other economies that could be achieved by direct Federal
printing and distribution, would have "underpriced" the existing
market. The result, according to NSF, would have been a price so
low as to provide a strong incentive for school boards to adopt PSSC
texts. A rather complicated scheme had been devised by MIT and
NSF to have MIT transfer the PSSC materials and copyrights to a
new corporation, Educational Services, Inc. (ESI), which was inde-
pendent of both institutions. It included among its board of directors:
James R. Killian, Jr., chairman; chairman, board of trustee-, Mi-sachusetts
Institute of Technology.
Detlev W. Bronk, pre-ident, Rockefeller Institute; president, National Ae:demy
Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, Univr-itY of Notre Damne.
Frederick L. Hovde, president, Purdue University.
Joseph C('. MIorris, vice prm-ident, Tulane University.
Alfred C. Neal, president, Committee for Economic ) Development.
Carroll V. New-om, president, Tulane Univer-ity.
Gilbert (:,kley, vice president, Educational Service-, Inc.
Glenn T. >S:tborg, chairman, Atomic Energy Commission.
Julius A. Stratton, president, MIa:ssachui-tts Institute of Technology.
James E. Webb, admiini-,trrat)r, National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration.
ESI in turn contracted with D.C. Heath andi Company to print
and distribute the physics text, in return for which ESI would receive
royalties from Heath. The.e royalties would be controlled by NSF,
and would be used to revise the text andi perform other necessary
functions related to improving the material. While PSSC material
75 Ibid, p. 523-526.
was to be available to other publishers for inclusion in their own texts,
the Foundation pointed out that it could not be too free about this in
order to protect D.C. Heath's economic interests. Mr. Hoff, general
counsel of NSF, summarized( some of these points as follows:
Mr. HOFF. Our general approach on this has been to make our grants apply
to the preparation of materials, and from that point on let them carry their own
weight. The choice of D.C. Heath was made after a great deal of canvassing of
the industry to get a qualified publisher who would put it out at the lowest price
commensurate with quality and with good distribution and everything else. The
actual royalties coming back go to ESI in the case of physics, and there is a dif-
ferent arrangement for each of these thing>, but the use of the funds is controlled
by the Foundation.
The thought in back of many people's minds is that the feedback in terms of :1
royalties will permit the constant keeping up to date of the book.
Dr. WAVTEMA.\N. And the material-s.
Mr. HOFF. I don't know how much the cost could be brought down if there
were no royalti< but it is very minor compared to the question of whether it is
to be priced at the market or under.
If we were to actually subsidize the distribution and publication of the book,
the price could be brought way down, but thai ho)s not been our idea. Doing any-
thing like that would be almost to force the book into the school system.76
However, the questioning revealed that Members of the subcom-
mittee were not entirely satisfied with their understanding of the
arrangement at the close of the hearings. This is not to imply that the
Foundation's arrangements were felt to be improper, but rather that
the resulting structure was confusing.
CG. New Programsfor FY 1962
The increase in funds for Fiscal Year 1962 again allowed the Foun-
dation to fill some of the gaps that it felt were evident in the pre-
college programs. Some of the changes involved totally new programs,
while others were the natural metamorphosis of older programs. Not
all of these programs lasted very long, but one effort that grew sizable
in Fiscal Year 1962 and did survive was the Cooperative College-
School Science Program (CCSS). The 12th Annual Report described
it as follows:
The Cooperative College-School Science Progr.(4i provides opportunities for
higher educational in-titut ions to present programs, a- collaborative efforts with
secondary schools, for the improvement of school science instruction. Projects
typically group qualified secondary school students with teachers in intensive
college-directed learning progr:nms which may be cojurse-oriented or provide
research participation experience. The teacher participants serve as instructional
aides, or in other suitable ways, thus gaining experience with advanced subject
matter and with its impact on superior students. A desired result is that the
ta:Ichers may develop improved science projects for capable students in their own
A total of 34 grants were made in think program in fi::cal year 1962. Projects
supported involve 2,100 )participants, 13 percent of whom are secondary school
teachers. Seventeen of the projects are summer offerings and the remainder
academic year or combined summer and academic year projects.77
The exhaustiveness of NSF's programs in Fiscal Year 1962 is
perhaps indicated by the following three programs:
SUPPLEMENTARY SCIENCE PROJECTS FOR STUDENTS
This program supports experimental projects, generally of a one-of-a-kind type.
