Andrew Freeman's Master of Education thesis

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This document is Andrew Freeman's Master of Education minor thesis. It was presented as a paper at the Silver Jubilee Conference of the Australian College of Education (Canberra ACT. May 1984) and subsequently published by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Resources, Syracuse University, New York, USA - ERIC document reference - ED247936

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                      by ANDREW R. FREEMAN


by Andrew R.  Freeman,  C/- Burgmann College,  A.N.U.,  P.O.  Box 
1345, Canberra City, A.C.T. 2601, Australia.

Copyright (C) 1983, Andrew R. Freeman.

ISBN: 0 949385 00 X

ISBN: 0 949385 01 8 (Internet version)
ISBN: 0 949385 02 6 (microform)

i. Acknowledgements.                                            

I would like to acknowledge the academic and editorial assistance 
provided  by my Academic Supervisor,  Dr Ross H.  Millikan,  Sub-
Dean, Department of Education, University of Melbourne. 

I would also like to thank Dr Mick March,  Principal, Narrabundah 
College  for  his assistance in reviewing a draft of this  thesis 
and  for his comments on the key themes and the relevance of  the 
scenario to Narrabundah College in the future. 

Christine   and  Margaret  Carseldine  also   provided   valuable 
editorial and clerical assistance.

ii. Table of contents.

i. Acknowledgements.                                            3

ii. Table of contents.                                          4

iii. Abstract.                                                 11 

iv. Overview.                                                  12 

CHAPTER 1. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE                        15

     RELATED LITERATURE ON KEY THEMES                          15

     1-1. CO-ORDINATION                                        15

     1-2. DEVOLUTION                                           18

     1-3. PARTICIPATION                                        20

     1-4. DECENTRALISATION                                     27

     1-5. CONSULTATION                                         31

     1-6. NETWORKS                                             35

     REVIEW OF KEY REPORTS                                     42

     IN VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS                           42

     1-8.    ROYAL    COMMISSION   ON    AUSTRALIAN   
     ADMINISTRATION                                            43


     AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE                                 45

CHAPTER 2. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK                                47     

CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY                                         51


REPORTS AND CONCEPTS                                           54

     4-1. INTRODUCTION                                         54

          4-1-1.  Analysis  of  the impact on society of a  rapid 
          rate of change.                                      54

          4-1-2. Need for a new educational paradigm.          57

     4-2. DEFINITION OF KEY TECHNOLOGIES                       59 

          4-2-1. Telecommunications and related technologies.  59

          4-2-2. Data processing technology.                   61

          4-2-3. Computer conferencing.                        63

          4-2-4. Computer  conferencing  applications  and 
          implications.                                        66

     4-3. DEVOLUTION AND DECENTRALISATION                      68

          4-3-1.  Interpretations  in the White Paper  and  RCAGA 
          report.                                              68

          4-3-2. Devolution and decentralisation in schools and 
          the APS.                                             71

          4-3-3. Devolution, access to knowledge, and privacy. 73

     4-4. PARTICIPATION                                        74

          4-4-1. Interpretations of participation.             74

          4-4-2. Approaches to achieving participation.        76

          4-4-3.  Potential  role  of computer  conferencing  in 
          facilitating participation.                          80

          4-4-4.  Barriers which need to be considered when it is 
          desired to increase participation.                   81

     4-5. CONSULTATION                                         84

          4-5-1. The White Paper's interpretation of consultation 
          and  the  potential  use of  Videotex  to  assist  with 
          consultation in education and public administration. 84

          4-5-2.  The  use  of television and  telecommunications 
          technologies to assist with consultation.            86

          4-5-3.  Consultation  could be facilitated by the  more           
          imaginative usage of currently available technology. 87

     4-6. CO-ORDINATION                                        89

          4-6-1. Co-ordination, communication, and control.    89

          4-6-2. Evaluation, feedback, and self-correction.    91

          4-6-3. Co-ordination and broad-based systems 

          linkages.                                            93

CHAPTER 5. A SCENARIO                                          95

     5-1. WHAT WILL THE SCENARIO DISCUSS?                      95

     EDUCATION                                                 96

     5-2. USE OF COMPUTER PACKAGES IN EDUCATION                96


     5-4. INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO EDUCATION                   99

     5-5. APPROACHES TO CAREER EDUCATION                      100

     5-6. COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE                            101

     5-7. NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL DATA BASE                      103

     5-8. DISTANCE EDUCATION                                  106

     5-9. ADULT EDUCATION                                     107

     AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SERVICE                                108


     5-11. CUSTOMISED STATISTICAL REPORTS                     110

     5-12. INFORMATION CO-ORDINATION                          111

     5-13. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION                             111

     GENERAL ASPECTS                                          112

     5-14. NEW APPROACHES TO PARTICIPATION                    112

     5-15. LEISURE                                            114

     5-16. ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY BY THE POOR                   116


     HAVE BUILDINGS                                           119


     5-20. INTERNATIONAL TASK FORCES                          123

     5-21. MULTIPURPOSE SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS                   124

     5-22. REDUCED HIERARCHICAL EMPHASIS                      125


     ADMINISTRATION                                           126

     5-24. NEW APPROACHES TO PLANNING                         128

     5-25. USE OF FUTURES TECHNIQUES                          129

     EVALUATION                                               129

CHAPTER 6. CASE STUDY                                         131

     6-1. THE KEY THEMES                                      132

          6-1-1. Co-ordination.                               132

          6-1-2. Devolution.                                  133

          6-1-3. Participation.                               135

          6-1-4. Decentralisation.                            137

          6-1-5. Consultation.                                139

          6-1-6. Networks.                                    140

     6-2. SCENARIO                                            142

          6-2-1. Computer packages.                           142

          6-2-2. The role of school and public libraries.     145

          6-2-3. Innovative approaches to education.          147

          6-2-4. Approaches to career education.              149

          6-2-5. Communicative competence.                    150

          6-2-6. National educational data base.              152

          6-2-7. Distance education.                          153

          6-2-8. Adult education.                             154

          6-2-9. Leisure.                                     155

          6-2-10. School buildings.                           156

          6-2-11. Terminal addiction.                         158

          6-2-12. International task forces.                  158

          6-2-13. Multi-purpose social institutions.          159

          6-2-14. Matrix structures.                          160

          6-2-15. New approaches to planning.                 161

     6-3. CONCLUSIONS                                         162

7. CONCLUSIONS                                                165

8. RECOMMENDATIONS                                            170

      8-1. GENERAL PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION                      170

      8-2. EDUCATION                                          171

      8-3. GENERAL ASPECTS                                    173

9. REFERENCES                                                 175

10. BIBLIOGRAPHY                                              186

11. RELATED READING BY MYSELF                                 188

12. APPENDIX                                                  190


iii. Abstract.

