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And it's very different from any other kind of communication. It's different from instruction as practiced in the classroom between teacher and student. Now the people who have to develop this new kind of communication in its electronic development were compelled to do certain things in evolving their forms since a train once started down the tracks had to be boarded by the listener if you were at once his attention had to be captured immediately. Not a captive audience and audience in a context of inattention in a context of distraction. I saw a program recently pretending to be education. It was on a Metro Media station. It was about a piece called. And it opened with a number of students who'd recently participated in the Peace Corps. They came on and we saw quick flashes of them. We were interested and then up came the main titles and we were face to face with the inevitable panel
and the moderator and the moderator said to Sargent Shriver will you tell us about the Peace Corps. Please start from the beginning. Where did you get the idea. At that point I tuned out. This was a perfect example. Of the completely cognitive approach. Logical ordering. Now I was mildly motivated. In Washington. The United States Information Office is training school where I spoke recently. A student said he watched the same program and he continued to watch but there was a difference. He was. Very much motivated. He was going out to the countries where the Peace Corps volunteers had been and he wanted very much to know what was going on. But most of his audience was unmotivated to the same degree. Now this is true also of instructional use of television in classrooms even though the audience is captive even though they must pass a cost
for credits. That's not real motor motivation. That's not true arousal of interest. Once begun the tension has to be hell. And here comes into play the very opposite of the instructional aesthetic the ARA's to Tilly in the static of drama the beginning the middle and end the three beat approach Whitehead urges that even for education he speaks in his book aims of education of the three necessary stages. He calls them romance precision generalization and he speaks of them as the rhythm of these natural cravings of the human intelligence. In another part of his book he speaks of the three elements of scholarship discovery and invention the dialectic of faeces and to the CIS and synthesis of Hagel call it what you will. It's three beats confrontation struggle and resolution all different ways of saying the same thing. It's a dialectic of relationships a playing with ideas. You have a probing deeper
levels of penetration and an arrangement to a climax to a restructuring of an image of the world to a new way of looking at it. I'm fond always of repeating a story which to me typifies the essence of communication. It's the story of a savage walking in a forest. Every day you walk down the same trail and past a pool and saw in that pool a stick protruding from the water. It was a bent stick. One day he decided to leave the pot. Go to the pool. He bent down. Pulled the stick out of the water held it up and behold it was a straight stick. His image had been reconstructed. He could never again pass that pool and think of that stick in the water. Deceived by the testimony of the senses he knew what it was. In my opinion every good teacher does this. Whether his name is Socrates or Jesus or a NYT the
situation set the involvement the play of ideas the resolution and the accumulation of information along the way as a byproduct in some general meaningful context not fragmented unrelated. I would call says Professor Whitehead is to see the immediate of the events of our lives as instances of odd general ideas. When the learned world tends to off or rather what the learned world tends to offer is one secondhand scrap of information illustrating ideas derived from another secondhand scrap of information. Now this visceral aspect of communication to my way of thinking this instinctual approach to it. Playing with words and rhythms taking of the dream experience that Freud has told us about condensation displacement bringing into play the infantile regression to the pleasure principle to be reconciled with the reality principle.