Four grants were made for the following purposes: to the National Academy
of Sciences for the distribution of a career information booklet on mathematics;
76 Ibid. p. 529.
7 1-21h Annual Report of the National Science Foundation. Washington. U.S. Govt. Print. Off.  p.
to the National Science Teaicher- A.,-,ciatiin fo(r the p:rti-il support o()f ain Anri-
can student delegation to the International Youth Science F,,rtnight in (_i;r(eat
Britain; to Dartmouth C,,llege ti .uppl)o(rt ;i program fo-r the imprivenient of
science education in the high sch(ow-; of New Hrn)pshire. to he cinducti'd with
the cooperation of St. Paul's Sch,,ol and the New H:n-imjphire State ID)epartwmeit
of Education; and to the (Co incil )f Chief State Sch,,l Officer- f,,r the ir preparzatii.n.t
of a catalogue of instructional -cirenntific equipment f(r -econd:-ir\- -chool(,i u-e.
HOLIDAY SCIC1NCi-. LECTURI-.S
Patterned after the fami'u-i Chri-tria-z Lecture-; -,f the I-ovil In-titultin of
London, the Hotliday Scie(,nce Lectiire 1)r-jiect i- an effort to-, bring di-tin.gui-hed
scientists to student- all (,over the N:iti,,n in a iv-e-dWiv lecture -eri'- during
Christmas and Eam-ttr vac;iti,--. The project w\- ,riJinlly -iippiort.d under :t
grant to Rockefeller In-titut1. i'f Nvew Y,-rk City, ind i- now admini-tred by the
American Association for the Advancement of Science. During the I)a-t year,
Dr. Paul Weiss lectured in San Franci-c, and D)r. IrvIo-e Dubo-, in Cincinnaiti,
repeating the serie- which they ha-d developed under the Rockefe.ller In-titlt.
grant. During the 1963 c-al-ndar rear tlere will be -ix to eight lecture- in a variety
of disciplines presented in i-.lccted cities acro'-, the country.
VISITING SCIENTISTS (SECONDARY SCHOOLS)
This special project enable- profe,-sional -;ocietie-. in the ba-,ic dikciplinc--
mathematics, chemistry, l)hy-ics, and hiology-to ;-end di-tingui:-hed scienti.-t,
into secondary school- thrinulghout the United State-; upon a school'- recqie-t fior
such visitors. The visitors typically lecture on their scientific specialty, inform
the students about opportulnitie-; in such fields of science, outline de-irable edlica-
tional programs for students wishing to enter scientific fields, confer with teacher.-,
and school administrator- on new development-r in curriculum and lablorato(ry
experiments, etc. The number of vi-it-; in any one State is small, for thi- is a na-
tional program which concentrates on those State-. where vi-iting scientit- aire
not available under the State Academics of Science Program.7>
The 12th Annual Report of the National Science Foundation al.,o
included a status report on curriculum improvement projects The
following table from the Report depicted the -,ituation as of the close
of fiscal year 1962:
Subject begun Present status Teachers Students
Physics (PSSC) ------------- 1956 Commercial version available -...---. 1,800 to 2,000 partial use by 80,000
Mathematics (SMSG)........ -------- 1958 Definitive version available-Grades Unknown. ---------------- 409,000
Chemistry (CBAP). ---------- 1958 Revised version in trial schools: 200----------------...................... 10,000
commercial version, September
Biology (BSCS)- .......-- 1959 ....do. ....................----------------------. 500 ...............---------------------...... 50,000
Chemistry (CHEM Study)- ... 1960 ..-.. do.....................-----------------------...... 124. -------------------- 112. 000
Ibid, p. 89.
Note: PSSC-Physical Sciences Study Committee, S'ISG-Schocl Mathemat:cs Study Grouo: CEAP-Chemical Bond
Approach Program; BSCS-Biological Sciences Curriculum Stud,'; CO EI.':S--Chemistry Siudj.