In  this thesis consideration is given to the inter-relationships 
between  a number of key concepts and reports in educational  and 
general  public administration which have been produced over  the 
last decade.  Networking is the inter-connecting concept.  In the 
first  half  of  the  thesis  the  emphasis  is  on  the  current 
relationships between the key themes and educational and  general 
public  administrative structures and strategies.  In the  second 
half  a  variation  of the "brainstorming"  technique  (involving 
purely  the author rather than a group of individuals)  has  been 
used  to  produce a scenario of possible educational and  general 
public administrative structures and strategies in the 1980s  and 
90s (with an emphasis on the possible inter-relationships between 
these   structures   and  strategies,   the   key   themes,   and 
communications networks).

A  case  study  then follows which links the key themes  and  the 
scenario  by  including  discussion  of  one  senior  educational 
administrator's  perceptions of probable futures for a particular 
education system.

It   is  concluded  that  there  is  great  potential   for   new 
technologies  to assist with the restructuring of educational and 
general public administration.  Recommendations on how this could 
be achieved are given.

iv. Overview.

In   this  thesis  consideration  is  given  to  developments  in 
telecommunications  and  computing technologies  in  relation  to 
possible educational and general public administrative structures 
and  strategies which could be implemented in the 1980s and  90s. 
Consideration is given in particular to structures and strategies 
considered  in  such  reports as the Victorian  Government  White 
Paper  on "Strategies and Structures for Education  in  Victorian 
Government  Schools" (the White Paper),  Commonwealth Reviews  of 
Public  Administration  in  the Australian Public  Service  (APS) 
(specifically  the "Royal Commission into  Australian  Government 
Administration"    [RCAGA],    the   "Review   of    Commonwealth 
Administration"  [RCA],  and the "Joint Management Review of  ADP 
Management Issues in the Australian Public Service" [JMR]). 

A  number of themes appear in both the RCAGA report  (Dr.  H.  C. 
Coombs  was  the Chairman of the RCAGA) and the White Paper  (and 
less  explicitly  in  the RCA  Report).  The  JMR  also  includes 
specific  consideration of how a number of these themes could  be 
implemented  using  information technologies.  In this  thesis  I 
consider  six of these themes in detail - from the point of  view 
of  both  educational  administrative,  and more  general  public 
administrative, structures and strategies. 

These themes are:

     * devolution;

     * decentralisation;

     * participation;

     * consultation; 

     * co-ordination; and

     * networking.

I  note  that these themes are increasingly  inter-connected  and 
will become more so in the future. Specifically, consideration is 
given  to  how  networks  (with an  emphasis  on  networks  which 
incorporate  computer and telecommunications technologies)  could 
assist with the implementation of the key themes.

Particular consideration is given to the different ways in  which 
these themes are interpreted in each of the reports analysed.

Consideration is also given to the need for matrix approaches  to 
management  in  turbulent environments,  and to how a  number  of 
telecommunications  and computing technologies could assist  with 
the implementation of innovative organisational structures.

The  "findings" section of this thesis involves the  presentation 
of   a   scenario   of  how  educational   and   general   public 
administrative  systems  might be operating up to  1995,  with  a 
particular  emphasis  on the key themes considered in  the  first 
part  of the thesis.  The terms "educational" and "general public 
administrative"  are interpreted broadly in  this  scenario.  The 
scenario is designed to highlight a number of possible futures.

A case study follows which includes a key component dealing  with 
one  educational  administrator's  views on the  practicality  of 
implementing a number of the educational thrusts included in  the 
scenario (that is, with a focus on probable futures). 

The  key conclusion of this thesis is that computer conferencing, 
data  processing,  and  other  new  technologies  (including  new 
approaches  to  organisational design) have  great  potential  to 
assist  with the restructuring of educational and general  public 
administrative systems in the 1980s and 90s.

Recommendations on changes which need to be made now if the  full 
potential  of  these  new  technologies is  to  be  realised  are 


Six  themes have been selected for a detailed literature  review. 
This review is limited to the extent that I have concentrated  on 
more  theoretical  literature.  In the body of the thesis I  have 
included   much  of  the  literature  of  direct   relevance   to 
educational and general public administration.

The  selected  themes  are  conceptually  related  in  that  they 
directly relate,  both individually and collectively, to problems 
related  to networking and to potential structures and strategies 
for education and general public administration in the future.

In the second part of the review of related literature I  outline 
the key reports I have selected, and give a brief introduction to 
how they relate to the key themes.


I  have  attempted  to include much of  the  literature  reviewed 
within  the  main body of this thesis.  In this section  I  will, 
however,  give  a brief outline of some of the material which has 
been written broadly around the key themes.


Co-ordination  is  a  key  part of  managing.  A  report  of  the 
Parliamentary  Joint  Committee  of Public  Accounts  (JCPA)  has 
defined  managing  as  involving  "...initiating,   guiding,  and 
evaluating. Thus management is decision-making and getting things 
done by other people.  In order to manage successfully there is a 
need to be able to motivate people,  to communicate to them  what 
they should be doing, what results should be achieved, and how to 
achieve them." (JCPA, 1982, p. 7).

Co-ordination  relates to monitoring systems,  and ensuring  that 
goals and objectives are achieved (it is thus related more to the 
guiding and evaluating components of the above definition than to 
the initiating component).  In order for evaluation to occur,  it 
is necessary that objectives be specified in measureable terms.

It is interesting to note, in relation to this that "At one stage 
the  Committee  [of Inquiry into the S.A.  Public Service in  the 
mid-1970s]   requested  existing  departments  to  'state   their 
objectives,  the purposes for which they exist'. The report noted 
that  'only  a  small  minority  could  point  to   authoritative 
statements  of their objectives,  readily available and  recently 
reviewed'.  As  a  result  it proposed that  the  objectives  and 
functions  of  departments  should be 'clearly set  out'  and  be 
'available   to  serve  as  terms  of  reference'  to  staff  and 
public...'." (Jaensch, 1978, p. 78).

Dror  has indicated that "Clarification of aims is vital in order 
to provide standards for the appraisal of various  alternatives." 
(Dror,  1971,  p.  248). One key aspect of co-ordination involves 
choosing between alternative strategies.  Over time this involves 
evaluating current strategies and choosing to continue with those 
which are found to be more effective and efficient. Without clear 
aims it is not possible to evaluate which strategies are the most 

It is essential,  where evaluations take place,  and it is  found 
that  resources  are not being used efficiently  or  effectively, 
that it be possible to re-allocate these resources.  For example, 
it   has  been  said  that  "The  major  weakness  in  Victoria's 
autonomous  agencies  has  been  the  absence  of  machinery  for 
disbanding  them  when they no longer  articulate  and  implement 
significant social values." (Holmes,  1978,  p.  109). Such a re-
allocation of resources is much easier for Ministers when dealing 
with  components  of  their Departments than  when  dealing  with 
statutory  authorities  for which they are responsible  but  over 
which they do not have complete power of direction.  However, the 
ability  to  re-allocate  resources is not sufficient  to  ensure 
effective co-ordination. As Chapman has pointed out "No amount of 
tinkering with organizational structures can reduce the need  for 
properly qualified,  competent officers." (1978,  p.  294). It is 
also   necessary  that  administrators  be  allocated  sufficient 