This is the nature of broadcasting an educational broadcaster I should hope would be a person who fuses his educational aims with the unique aesthetic demands of his medium educational broadcasters who address themselves by way of radio and television to broad publics should continue to aim at this fusion of Amun techniques. What troubles me is that those among you who are involved in the service to the instruction process will forget this and allow the cognitive flow August out of classic instruction to swallow up the uniqueness of the communications revolution as revealed by broadcasting. Bill Holly in a clear seen moment in his talk last year perceive this describing the coming utility of technological hardware and education he said. I have a feeling that many of us do not perceive the changed and changing environment in which we are now operating. The expanding progress of electronic communications in education the integration of the
media that must result and the significance of the increasing application of communications principles to instruction. Please note that he says communications principles not merely educational principles. This is a distinction between educational in the instructional sense and educational in the communication sense as we are coming to understand the word communications as having a gestalt a mystique all its own. If you agree to this fusion you might stop calling yourselves educational broadcasters entirely and look for another name that would be more accurately descriptive of your operations. How about educate us to us. I repeat Ed you cost us. Try it for size. If you don't like it try pro educate us. Whatever clarification you make having made it in your own minds and reaping the
consequences of it in your programming. The general output of educational broadcasting would be considerably improved. It would be improved no matter where you work in education whether it be as contractors for National Educational Television as teach is using television for instruction in or out of the classrooms as community or university stations putting on your own shows while helping organizations put on shows for you. True good programs are a matter of money and of talent but talent is talent because it intuitively knows how to communicate. Lack of money is not the only answer. Sometimes it makes a man's. But all the money all the grants and all the foundations won't do the job for you if you continue to be the doctor Tikal of education and the Mr Hyde of broadcasting. In the old Allan House days we used to talk much of the whole man. Your responsibility is to be the whole it you cast it.
I think the recent Ford Foundation grant and that is fine. It will give that organization a long expected challenge and opportunity for which it is quite aware. But I would not like to see everybody else in the edge you casting field become the mere flight mechanics of the industry while NEC remains the glamour boys up in the bright blue yonder. Nor do I want you to conceive of yourselves as quantified caters getting the educational message Tamar by your new hardware. To fight the population expansion in schools. Rather I would like to see you attempt to change the educational process itself. Your programming would be improved whether you addressed yourselves to the masses what to the classes. Both need such nutriment in our national life for the question of lethargy is socially mobile upwards as well as dominance. Indeed the most hopeful thing that I found
in trams recent book The people look at television was the revelation of the small but significant blue collar minority among the audience for Educational Television educational TV has been presumed to be the hunting grounds of the middle class well-educated upper income group. But SRAM discovered that there was a group of not so well educated not so well paid watching. These were socially upwardly mobile. They made an emotional identification with the middle class and they watched the middle class programs. This is a very hopeful sign. The targets though that need particular awakening and ferment is the so-called masses. The man bound by inertia. His mental faculties in danger of atrophy. According to the social responsibility theory of the press. The more alert elements of the community must go this man into the exercise of his reason. This is your responsibility your second responsibility as educational broadcasters. And again
whether you aim at this target in your school or community broadcasts there is a great need for boldness rather than for institutional timidity. Its commercial broadcasters generally support the status quo. Schools do the same as educators does. You must challenge it. I was in England recently and saw their much publicised programme. That Was The Week That Was. Now this is a BBC production irreverent mocking satiric biting. It's changing the public image of the BBC the commercial television people in England tried it and ironically enough fell flat on their face. They had to withdraw their programme. It was a disaster. W3 is done by the sophisticates not by the entertainment people of the British Broadcasting Corporation but by the spin off of talent from the informational section. They are Oxford and Cambridge University students. When they did the programme they expected an audience of 2 million people at the most on a late Saturday night. They got 13 million in a hurry.
An audience crossing Geographic and class boundaries. The surprising response was the response of the mass audience. And I talk to taxi drivers and hotel maids who watch it regularly perhaps don't understand all the subtleties of the wits of the witticisms but are learning a great deal for the first time about the workings of their government. The NBC version recently exposed with the help was a healthy advance over off flow of intellectual capital on commercial broadcasting. But it was not like the English version. Why shouldn't our university people do something like that on their stations. In England an older man told me that he didn't like the programme because it was undermining social values. A member of the programme staff told me they were skeptical of social values but not since cynical that sometimes it was necessary to challenge to destroy bluntly in order to reconstruct. I think the same could be true here with respect to social and political issues.