C4. NSF's First Exl.'-i.s' ;ire 'e by Conr s.s
Certainly one import ant event of FY 19(12 w O- tlie full review. of
NSF programs con icted by the Hol-He Coninittee on Srienee and
Astronautics..9 Though the-e hearings. did not uncover any points
of disagreement, they provided an exceptionally clear record of much
'9 Ibid, p. 86.
79 U.S. Congress. Houwe. Commiittee on Scien(e and Astronautirv. National Si:.ience Foundation Iriefing.
87th Congress, 2d session, February 6 and 7, 1N62. Washington. U.S. Govt. Print. OfftT. 162. 13'J D.
of the philosophy, structure, and method of NSF education operations
at that time. Dr. Bowen C. Dees, Assistant Director for Scientific
Personnel and Education, made the presentation of the Foundation's
Dr. DEES. I shall today limit myself to saying a few things about the bazic
principles underlying the-e progr:,n.,, simply reiterating some of the things that
Dr. Waterman and Or. Kelly and Dr. Bronk have already said, and then telling
yOUl about a very few of these activities in very broad outline.
in the first place, I would like again to call to your attention the fact that we
are primarily concerned in these programs with thi- qualitative component that.
has already been discussed.
We base this principle on the fact already borne out by experience that if we
c:i11 find ways of improving education, improving the quality of training, this will,
in it-l-If, motivate more students toward studying science and toward considering
careers in science.
Second, we are concerned with the fact that in this area it is extremely important
to involve in the deepe-t way p(-
fact take a role in developing new instructional materials, in providing instruction
for high school and elementary teachers, na well a- for their own students at the
university and college level, and their own colleagues.
Third, we have the -trong belief that, becau-, of the vast complexity of the
problemn- that we face in trying to see to it that at all levels and across the board
in all fields, education in the sciences is to be improved, it is necessary to use a
variety of approache-. No one approach can p,--ibly be broad enough to take
care of all of the needs that are seen in this domain.
With re-pect, then, to the programs, giving you just a sample of the things
that we are doing, let me begin with the oldest of our programs, which is the
program that we refer to as our fellowships activity. There are in fact a number
of pr,,grams subsumed under this heading. They range in coverage from senior
scientists who need additional experience in order to become still more proficient,
through graduate students who are just on their way to becoming creative scholars
down to and including teachers at the high school level.
We are conce,-ned, therefore, in this program, with trying to see to it that
individual-, highly selected, are chosen from those who apply solely on the basis
of ability, and are then given the opportunity to improve their own competence
through study in those places where they can best obtain the additional training
that they need.
We stay in very close touch with the colleges and universities to see to it that
these progr:,ins are kept flexible and to see to it that they in fact are responsive
to the changing needs of education at these hi he-t levels.
Turning to the large--t of our activities, then, for a moment, let me say that the
programs in education in the sciences, which now represent about a third of the
Foundation's total activities, have been directed in very large measure, as Dr.
Kelly has already pointed out, toward the supplementary training of secondary
This has been- done mainly through the program that we refer to as our
"institutes program," although there are several kinds of institutes. Let me add,
parenthetically, that the instit-ites apply not only to secondary school teachers
but to college teachers and to a limited degree to elementary school teachers as
well, but I shall at the moment refer only to one kind of institute program, and
this is the one that we call the summer institute program for secondary school
Ste :-i hers.
We have, over the last s.\ cr:il years-in fact, beginning in fiscal year 1954-been
supporting fairly large numbers of these programs. The basic idea is to bring
together a group of teachers, usually about 50, in a special set ting on a university
or college campus, and give them, on the average, 7 very intensive weeks of
subject mat teir training in scieneP.
These teach,_er, therefore, are able to return to their classrooms with an entirely
new and refreshed outlook on phy-cis or chemistry or whatever it is they may have
been studying, and we have abundant evidence that this technique, this mech-
anism, actually does improve the quality of teaching on the part of these teachers.
The CHAIRMAN. How many meetings do you hold a year, Doctor?
Dr. DPEES. At the present time, for this coming summer, there will be approx-
imately 480 of these programs, involving some 17,000 secondary school teachers
of s-cience and mathematics.
This is about the -anie level as we had last .e.r in terms of the number of
teachers reached, and repr,-i:,-nts roughly 10 1.,re-nt of the high school t.;tcher
population in the-e fields.