Co-ordination  in government is not just a problem in  Australia. 
In  Tanzania  it  has been observed  that  "  present,  each 
functional officer is responsible only to his own Ministry in Dar 
es  Salaam,  so  that  it is extremely difficult to  work  out  a 
Regional  or District development or problem-solving scheme which 
calls  for co-ordinated action."  (Nyerere,  1972,  p.  1).  This 
problem  has  also  been  recognised  in  Australia.   The  RCAGA 
initiated  the development (on a pilot basis) of  a  co-ordinated 
approach  to  regional service delivery.  "The NOW centre  (North 
west One stop Welfare centre) was opened in Coburg in July  1975. 
It  aimed to provide a single location for various  commonwealth, 
state,   and   local   government   departments   and   voluntary 
organizations  to  deliver  services  of  various  kinds  to  the 
community." (Painter,  1978, p. 245). It was also found that this 
approach  facilitated a more participatory response from citizens 
in  that  "...the centre has succeeded generally in  providing  a 
more  pleasant  environment for "fronting  up"  to  officialdom." 
(Painter, 1978, p. 245).

Participation  by  citizens can facilitate the identification  of 
alternative  goals  and  objectives,  together  with  the  "value 
constructs" upon which these are based.  As Henderson has pointed 
out  "A  persistent condition underlying social conflict  is  the 
differing  set of subjective assumptions and levels of  awareness 
by which groups perceive the same objective set of circumstances. 
Often the only time that such underlying perceptions can be  made 
explicit,  then  explored and mediated,  is when they clash in an 
open confrontation." (1978, p. 239).

Power is a key theme in considering such open confrontations,  or 
in analysing such concepts as devolution.  "Weber defines 'power' 
(Macht) as the probability that an actor will be able to  realise 
his  own objectives even against opposition from others with whom 
he is in a social relationship." (Giddens, 1971, p. 156).


Devolution  refers  to the transfer of power  and  responsibility 
from  one group within a government or administrative  system  to 
another group further from the centre of power within that system 
(Victoria,  1980,  p. 11). The emphasis is generally on devolving 
power  so  that people can have more influence on policies  which 
directly affect them.

Devolution  is  increasingly being seen as a solution  to  system 
breakdowns resulting from these systems being too large to  allow 
for a co-ordinated approach to societal problem-solving. However, 
it  is important to realise that some issues will still require a 
national  input  if  they are  to  be  handled  effectively.  For 
example,  "  the United is now conceded that the 
problems created by population growth and urban concentration are 
too  big to be handled by the States or cities alone."  (Brennan, 
1972,  p.  44).  The emphasis should be on devolving powers which 
can be more effectively co-ordinated at the local  level,  rather 
than  simply on breaking-up large systems which are not operating 
effectively.  Where  systems are not operating effectively in  an 
area  which requires a substantial national input,  the  emphasis 
should  instead  be  on  re-designing the  system  to  allow  for 
effective  management  (often  this  will  involve  the  use   of 
distributed computer networks).

Devolution  can create difficulties in situations where power  is 
devolved  to  local units,  but where the central authority  (and 
Minister ultimately) still retains accountability for that  area. 
For example,  "The [W.A.] Department [of Education] implemented a 
decentralisation  policy  to devolve decision making by  creating 
regional  offices.   The  fundamental  principles  guiding   this 
devolution of authority were stated as:

(a)  decisions  are more effectively made in the light  of  local 

(b)  persons affected by a decision should participate in  making 
the decision;

(c)  the  Minister  for Education  remains  responsible  for  the 
education system, irrespective of who makes the decision; and

(d)  the  public are entitled to demand accountability for  funds 
expended and outcomes achieved." (Neesham, 1978, p. 25).

In  the  case of W.A.  it is clear that what is talked  about  is 
decentralisation  rather than devolution,  in that responsibility 
is  not  transfered,  and  in  extreme  situations  the  Minister 
maintains the power of direction.

More generally,  insufficient thought seems to have been given to 
the question of how a Minister can remain responsible for an area 
over  which he has no ability to give  direction.  In  management 
there  is a general principle that it is inappropriate to make  a 
position  responsible  for an activity if the person holding  the 
position does not have complete control over the area.


Elliot  and Elliot have argued that "...the word  'participation' 
has a number of meanings. In general it suggests that individuals 
or  groups  are  in some way able to directly  influence  and  be 
involved with decision-making." (1976, p. 138).

As well as having a number of interpretations, participation as a 
concept has a long history.  "It misleading to suggest 
that the question of participation within democratic systems is a 
new one for it has preoccupied political thinkers for centuries." 
(Higgins and Richardson,  1976,  p.  5). In the UK "Over the last 
decade  a  renewed  interest in encouraging  more  direct  public 
participation  in  services  provided by both local  and  central 
government  bodies has been reflected in a number  of  government 
acts, reports and white papers." (Crousaz et al., 1978, p. 1). In 
the   USA   "The   federal  government   has   required   citizen 
participation in various programs since the 1930s,  when  farmers 
were brought into decision-making about crop allotments." (Dommel 
and Associates, 1982, p. 15).

Historically,  there are examples of participation as an integral 
part  of  citizenship.  "In the Greek polis every man - that  is, 
every  free  citizen  - was  a  zoon politikon:  the  social  and 
political  were  inextricably fused,  and there was  no  separate 
sphere of the 'political'." (Giddens, 1971, p. 5).

In  various programs in the USA and Australia there has  been  an 
attempt  to recreate to some degree such an idealised  situation. 
In the USA, "Federal legislation in the health field requires the 
creation  of  community committees for funding,  particularly  in 
those  areas  related to minority-group services."  (Fantini  and 
Gittell,  1973,  p.  18). The need for local (and, in particular, 
disadvantaged   community)  participation   in   federally-funded 
programs  in Australia has been recognised since the early  1970s 
in fields as diverse as education and health. One author has gone 
as  far  as to suggest that "There were some aspects  of  Federal 
Labor  Government policies [in the 1970s] in the field of  social 
welfare (especially the Australian Assistance Plan (AAP)),  which 
indicated  that one major purpose was to increase the involvement 
of the community in defining its own needs." (Chapman,  1982,  p. 