There have been recent notable examples that have come to my attention particularly from WGBH in Boston and WRVA are in New York. But there must be others of which I haven't known and still there are not enough. You know it's interesting to examine the criticisms generally leveled at commercial broadcasters for failing to live up to their social responsibilities. Let's take a few of them and see how educational broadcasters stack up against the same criticisms one the press is wielded enormous power for its own ends. The owners have propagated their own opinions especially in matters of politics and economics at the expense of opposing views. Query. How the educational stations wielded their power for their ends what political and economic opinions if any of their own have they exhibited to the press has been subservient to big business and at times has let advertisers control editorial policies and editorial content.
Cleary have the university stations been subservient to university or financial community powers. At the Westinghouse Broadcasting conference recently a representative of the Ford Foundation pointed out that there is a class segregation in dealing with problems on broadcasting. There are three areas in communities. There is the suburban area well-to-do. There is the core of the city where the business power resides and in between there is the grey area where the slums are. And he pointed out that broadcasting focuses mostly on the outer rings of this situation. And completely neglect the inner ring. And he called for a confrontation among the three concentric rings. I think this is something that the educational broadcasters want to take to heart. There is much emphasis on making educational broadcasting a profession within a profession
with standard status and reward. I think professional standards are fine but to make broadcasting another discipline in the educational universe alongside physics chemistry medicine and law is to make it the servant of all the evils of academic career as I'm comfortable. Don't rock the boat careers to the secure a pension at the end of the road. In the great teachers of communicators there has always been a bit more of the speculator than of the bureaucrat. Education has its realities as does commercial broadcasting. I was a member of one of the panels at the Westinghouse conference. Steve Allen Dick Gregory and Mark Connelly Dr Henry Lee Smith. We talked about communications on a lofty philosophical level. That night I spoke to Steve Allen's wife and she said to me I sat in the audience and I was thrilled with the panel. But I sat next to a commercial broadcaster and he said to me this is wonderful this is inspiring. This is an opening. This is great. But tomorrow morning I have to go back to my
station and make a buck. Educational broadcast as to tomorrow morning have to go back and face the realities of their academic and community situations perhaps to save a buck. Nevertheless this is a responsibility which once you if you elect this profession. You will recall that when I began my talk I said that ghosts haunt this convention the ghosts of our contemporary predicament of despair of a democratic man. I hope you will be conscious of these ghosts as you go about the business of the convention. And when the convention is over and you go back to your jobs I hope the ghosts will continue to haunt you. For unlike H.G. Wells and his mind at the end of its tether my despair is not final and I believe that it is possible to dispel ghostly beliefs. And so in closing I give you two more responsibilities. 1. Be important as the man in the parable in the Gospel of St. Luke. He came to a friend you remember at midnight and asked for three
loaves and as your friend his friend refused to come down. But he continued to knock at the dog. And because of his importunity his friend had finally to come down and give him his three loaves. Be important. Continue to hammer at man continue to hammer in your programs at the big mysteries of the human spirit and be his hairy Scania one suggested minister of destruction in one thousand twenty one at the time broadcasting was born. James Harvey Robinson wrote in his important battle book Mind in the making these words it is in the nature of critical thought to make them offer us off familiar and approved world into something strange and unfamiliar. Education generally has the opposite knack of turning the strange and unfamiliar into the commonplace. More critical thought. Not to destroy but to reconstruct and in addition to being importunate strive to be magicians like Prosper Oh in The
Tempest. I saw a wonderfully imaginative productive production of this almost last of Shakespeare's mature plays at Stratford upon Avon in England and it came out so clearly in the last act when prosper bids farewell to his magic arts that this is Shakespeare himself saying goodbye to his dramatic genius and bringing down the curtain on his theatrical world. Prosper although I would now return to his dukedom in Milan. But before he breaks his stuff and buries it certain fathoms in the earth. And deeper than did ever plummet sound drowned his book he recalls with passion how he dimmed the noontide sun called forth the mutinous wins and tweaks the green sea in the air as your default setting roaring worn by his so potent art. It is your final responsibility as educators not to have the Rough Magic of broadcasting. Don't be a prosperous catching the
New Haven to Milan a duke in a gray flannel suit. Thank you thank you.
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National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention
Robert L. Shayon - Reel 2 of 2
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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