Not only has our staff found, through visits to these progr:-ins, and through
sending consultants to them, that they are doing an important job, but we also
have had a number of research studies carried out by independent groups-I
hold here, for exm:ople, one of a number of reports that we have had on this
program. And I can say quite cat.,orically that all of the evidence available to
us indicates that thi: is indeed one of the most important and effective programs
for improving science education that ha- thi- far been invented.
As I have indicated, the program this c, ,iing summer will involve some 17,000
teachers. I would point out t, you the fact that last summer, when %, had about
the same number of places for teachers in summer institut,-, approximately
90,000 teacher- applied for these places, and they submitted well in exf,-es of
220,000 applications all together. This is a :liiht inl.ication, at any rate, of the
popularity of the program, and the belief on the part of the teachers that it is a
worthwhile thing to do on their part and in terms of their improvement as teachers.
Turning, then, to still another ar,.i. A program which we are particularly
concerned about at the pro-'-nt time, bveaii-r it bears on this question of im-
proving undergraduate coll,-ew education, is a proari:n that vwe refer to as "under-
graduate research participation."
Through this mechanism we make it possible for universiti,-- and colleges to
set up) special training prograni, within their usual research context, to bring
in able undergraduates and give them a tatte of the work of the scientist. This
is quite different from the u-LIal course work. It enables the st'id nlt to become
a junior scientist during the time that he is in fact -,rving with his mentor in
These programs in many c:i-es are summer p)rogr;i:ns, but incr, ;singly uni-
versities and colleges are finding it important to do this throughout the academic
Other efforts related to this one have al--o been mounted in an effort to be
sure that we are in fact seeing to it that the undergraduate coll',ge level gets its
due share of attention.
In particular, as we have looked at this problem of c,,llege undergraduate
education, it has become abundantly apparent that one of the difficulties facing
the colleges and universities at this level is the question of obtaining new, modern,
or additional instructional equipment. This mean-, of course, the various kinds of
apparatus that are required in the laboratories, and the special devices that are
useful in presenting demonstration lectures and the like.
As a result we have introduced just this year a new program which will enable
the degree-granting colleges of the United States to obtain from the Foundation
on a matching fund basis, grants to help then push forward in the bettering of
their instructional equipment in all fields of -cience.
It. is our hope that this program, which at the present time we estimate can
meet only about 2 percent of the known need-, can be expanded fairly rapidly
in the future. The workload of proposals received ha- already indicated to us this
year, although no grants have been made, that our earlier estimates with respect
to the needs here were, if anything, cin-servative.
The la-t of the area- that I would mention, Mr. Chairman, is the area that we
refer to in our shop as the "cour-e content improvement area."
Under this heading we include a variety of activ-ities, under which the various
senior -cientists of the United States are brought, in many cases for the first time,
face to face with the problem of trying to improve instructional materials at all
levels of study, including elementary, junior high, and high school, as well as
As Dr. Kelly has already pointed out, one of the things that we learned some
time ago was that many of the instructional materials available in our -chools
were out 4f date, they were no longer reflective of the spirit, the tone, and not
even of the latest, findings in -cience in many ca-c-.
This program has already been underway now for several years, and we are
beginning to get some products which are being avidly sought by many of the
schools of the country.
We find that not only are the scienti-ts sure that these materials are better,
but the school boards, the superintendents, and especially the teachers, are
enthusiastic about these new materials.
One of the things that follows as an incidental, and not completely expected,
effect is that we have learned from these experiences that students actually can
learn more, they can learn more rigorously, and they can in many instances learn
faster than had earlier been anticipated.
All together, in this past year, in its programs in education in the sciences, the
Foundation made grants to some 570 colleges and universities throughout the
United States. This indicates, since all of these grants were made on the basis of
proposals individually reviewed for scientific merit that there is excellence, at
le, t at some level and in some fields of science, in colleges and universities
throughout this country.
One of the things we hope we can helpl) with in this program is the building iup
of excellence in our university ice4 and colleges, helping tho-e that are already good
to become better, helping tho-e that have strong potential to improve their
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The following was submitted for the record:]
"NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION PROGRAMS IN EDUCATION IN THE SCIENCES"
"The National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, authorizes and
directs the Foundation, among other thing-c, 'to develop and encourage the pur-
suit of a national policy for the promotion of basic research and education in
the sciences-, * to initiate and support programs to strengthen scientific
re-.earch potential * and to award * scholar.-hips and graduate fellow-
ships in the math,-inatic:l physical, medical, biological, engineering, and other
sciences.' The act also specifies that 'it shall be one of the objectives of the
Foundation to stre'ngthen * education in the sciences.' This report sum-
marizes the Foundation's efforts to discharge the-e mandates and highlights
progr.-s during the last year.