It has been argued that "...human beings do have power to control 
technology, but...this power is not at present evenly distributed 
between  individuals and groups in society." (Elliot and  Elliot, 
1976,  p.  101).  Participation in governmental processes (at all 
levels)  relates  to questions of power - "...the  powerless  see 
community  control  as a way not only to make  institutions  more 
responsive  to  their needs but also to exercise their  share  of 
power  within  society."  (Fantini  and  Gittell,  1973,  p.  8). 
However,  "What democrats fear is that participatory processes of 
decision-making will favour articulate minorities just as much as 
more old fashioned processes." (Higgins and Richardson,  1976, p. 
10).  This  fear  is heightened by the fact that "...there  is  a 
great  deal  of  evidence suggesting that a  decisive  factor  in 
influencing  the  extent to which people participate in  politics 
and  get  involved in voluntary group activity is the  length  of 
formal education they have been exposed to."  (Sharpe,  1979,  p. 
28).  It  is also of concern that "Numerous studies have noted  a 
relationship   between  social  class  or  status  and  community 
participation." (Parkum and Parkum, 1980, p. 156).

However, participatory theorists would argue that one of the main 
reasons  that  people with lower status so rarely participate  in 
societal  decision-making processes is that they are given little 
opportunity to do so.  "One of the main tenants of 'participatory 
theory'  is that the experience of participation will lead to  an 
enlarged  ability  to participate and that  experience  of  lower 
levels  of  control may lead to an interest in higher levels  and 
hence  towards the ultimate goal of  'participatory  democracy'." 
(Elliot and Elliot, 1976, p. 194).

It  may  be  because  of  the  fundamental  relationship  between 
participation  and power that "The larger expectations [resulting 
from  the RCAGA report] about responsiveness  and  participation, 
dispersal  of bureaucratic power and the diffusion of  government 
structures  have  not been realised."  (Chapman,  1982,  p.  27). 
Certainly it would be naive to expect participation to result  in 
a reduction in conflict between the bureaucracy and citizens. The 
argument  that  "...what  seems  to be  needed  is  policy-making 
machinery to resolve the political conflict planning  programmers 
provoke  among  experts  and specialists,  as well as  among  the 
general  public." (Holmes,  1978,  p.  104) would appear to be  a 
false hope when seen in this light - the best one could hope  for 
would be conflict based on a true perception of the facts, rather 
than  a reduction in conflict as such between competing  interest 

One  of  the key barriers to greater community  participation  in 
oversighting   government   programs  is  that  of   professional 
autonomy.  Yates  has  pointed out that "  contrast  to  the 
doctrine  of  pluralist  democracy,  "neutral  competence"  gives 
substantial  political  power  and  authority  to  administrators 
rather than to citizens and elected officials." (1982, p. 24). It 
also  needs to be recognised that "...administrators in a  public 
bureaucracy  can  only  strive for professional autonomy  at  the 
expense of external accountability." (Scott, 1978, p. 198).

"A  major  reservation  expressed  by  many  professionals  about 
'participation',  is that it tends to prolong the dialogue beyond 
the  point of being useful,  especially if there is a failure  to 
agree on the plan being debated." (Elliot and  Elliot,  1976,  p. 

Social  trends  will  doubtless  continue to  place  pressure  on 
bureaucracies  to permit increased  participation.  For  example, 
"The  trend  to egalitarianism in our society may be expected  to 
increase  participation."  (Bennett,   1980,   p.   4).  However, 
participation   should  not  be  seen  as  a  "panacea"  in   all 
circumstances  because  "...a truly  decentralized  participatory 
system  will  tend to be highly responsive to the  needs  of  the 
members in each participatory locality,  but will tend to neglect 
inter-local,  inter-regional  and  national needs,  both  of  the 
allocative  (e.g.,  social justice) type and those which are best 
served collectively (e.g.,  a priming of the economy)." (Etzioni, 
1971,  p.  64).  Taking  this  into  account  "One  of  the  most 
interesting  features of recent decentralist reform has been  the 
effort  of  central authorities to promote participation  at  the 
local level." (Magnusson, 1979, p. 131). This may be explained if 
one   considers  that  the  emphasis  has  been  on  having   the 
participation  focus  on  issues of local  rather  than  national 

The  relationship between decentralisation and  participation  is 
illustrated  by the fact that "Distributed decision making  seems 
to be a prerequeisite [sic] to meaningful participation.  But the 
decentralisation  which  makes this possible is  not  necessarily 
good,  as  unlimited local variations can lead to  organisational 
chaos." (Bennett, 1980, p. 6).

Also,  "In its most developed form participation...means that the 
citizen  is directly concerned with every level of the  decision-
making process.  This implies a considerable devolution of power, 
and  consequently  the  decentralization of  the  decision-making 
process,  in  an  attempt  to enlarge the  democratic  and  self-
determining  powers  of  the individual or  group."  (Elliot  and 
Elliot, 1976, p. 139).

There are,  however, difficulties in implementing such a concept. 
These  are reflected in the fact that  "[An]...argument  commonly 
used  against  greater participation is that it is  inefficient." 
(Higgins and Richardson,  1976,  p.  9).  It has been argued that 
"...involving the community directly in the planning process will 
make  the  planning period a more difficult and  a  longer  one." 
(Fantini and Gittell,  1973, p. 100). Higgins and Richardson have 
also  indicated  that "Once open discussion becomes the basis  of 
decisions,  then they tend to take an inordinate length of time." 
(1976,  p.  11). There is clearly a trade-off between traditional 
interpretations  of  short-term  efficiency  and  the  need   for 
participation.  However,  in the longer term there is no question 
that allowing for participation will often tend to result in more 
"stable"  decisions and a more efficient allocation of resources, 
particularly  in  areas where community groups  can  bring  about 
policy   change   through   the  electoral   process   or   civil 

Research  has  found  that:

*  "Participation in an organized group effort is more likely  to 
be successful than random individual attempts to affect community 
change." (Parkum and Parkum,  1980,  p. 166). This highlights the 
benefits  for  individuals  who hope to influence  systems  in  a 
particular direction (either within an organisation or in society 
at  large) to attempt to develop or join networks of  individuals 
or groups with similar objectives.

*  "A  cultural  environment in which  constructive  activism  is 
stressed and receives publicity is important both for encouraging 
people  to participate in community shaping and planning and  for 
creating   or   opening  up  the  actual  structures   for   such 
participation." (Parkum and Parkum,  1980,  p.  166). This partly 
explains  the  difficulty governments sometimes face  in  gaining 
input  from  a  community which may be unused  to,  and  possibly 
unaware  of,  the  benefits  which can  potentially  result  from 
participation in governmental decision-making processes.

*  Those with access to greater amounts of "retained information" 
(Smith,  1980,  p.  469)  tend  to  participate  more.  "Retained 
information" results from educational activities (of a formal  or 
informal nature),  and from using skills developed in educational 

*  "There  are  limits to the extent to  which  participation  is 
possible.  These  limits  are  set  by the time  available  to  a 
citizen,  by his interest, and by the extent of his fatigue after 
his other obligations to society have been discharged." (Bennett, 
1980, p. 1).

*  "Citizens are most likely to participate in government at  the 
local  level given the higher transaction costs of  dealing  with 
more distant governments." (Yates, 1982, p. 199).

* "...individuals active in one type of discretionary activity of 
a socioculturally encouraged sort are also likely to be active in 
other types of encouraged discretionary activity." (Smith,  1980, 
p. 462).

From  the  above evidence it is reasonable to conclude that  "The 
best  location to prepare the citizen for increased  policymaking 
role is in schools, when the necessary knowledge and capabilities 
should  be developed as a basic part of the equipment  needed  by 
every citizen in a modern urban democratic society." (Dror, 1971, 
p.  301),  and  that "An educated populace is a precondition  for 
improved participation." (Bennett, 1980, p. 3).


Decentralisation  in  an  organisational context  refers  to  the 
transfer  of  power  away from the centre of an  organisation  to 
other parts of the organisation (Victoria,  1980, 11). Generally, 
(but not necessarily) these other parts of the organisation  will 
be geographically dispersed.

However,  the term "...decentralization is an ambiguous word;  it 
has come to mean different things to different people."  (Fantini 
and Gittell, 1973, p. 12). Some interpret it in a purely physical 
planning sense.  This is understandable in the Australian context 
because  "Australia  is the most urbanised society in  the  world 
with 88.5 per cent of its population living in cities." (Brennan, 
1972, p. 1).

Decentralisation  should  not  be  interpreted  as  always  being 
desirable.  "Centralization,  written law,  and fixed rules  were 
originally  regarded  as  liberating...If  you  are  a  black  in 
Mississippi you are a lot better off dealing with a federal court 
operating  under formal and universalized rules than with a local 
sheriff  operating on the basis of personalized local  criteria." 
(Ferkiss, 1972, p. 29).

One    interpretation   of   decentralisation   emphasises    its 
relationship with power.  For example,  Fantini and Gittell  have 
written  that "Decentralization [in an educational context] deals 
with the governance of urban school systems. Since politics deals 
with   power,   it  is  not  surprising  that  this  pattern   of 
particiation produces controversy." (1973,  p.  45).  Conflict is 
not  necessarily a bad thing - without it systems would  tend  to 
stagnate.  "Many social scientists agree that change is a product 
of conflict,  and that such conflict should be anticipated if any 
significant  shift  in power is embodied in the plans  for  urban 
decentralization." (Fantini and Gittell,  1973, pp. 19 - 20). The 
relationship  between conflict and changes in power relationships 
is also reflected in the fact that "The ghetto riots which  broke 
out    in   the   mid-1960s   intensified   the   pressure    for 
decentralization in American cities." (Magnusson, 1979, p. 134).

It  is consistent with a philosophy which links  decentralisation 
with power structures to argue that "The key to any decentralized 
system  lies in the level at which decisions are made."  (Fantini 
and Gittell,  1973,  p.  104).  This is emphasised in the comment 
that   "...greater   decentralization   of  services   does   not 
necessarily mean that there will be increased citizen involvement 
relative to the delivery of such services." (Stenberg,  1972, pp. 
12  - 13).  Certainly  if decisions are always made  at  a  level 
remote  from  the  clients of the system such  a  "decentralised" 
system could not be defined as facilitating client participation.

In  this  context it is relevant to consider that one  critic  of 
centralisation    has   indicated   that    "Centralization    in 
administration  tends  to promote absentee control,  and  thereby 
increasingly  denies  to the individual the opportunity  to  make 
decisions  and  to carry those responsibilities  by  which  human 
personality  is nourished and developed." (Lilienthal,  1971,  p. 
411).  Ferkiss  has  pointed  out that "Might not  new  forms  of 
technology...make  possible a greater degree of decentralization, 
local autonomy, and individual freedom." (1972, p. 30).

Research has shown that:

*  "The higher the skill level of the manager,  the  greater  the 
tendency  to  decentralize."  (Morris,  1968,  p.  20).  This  is 
relevant  to both educational and public  administrative  systems 
where skill levels are continually increasing:  for example,  the 
entry level qualifications of administrators now as compared with 
those of ten years ago.

*  "A side effect of decentralization is the training of a  large 
number of experienced decision-makers." (Morris,  1968,  p.  21). 
This  is  interesting to note in the context of the massive  need 
for  higher-level  executives which is predicted to occur in  the 
APS  over the next ten years as a result of retirements from  the 
Second Division of the APS (JCPA, 1982, p. 1); 

*  "Decentralized  decision-makers tend to view  their  roles  as 
being   characterised  by  a  degree  of  self-determination  and 
independence." (Morris,  1968, p. 21). It is important to realise 
that  improved  morale of workers does not necessarily mean  that 
productivity is increased,  or that decentralised structures  are 
appropriate in all circumstances.  However,  if other things were 
equal,  this  factor  could well be a deciding  one  favouring  a 
decentralised structure over a centralised one.

*  "The  fewer  the number of operational  linkages  between  the 
components  of  an  organization,  the greater  the  tendency  to 
decentralize." (Morris,  1968,  p.  19). This would tend to imply 
that  it would be easier to decentralise those aspects of systems 
which  do not interact with other components,  rather than  those 
which  do.  A real danger here is that there may  be  superficial 
analysis  resulting  in decisions to decentralise areas which  in 
the  immediate context do not interact with other  components  in 
the State (for example, school curriculum) but which do so in the 
longer term.

* "The greater the urgency of a decision and the shorter the time 
in  which  to make it the greater the  tendency  to  centralize." 
(Morris,  1968,  p.  19).  This would explain why decision-making 
tends  to  be more centralised in emergency  situations  than  in 
situations where systems are not under threat.  This is reflected 
in the interest governments take in school councils which are not 
operating  effectively  to the extent that  they  create  adverse 
publicity for the government of the day.

* "The greater the potential consequences of a decision, the more 
likely it is to be centralized." (Morris,  1968,  p.  19). Taking 
this  into  account,  it  is unlikely  that  all  decision-making 
authority  will ever be devolved to schools or area offices.  The 
devolution will tend to be in areas where mistakes will have only 
a localised effect.

* "Top management attempt to reduce the 'dangers' of  necessarily 
decentralised  control by establishing the bases of the delegated 
decision-making,   and   the  final  outcomes  of   subordinates' 
decisions,  through established procedures and rules."  (Salaman, 
1979, p. 136).

*  "Given  the limited human and  organizational  capacities  for 
data-handling,  computation,  and decision, decentralization will 
be more effective than centralization." (Morris,  1968,  p.  19). 
However,  as computers become more sophisticated,  centralisation 
of large systems, if desired, could be more viable. 

It is interesting to note,  in the context of the above  research 
findings,   the comment of one analyst that "The centralist trend 
is a world wide phenomena." (Brennan,  1972,  p. 5). In the light 
of  the research findings outlined above it is probable that this 
is  true  in  areas  which have a  large  number  of  operational 
linkages,  where there is urgency in the decision-making process, 
where  the  consequences  of mistakes would  have  a  significant 
impact,  and where there is significant data-handling capability. 
The education system at the school level is not perceived by many 
to be characterised by the first three features,  and the central 
offices  of  most  education  systems  (in  Australia)  are   not 
characterised  by  the last.  This can be compared with the  APS, 
where some Departments have the above characteristics and  others 
do not.