"It is important to note that these efforts have been mounted with the fullest
cooperation, participation, and advice of the scientific and educational commu-
nities. This active involvement of those communities is essential to assure that
the programs and policies of the Foundation are fully consistent with the prin-
ciple of a decentralized educational system subject to local control and the needs
"A restatement of this principle is especially called for at this time in view of
the findings of Nicholas DeWitt in his recent study of the Soviet educational
system. This 850-page study ("Education and Professional Employment in the
U.S.S.R.') was supported and published by the National Science Foundation as
a part of its continuing examination of the problems of the supply, demand, and
Iramining of profes-ional technical manpower. It clearly documents the fact that
the Soviet educational system is producing more scientists and engineers than
the American system, and at an increasing rate. But it also shows why. The
Soviets feel that the primary purpose of their educational system is to train
individuals to perform specific ta-lks for the state's purpose. It is not intended
primarily to offer to its citizens educational opportunities to obtain the kinds
of education and training they need to cati'fy their own needs and aspirations.
Nor is it concerned with bre.ndth of education and training, either for the popu-
lace or the individual. This leads to the heavy current imbalance on the scientific
side, particularly with re-,-pect to engineering. The education of the individual
as a broadly ediic.:ited, independent member of society has largely been replaced
by training in a narrow function. While such a system is undeniably efficient
in serving the current needs of the state it has a serious defect. Who can say
where man's quest for knowledge will lead him tomorrow? Who can say what
kinds of manpowr resources will be required tomorrow?
"The Foundation shares and supports the traditional American belief that
educ.:ition c-in best serve the Nation if the needs of the individual are considered
paramount. We believe that an educational system geared to the needs and
aspirations of the individuals will produce both the broadly trained pool of
manpower that assire,, the flexibility needed to meet ni.w national needs as they
arise and that individual excellence upon which progress depends. Although
many scientists, engineers, and mathemiaticians are needed, number-; alone can
never be an adequate substitute for quality and the more difficult the problem,
the more important is the competence of the individuals working toward its
"The problems of education in the sciences with which the Foundation is con-
cerned are multiple and complex. We believe that there is no single grand solu-
tion to these problems. Rather, almost as many approaches are needed as there
are separately identifiable problems. Operationally, the Foundation attempts
-to identify problems as precisely as possible, evaluate them in terms of their
relative importance, and devise means of attacking them. The Foundation's
approach to the improvement of scientific personnel and education has been
-since its inception based on specificity. The Foundation has felt, and continues
to feel, that this is a wiser way to invest public funds than that of distributing
funds on a more generalized basis.
"Traditionally, scientists-especially leading specialistq-have not chosen to
involve themselves in science education other than in their own classrooms and
laboratories. They have not given sufficient recognition to the fact that educa-
tion in science, like education in general, is a continuous process, each level
building on the level before. The Foundation believes that the scientist's tra-
ditional disavowal of responsibility for education in the sciences beyond the
confines of his own laboratory has become a significant aspect of the American
education scene and a major impediment to improvement. For it is the working
scientist, the man at the forefront of his field, who is best qualified to say with
respect to his field of science what is most important and what is trivial, what
is outmoded and what is contemporary, and thus what is most important for the
teacher to teach and the student to learn. As a result of the lack of participation
of scientists, science education at early levels had come to have too little solid
content. Therefore the Foundation h:i-s considered its role in -cience education
to be mainly that of obtaining the active participation and leadership of scien-
tists in the processes of education in the scir.nces-the training of gifted students
at all levels, the training of teachers in the sciences, the creation of better courses,
and sharing their advanced and specialized knowledge and skills with their col-
leagues. As in its support of ba:ic research itself, in science education the Founda-
tion has chosen to support those activities which can best be dealt with by
scientists of outstanding competence.