"Strong  feelings  of  anxiety  have been  raised  in  the  State 
government  sphere as a consequence of moves to regionalisation." 
(Chapman,  1982,  p.  8).  This comment is interesting when it is 
taken  together with the statement that "Because the movement for 
decentralization  hinges  on the question of the  distribution  of 
powers between central unit and its number of component parts,  it 
can  appropriately  be  compared to the theory and  experience  of 
federalism." (Fantini and Gittell, 1973, p. 20).


Consultation has a number of key features.  It involves a sharing 
of,  and receiving feedback on,  information. (Victoria, 1980, p. 
16). It could be argued that real consultation requires action to 
be  taken  based  on the feedback  - otherwise  the  consultative 
process will come to be seen as tokenistic. 

A society cannot be democratic, in the most complete sense of the 
word,  if  "consultation"  with the electorate extends purely  to 
regular  elections.  "A  society  is  more  or  less  democratic, 
according to Durkheim's terminology,  to the degree that there is 
a  two-way process of communication between the state  and  other 
levels of society." (Giddens, 1971, p. 102).

Consultative  processes,  if they are to be  credible,  generally 
require the participation of a wide range of citizens.  They need 
to   be  linked  closely  to  the  policy-production  system   of 
government if citizens are to be motivated to contribute.

Government   structures  themselves  can  implicitly   discourage 
citizen input - for example,  "...administrative rationalisations 
and  new managerial techniques have frequently increased the  gap 
between   the   provider  and  user  and   diminished   community 
involvement." (Hadley and Hatch, 1981, p. 30).

Structural  inhibitors  to  consultation can be  partly  overcome 
through  the  holding of governmental inquiries which  allow  for 
public  input.  It  has  been  said  that  "The  contribution  of 
inquiries to the making of policy is chiefly to the  intelligence 
gathering  section of the decision making cycle as conventionally 
designated."  (Smith  and  Weller,   1978,   p.  10).  Government 
inquiries  have  a  role both in receiving  and  in  distributing 
information.  However,  in  many  cases  they do  not  allow  for 
feedback based on their reports.  It is generally appropriate for 
governments  to  set  aside  a  period  for  public  input  after 
inquiries have reported publicly (even when those inquiries  have 
had  a public input component) before making decisions,  in order 
to   allow  for  participation  by  persons  who  may  not   have 
contributed  to the initial inquiry,  but who may be affected  by 
the recommendations.

If  current technologies (such as public inquiries) are  used  to 
facilitate  broad-based consultation,  the processes can be  both 
expensive  and time-consuming.  One writer has asked:  "Does  our 
familiar   western   representative  democratic   system   depend 
ultimately  on a relatively acquiescent population?" (Higgins and 
Richardson,  1976,  p.  11).  Perhaps  this  may be the  case  if 
conventional  approaches  are used to  facilitate  participation; 
however,  with  new  technologies consultation can be  much  less 
expensive and time-consuming. For example, "The family television 
set  could provide the citizen with information inputs on  policy 
options  and choices,  with the telephone serving as  the  output 
device whereby the votes on issues could be instantly recorded at 
the appropriate legislative matrix." (Henderson, 1978, p. 291).

If  new technology-assisted approaches to consultation were to be 
used more extensively in society, eventually "...the formality of 
Royal  Assent could be replaced by the more meaningful notion  of 
'popular  assent',  ascertained  by  an  electronic  referendum." 
(Elliot and Elliot, 1976, p. 188).

However,  even  though it could be argued that  new  technologies 
could facilitate more effective consultation,  "No reform is easy 
to  accomplish,  least of all reforms which disturb privilege  or 
vested  interests  held  in  common by all  shades  of  political 
opinion."  (Brennan,   1972,   p.   14).  If  more  participatory 
consultative   processes   were  developed  (as   compared   with 
conventional  representative approaches) it could be argued  that 
this  would  not be supported by many  politicians,  since  fewer 
politicians would be required in the actual governing process.

In  relation to consultation in the workplace (as  compared  with 
government),  it could be argued that consultation beyond a token 
level  is  difficult to achieve because "The prevailing  goal  of 
many  industrial designers minimize human discretion  and 
to use technology to bind the individual to the exigencies of the 
machine." (Elliot and Elliot, 1976, p. 32).

However,  even  though  in the past " has been  used 
within  industry as an instrument of  control,  manipulation  and 
subordination  by  those  in positions of power  and  authority." 
(Elliot  and  Elliot,  1976,  p.  32)  there  is  currently  real 
potential as computer technologies become less expensive and more 
"user-friendly"  for  unions to use them to improve  consultation 
between  their  members,  the governing  bodies  of  unions,  and 
employers.  Such  technologies can economically assist unions  in 
processing  data  (for  example,  related to  members'  views  on 
topics) to produce focused information reports.  For consultation 
to  be  effective  participants  need  to  have  both  access  to 
information and the ability to generate information. "Information 
is...the  basic  currency of all economic and political  decision 
making." (Henderson, 1978, p. 287).

"Without  electronic  aids,  the  human ability  to  handle  only 
limited   amounts  of  information  tends  to  limit   democratic 
decision-making  to small group situations." (Elliot and  Elliot, 
1976,   p.   207).   Therefore,  new  computer  technologies  are 
fundamental  to the analysis and production of information and to 
the  facilitation  of wide-ranging  consultative  processes  with 
large numbers of persons. 

In  contrast to this optimistic view,  it is interesting to  note 
that,  over  time,  control by technology and experts can  become 
self-imposed.  It has been argued that "...induced dependence  on 
experts  may  lead to the ironic situation where  people  protest 
against  involvement in decision-making processes..." (Elliot and 
Elliot,  1976,  p.  103).  If  consultative processes are  to  be 
effective  it  is  essential  that participants  have  access  to 
expertise,  without  being dominated by it.  Only  experience  in 
participation   can  increase  people's  appreciation  of   their 
potential to make a positive contribution.  Also, there is a need 
for  citizens  to  have access to technologies  such  as  systems 
models  if  consultation  is to be non-tokenistic.  It  has  been 
argued  that  "...'if systems analysis and  interactive  computer 
models  could help policy makers in business and  government  the 
same  techniques  should be able to assist citizens  and  citizen 
groups'..." (Elliot and Elliot, 1976, p. 190).

Facilitating  community access to new technologies  is  essential 
because   "...if  the  quality  of  citizen  inputs  into  public 
policymaking  remains as it is now,  meritocracy may well  become 
the only chance for survival.  Therefore, building up the policy-
contribution  capacity  of citizens is essential  for  continuous 
viability of democracy." (Dror, 1971, p. 21).

     1-6. NETWORKS

Networks  are linkages of persons or institutions.  The study  of 
these  linkages can be used to assist with the interpretation  of 
social behaviour (Craven and Wellman, 1973, p. 4).