"The Foundation's science education activities are built around six basin
(1) The support of further training for high-ability graduate students and
scientists (including among the latter those of established reputation);
(2) The support of the further education in the sciences of teachers of
science at all levels;
(3) The support of special science education programs for talented high
school students and undergraduate college majors in the sciences, programs
that offer kinds and levels of education that cannot be provided under ordi-
(4) The improvement of the content of courses in the sciences at all edu-
cational levels and the development of new scientific aids needed to teach
the new courses;
(5) Partial support to colleges for the purchase of instructional equipment
needed to improve the quality of science instruction; and
(6) Improvement of scientific literacy of the American public.
"The Foundation's earliest science education activity was that of identifying
high-ability graduate students and advanced scholars and affording them oppor-
tunities to continue their scientific training. This is done primarily through
the mechanism of fellowships, the applicants being evaluated solely on the basis
of ability by panels of ranking scientists appointed for that purpose by reputable
nongovernmental organizations. Fellows enjoy the opportunity to select the
institution in which they will continue their study but must obtain admission
thereto as individuals. The Foundation administers seven fellowship programs
for five categories of advanced scholars: graduate students, younger scientists
holding the doctorate degree, senior research scientists, college and university
science faculty members, and especially well qualified high school teachers.
"Since the inception of the fellowship activity in the fall of 1951 through the
1961 operational year, a total of 64,000 applications have been received and
approximatelyy 17,000 awards made. The number of applications increases each
year and the number of awards has increased to a reasonably corresponding
Slegree. It should be noted, however, that the Foundation wishes to reserve
his type of support only for the truly talented and therefore sets more or less
Arbitrary limits on the percentage of the target population which would be so
"Attached hereto as Appendix I is a summarization of applications received
nd awards granted (or to be granted in the case of the current year) in each
'ear for each separate fellowship program.
"Last year 276 different institutions were selected by the fellows as the places
where they would study, 188 of them American colleges and universities and 88
foreign institutions. It is worthy of note that the constant increase in number
of applicants has not resulted in a decrease in quality of applicant which has
been and continues to be strikingly high. A singular development in recent years
is the great increase in both numbers and percentage of awards going to the field
of engineering, in spite of the fact that the Foundation does not allocate a specified
number of awards to each field but instead is concerned with the ability of the
applicant irrespective of his field. Graduate study has not been a tradition in
engineering but this seems now to be changing. There is beginning to emerge a
still-too-small group of persons who might be called engineering scientists as con-
trasted with those who engage in routine engineering practice. This small group
will unquestionably in the near future bring about a wholly new kind of engineer-
ing much better able to meet the truly difficult challenges of the present period of
rapid technological change.
"The principal mechanism chosen by the Foundation to improve the competence
of teachers is the institute. As supported by the Foundation, an institute is an
intensive course of study in science, engineering, or mathematics which is planned
and taught by scientists on the staff of the college or university which conducts
the institute. The content and manner of presentation, while modern science in
content, are designed to meet the needs of teachers who are chosen for participa-
tion by the local staff. There is a wide range of types of institutes as to length of
program, fields) of study, and level of presentation; the Foundation continues
to encourage variety so as to meet the needs of different kinds of teachers teach-
ing in different circumstances and with varying degrees of competence in science.
"A summer institute is a full-time program of summer study in the sciences
which is specifically designed for a group of teachers which would typically
number 50 and last from 6 to 8 weeks. An academic year institute, as the name
implies, would provide full-time study for groups of 35 teachers for an entire aca-
demic year. An inservice institute program provides part-time study opportunities
for teachers during the regular school year. These groups, typically 40 to 45 in
number, meet after their regular workday is completed or on Saturdays.
"From its inception in 1958 through 1961 the institute activity has experienced
the following growth:
Year supported teachers
1953-.....--------------------------------------------------------------. 2 42
1954..------------...--------------------------------------------------- 4 97
1955.-----.------- ------------------------------------.----------------.. 11 299
1956 -------------------------------------------------------------- 29 1,390
1957 ------------------------------------------------------------------ 133 6,517
1958. -------------------------------------------------------------- 230 10,432
1959 ------------------------------------------------------------------- 607 30,523
1960.- ----------------------------------------------.-----------------.. 648 31,074
1961 ------------------------------------------------ -------------- 771 35,223
Total --------------------------------------------... ------------- 2,435 115,597
"The current year programs are not yet completed, but it is estimated that
a total of 918 institutes will be supported offering a total of 41,000 study oppor-
tunities. The principal emphasis of these institutes has been at the high school
level; since the beginning of the program, slightly more than 89 percent of the
participants have been high school teachers, slightly more than 7 percent college
teachers, and 3 percent elementary school personnel. In the last year, Foundation-
supported institutes were conducted in 350 colleges and universities in every
State as compared with 331 in the preceding year. Each successive year more
institutions have participated in the program and each year a larger percentage
of small institutions have been involved, not because of Foundation policy as
such, but because more such institutions are submitting for support proposed
programs of high quality.
"In the 1961 programs, institute study opportunities were provided for ap-
proximately 17 percent of the high school teachers of scientific subjects, 3.3 per-
cent of the college science, mathematics, and engineering faculties, 0.2 percent
of the elementary school teachers, and 0.2 percent of the technical institute fac-
ulties; in each instance, there was no material change over the level of the pre-
"Approximately half ot the funds available to the Foundation for the improve-
ment of education in the sciences last year were devoted to this activity. This
distribution of funds is the result of a carefully considered judgment that the
institute program represents an exceedingly important component of American
education. The academic community-teachers, school officials, and scientists-
now consider subject-matter institutes as a necessary and continuing part of
academic life and plan accordingly. Institutes have been instrumental in estab-
lishing new standards in teacher competence and teacher training and have been
a powerful force in bringing about a shift in educational emphasis from a rela-
tively pedestrian, often outdated context to rigorous study of rigorous subject
matter. So successful has been the "Institute movement" that institute programs
in fields other than the sciences are being developed by other Federal agencie-.
The institute programs are rapidly becoming grassroots activities in the best sense
of the term. They are exerting their effect in all corners of the American educa-
tional scene and there are few schools that have not felt their influence directly
"The Foundation also administers other smaller programs whose purpose is
the improvement of the technical knowledge and understanding of teachers.
Most notable among these activities are those which enable unusually able high
school teachers to participate in actual scientific research projects under the
direction of scientists. At another level, college teachers who are not established
researchers are afforded comparable opportunities, In 1961, grants in these pro-
grams provided experience in research to 469 high school teachers and 408 college
teachers, in each case a slight increase over the previous year. A more important
change, however, is the increase in the number of projects in which especially
the participating college teachers are to continue their research during the school
year with only nominal guidance of the 'summer research professors.'
"Somewhat comparable programs are supported for especially able high school
and undergraduate college science, mathematics, and engineering students. In
some projects the students do research as in the teacher research participation
projects; in others, the instructional program more nearly resembles that of an
institute; in still others, the students pursue individual studies under the guidance
of scientists. Most are intensive full-time summer programs; others are extra-
hours programs in the school year. The common feature of all is the fact that the
students are given an opportunity to work and study directly with scientists iti
ways rarely if ever possible in usual classroom setting.
"The high school student programs provided this kind of educational experience
for about 4,500 students in 1960 and about 6,400 in 1961. Comparable figures.
for the undergraduate college student programs are 3,400 and 4,650, respectively.
"The acceptance of these two program activities by the scientific and educa-
tional communities has been gratifying. They represent a fairly novel venture
in modern educational planning and it seems likely that they possess those fea-
tures of broad applicability to many types of situations which have made the
teacher institutes such a conspicuous element of the present American educa-
tional scene. The current year's programs bear ample evidence of this inter-
est. On the basis of previous year's experience, for example, the Foundation
planned this year to make approximately 180 grants in support of undergraduate
student programs. However, many more excellent proposals were received than
had been anticipated, and so far support has been given to 399 of them; other
grants will be made later in the year from among the several hundred addi-
tional proposals which have been received but not yet thoroughly studied.
"All too frequently, however, the implementation of newly developed under-
graduate courses and programs of independent study and research has been
delayed due to inadequate funds with which to purchase new and modern science
instructional equipment. Because of this great lack, large numbers of beginning
college students are now forced to use obsolete equipment which is sometimes
inferior to that. found in many secondary school laboratories. This situation is
particularly critical in the smaller colleges long beset by financial problems.