"What distinguishes human life from that of animals, according to 
Marx  is  that  human facilities,  capabilities  and  tastes  are 
shaped by society." (Giddens, 1971, p. 13).

Schools are a part of this shaping process,  and prepare students 
for participation in networks - including social,  political, and 
employment  networks.  "It is in the schools that acceptance  and 
even  reverence  for "the system" is established and  nourished." 
(Fantini and Gittell, 1973, p. 115).

Network  analysis  is a complex area,  and is  continually  being 
developed.   "The  continuing  efforts  exerted  to  interconnect 
systems  and  to generalize network design have spawned  concepts 
such as:  network interface,  layered structure of network,  open 
systems interconnection,  message delivery,  message  processing, 
and network technical administration and control." (Buchinski and 
Islam,  1980,  p.  9). However, the emphasis in this thesis is on 
social  networks  and the use of computer systems  to  facilitate 
these, rather than on the technical analysis of networks.

"One  advantage  in being a social animal is that  one  need  not 
discover  practices  for  oneself."  (Skinner,   1972,  p.  122). 
Computer  networks  can assist both with  the  communication  and 
development of information on appropriate practices.

Partly as a result of this,  computer networks have the potential 
to  cause  a "paradigm shift" in educational and  general  public 
administration.  It  is no longer true to say (at least in  areas 
which  computer  networks have affected or have the potential  to 
affect)  that "Administrative history shows that broadly  similar 
problems have been faced in the past,  and that solutions not  so 
different from modern solutions have been proposed." (Wettenhall, 
1978, p. 14).

In  order to understand computer networks one  should  appreciate 
their  two  key components - processing and communications  - or, 
"In terms of global network functions,  any computerized  network 
that  is geographically distributed viewed logically  as 
consisting of two subsystems,  namely, a message processing and a 
message delivery system." (Buchinski and Islam, 1980, p. 13).

In  many  ways this can be compared to much of  the  information-
processing  work  in  which individuals  are  engaged  - both  in 
employment and leisure. They process and communicate information. 
However,  their  ability to do this is limited by such things  as 
the speed at which they can read, write, speak and simultaneously 
consider information.

On  the  above point,  it has been said that "An organization  is 
primarily  a  device  for overcoming the  limited  capacities  of 
individual  persons to process information and  make  decisions." 
(Morris, 1968, p. 25).

Salaman  has indicated that "No understanding of organisations  - 
and  especially  processes of control within  organisations  - is 
possible   without  some  consideration  of  the  ways  in  which 
organisations construct and use knowledge." (1979, p. 174).

In   considering  the  relationship  between  networks  and   co-
ordination it has been said that "The network processes  involved 
in  migration involve the flow of information and other resources 
among  members  of  the net.  But this use  of  networks  is  not 
restricted  to  new  migrants;  it is one of the  most  pervasive 
characteristics  of networks,  and an important part of processes 
of integration and co-ordination." (Craven and Wellman,  1973, p. 

Co-ordination and integration can be achieved either formally  or 
informally.  "Every  complex organization has formal  information 
flows  and informal flows."  (Grolier,  1979,  p.  28).  Informal 
information networks can have great significance. For example, it 
has been suggested that "To counter an inflexible and over-formal 
hierarchy,  informal  channels can be encouraged which get around 
the hierarchical barriers." (Grolier, 1979, p. 47).

The real potential for computer networks to be used to break down 
"over-rigid" information structures,  within society at large  as 
well  as within organisations,  is reflected in "Resource One,  a 
radical computer group in California, [which] developed a random-
access computer network to link citizen-action groups which share 
its  data  base  on resources available  for  fighting  consumer, 
environmental  or social equity battles."  (Henderson,  1978,  p. 

Computer   networks  could  also  assist  with  devolution.   One 
possibility would involve " administrative  networks,  with 
the  erosion  of  many middle management positions  as  increased 
information   transfer  becomes  possible  without   intermediary 
functionaries." (Dede and Bowman, 1981, p. 114).

In  relation  to information processing in society at  large  (as 
compared with purely institutional/hierarchical  settings),  "The 
expansion  of communication and information processing capacities 
may have consequences of enormous social benefit or detriment  to 
different groups in society depending on the particular direction 
of application of the technology,  the institutional structure of 
controls  over the technology,  and the particular environment in 
which it is introduced." (Melody,  1973, p. 165). For example, it 
has  been  argued that "If people can access and  manipulate  any 
piece   of   information   without  leaving   their   homes   and 
simultaneously  interact with other people and machines as easily 
as  if they were sitting in the same room with them,  then  there 
would seem to be little reason for concentrating workers in large 
office buildings." (Kimbel, 1973, p. 149).

If  the  potential benefits of computer networks are to be  fully 
realised,  they will need to be applied,  more than has been done 
in  the past,  to the area of information  distribution  systems. 
"Decision-makers  the world over complain that useful information 
does not circulate, or circulates badly." (Grolier, 1979, p. 46). 
Also,   "Very   few  if  any  nations  have  found  an   entirely 
satisfactory  solution  to the problem of  circulating  what  the 
French have come to call 'grey literature', that is, the enormous 
mass  of  documents accessible in varying degrees and  comprising 
reports  by  experts,   preparatory  studies  for  administrative 
decisions,    parliamentary   committee   discussions,    studies 
commissioned by the government,  etc." (Grolier,  1979,  p.  72). 
Sophisticated  computer  networks might be able  to  assist  with 
overcoming the difficulties recognised above,  for they have  the 
ability to transmit information quickly, and, using sophisticated 
automated   indexing  techniques,   to  recognise  who  might  be 
interested in documents. 

For  the  information  accessing and  distribution  potential  of 
computer  networks  to be realised it is essential that  they  be 
"user  friendly".  Martin  has indicated that "At  best,  a  man-
computer dialogue must be so seductive that the man is drawn into 
it to explore, fascinated, what the machine has to offer." (1973, 
p. 8).

If   planning  for  the  introduction  of  new  "user   friendly" 
information  technologies  is to be effective,  "  place  of 
thinking of a nation or society as a collection of communities we 
need  to think of it as a complex set of overlapping networks  of 
actual  or  potential  communication and  exchange."  (Hiltz  and 
Turoff,  1978,  p.  xxviii). In relation to the study of parts of 
networks  it  has been said that "The more autonomous  a  certain 
area  is,  the more it can be studied in isolation from the other 
institutions  of its society and the easier it is to  compare  it 
with parallel areas in other societies." (Dror,  1971,  p.  177). 
One  word  which  could not be used to  describe  educational  or 
public administrative systems is autonomous.  This highlights the 
need  to use a network perspective in studying them.  In relation 
to  this  in  the  area of education  Dror  has  said  "Education 
constitutes  a  closely knit system in the fullest sense  of  the 
word.  This means that the various components of the  educational 
system  are  interwoven  and  intertwined and that  it  would  be 
difficult,  dangerous, and misleading to deal with any of them in 
isolation." (1971, p. 246).