Therefore, this year the Foundation has launched a new program which will
afford funds to universities and colleges for the purchase of science equipment
for instructional purposes. Because the amount available for this activity repre-
sents only about 2 percent of the estimated need this year, it has been necessary
to limit eligibility to degree-granting institutions and in addition limit both the
number of requests each school may submit and the amount of any one grant.
The program is now midway in its first year and no grants have yet been made;
many good proposals have been received. The Foundation is giving the most
careful consideration to the future of this activity and believes that it should
be markedly expanded for the next few years. It should also be noted that t his
program does not provide a species of general support for instructional equip-
ment. Rather, it is addressed to specific situations in which the full implemen-
tation of carefully conceived course improvements is being prevented for want
of appropriate (of adequate quantities of) instructional equipment.
"Of signal importance among the Foundation's programs in support of educa-
tion in the sciences are those directed toward the improvement of courses of
study and the various instructional aids needed to teach such courses effectively.
As in the area of science teacher training, our professional scientists have not for
many years personally participated in the preparation of courses of study and
textual materials other than for their own students. Hence, existing courses
tend to bear too little relevance to science as it stands today and as it is under-
stood by scientists. Therefore, the Foundation has sought to encourage leading
scientists to become involved in devising new courses of study so that they are
in fact based on contemporary science. Typically, a course content project con-
sists of a group of leading research scientists who determine course content and
groups of experienced teachers and psychologists who help in preparing the
materials for classroom trial. The testing of the new course materials results in
successive revisions until there eventually ensues a product which is judged to be
worthy of adoption by those school systems that wish to use them. The course
having been prepared and made available to those who wish to use it, in whole
or in part, the Foundation then refrains from the support of activities which
could reasonably be construed as constituting either an endorsement of the course
by the Federal Government or an attempt by the Government to persuade school
systems to adopt the course. The Foundation's position is simply that the new
materials have been prepared by leading scientists and made available for use
through regular channels: they should be adopted or rejected by schools on their
own merits in competition with other available materials.
"There have been three important consequences of the Foundation's activities
in the area of course content improvement. First, the idea that leading scholars
have important contributions to make to course development is spreading
rapidly and has given rise to the creation of a number of course development
groups other than those supported by the Foundation-and in fields beyond
the Foundation's scope. Second, the new course developments have been very
popular with school systems and their adoption poses difficulties with respect
to the qualifications of the teachers assigned to teach them, especially because
the new courses are typically nontraditional in approach as welt as in content.
Thus there is a growing interplay between the Foundation's activities in science
t,'rcher education and its activities in support of course content improvement.
Third, and perhaps in the long view most significant of all, is the fact that
students at all age levels have been found to be capable of understanding (and
enjoying to a degree wholly unexpected) subject matter of a high degree of
sophistication, provided that the material is presented in the right manner.
"In the area of course content improvement in mathematics for secondary
schools, textual materials developed under Foundation grants were made avail-
able during 1961 to anyone wishing to use them for grades 7 to 12; some 300,000
pupils Uare studying from them at present, and the most recently published books
from commercial publishers show a strong influence of these new approaches.
Work continues on alternative courses, supplementary materials for brighter
students, programed presentations, and a long-term study of effects on students.
The Physic:l Science Study Committee's physics course, a Foundation-supported
project, is being used by more than 75,000 students, and part of the course by
about -i- many more. That committee continues work on advanced topics, addi-
tional films, new monographs, and additional test batteries. The Biological
Science Curriculum Study, the Chemical Bond Approach Project, and the Chem-
ical Education Materials Study-activities comparable to that of the physics
group-developed second experimental versions of their courses, which are now
being tried in schools. The biology and chemistry projects will make their mate-
rials available for general use by the fall of 1963.
"For elementary and junior high schools, the School Mathematics Study Group
is in the second year of experimentation on content for grades 1 to 6; materials
for 4 to 6 will be published for general use by the fall of 1962. Imaginative al-
ternative approaches are being developed by groups at Stanford, Minnesota,
Illinois, Syracuse, and Webster College.
"Under a grant from the National Science Foundation, the American Associa-
tion for the Advancement of Science last year set up a series of conferences which
involved some 200 leading scientists and educators in a searching study of the
problems relating to the teaching of science in elementary and junior high