Research has shown that:

*  "The faster,  cheaper,  and more noise-free the  communication 
system, the less the tendency to decentralize." (Morris, 1968, p. 
20). This reflects on possible linkages between technical network 
quality  and  the  likelihood  of a  decentralised  system  being 

*  "In the last fifteen years or so,  new management methods have 
been  introduced into public administration [including  PPBS  and 
futurology]." (Grolier,  1979,  p.  11).  To use these techniques 
effectively  a  broad  appreciation of networks  as  a  whole  is 
necessary,  rather  than  purely  a detailed understanding  of  a 
number of isolated components.

* "The traditional boundaries between disciplines, and especially 
between   the   various   behavioural   sciences   and   decision 
disciplines,  must be broken down." (Dror,  1971,  p.  15).  This 
breakdown  of barriers is particularly important if networks  are 
to be comprehended as a whole.


In  this  section  I  outline  the  key  reports  which  will  be 
considered in the body of this thesis.  I do not give a  detailed 
analysis  of  the reports and how they relate to the key  themes. 
Rather,  I  illustrate how each of these reports  has  components 
which  relate to some of the key themes.  A detailed  comparative 
analysis  is incorporated in the chapter dealing with  discussion 
of the inter-relationships between the key concepts and reports.


The   Victorian  Government's  "White  Paper  on  Strategies  and 
Structures  for  Education in Victorian Government Schools" is  a 
very  broad-based  document.  It was commissioned  by  a  Liberal 
Government  and was produced in 1980.  The White Paper deals with 
aspects  of education as diverse as directions for development in 
the area of building operations,  and curriculum services. I will 
be  considering  five key themes from the White Paper which  have 
also  been  considered in Federal Government  reviews  of  public 
administration, these being:

     *  devolution  and  decentralisation (these  are  considered     
     jointly in the White Paper);

     * participation;

     * consultation; and

     * co-ordination.

Computer  networking  and related technologies could assist  with 
the  implementation  of all of these thrusts both in  educational 
and general public administration.

Even  though  the White Paper was produced in 1980 and there  has 
since  been  a change of Government,  it is  still  relevant.  In 
particular, the broad themes which it articulated are still being 
followed by the new Government - for example,  the emphasis on an 
expanded   regional   network  to   facilitate   devolution   and 
decentralisation is being proceeded with.

     1-8.    ROYAL    COMMISSION    ON   AUSTRALIAN   

The  RCAGA  was  commissioned by a Labor government in  1974  and 
produced  its' report in 1976.  The Commission received over  750 
submissions (Coombs, 1976, p. 4) and is the most extensive review 
of   Federal   government  administration  ever   undertaken   in 
Australia.  Its'  Letters of Patent indicate very broad terms  of 
reference; it was charged with inquiring into: 

"...(1) the purposes,  functions,  organization and management of 
Australian  Government  Departments,  statutory corporations  and 
other authorities and the principal instruments of  co-ordination 
of Australian Government administration and policy; and 

(2)  the  structure  and  management  of  the  Australian  Public 
Service." (Coombs, 1976, Letters Patent).

Without   restricting   the  scope  of   their   inquiries,   the 
Commissioners   were   directed  to  consider  such   things   as 
appropriate  roles  for Departments,  mechanisms  for  evaluating 
efficiency  in the APS,  co-ordination in the APS,  parliamentary 
scrutiny,  accountability of public servants, internal control in 
the APS,  centralisation,  decentralisation,  personnel policies, 
the  rights  of public servants as citizens,  and  other  matters 
drawn  to the attention of the Commission by the Prime  Minister. 
(Coombs, 1976, Letters Patent).

Clearly  a  number of these thrusts are similar to  (but  broader 
than) those included in the White Paper.

"The commission gathered its information and formulated its tasks 
and answers through a variety of methods,  and largely as it went 
along:  most  important  were formal and informal  hearings,  the 
operation  of  more  or less expert task  forces  for  particular 
problems  and  a wide-ranging research programme." (Schaffer  and 
Hawker,  1978,  p.  36).  This  approach can be compared to  that 
undertaken  to produce the White Paper,  where there  were  broad 
based   consultations   with  the  community  but  no   (publicly 
identified) expert task forces or a research programme.


The RCA was Commissioned by a Liberal Prime Minister in September 
1982 and presented its' report in January 1983. 

The  emphasis of the RCA was on quickly producing results related 
to  a  number  of areas of concern which  had  gained  widespread 
publicity and were clearly damaging the Government's reputation. 

It was commissioned to look into:

* the impact of technological change on the APS;

*  the  increasing  challenges  the APS  faces  as  a  result  of 
broadened responsibilities; and

*  whether  the  APS as organised at that time  could  cope  with 
unethical  or illegal behaviour on the part of its'  clients  (in 
particular,  in  the  areas  of primary industry  and  taxation). 
(Reid, 1983, pp. 131 - 5).

The focuses on technological change,  the need for new strategies 
to   cope  with  increased  responsibilities  of  the  APS,   and 
organisational  structure aspects are related to the  key  themes 
and the other key reports discussed in this thesis.

ISSUES  IN      

The  JMR  was "...initiated by the Public Service Board [in  late 
1982]  as a high level assessement of ADP across  the  Australian 
Public Service. The specific objectives were to:

* Identify service-wide ADP administrative and management issues.

* Consider the implications of developments in technology for the 

*   Analyse  and  assess  the  significance  of  the  issues  and 

*  Recommend  strategies and programs for  improvement."  (Arthur 
Andersen, 1982, p. 1).

Arthur Andersen and Co.  were the project leaders for the  review 
team,  which  also  included  officers  from  the  Department  of 
Industry and Commerce,  the Commonwealth Schools Commission,  and 
the Public Service Board.

The  JMR  liaised  with the RCA in regard  to  the  technological 
componet of the RCA's terms of reference.

The  JMR  was  "...the  first management  review  of  ADP  to  be 
undertaken on a Service wide basis." (Arthur Andersen,  1982,  p. 

Some of the key issues considered in the review included:

* the effects of ADP on managers;

* the importance of ADP for the management of government programs 
and services;

* the need to focus on systems not hardware;

* the rate of adoption of new technology;

* the need to consider the user perspective;

* the quantity of resources available for ADP;

* the sharing of ADP resources between departments;

* the quality of ADP resources (in particular human resources);

* the planning process for developing ADP systems;

* the special needs of small organisations within the APS;

* the role of central agencies; and

* the role of government. (Arthur Andersen, 1982, pp. 2 - 9).

Many  of these issues are closely related to the key themes  - in 
particular the inter-connecting theme of networking.


The approach I have used in this thesis involves the following:

* an overview;

*  a  review of the related literature on the key themes  and  an 
outline of the key reports to be considered;

* an outline of the conceptual framework;

* an outline of the methodology;

* consideration of the relationships between the key concepts and 

*  a scenario based on possible futures relating to trends  and 
inter-relationships considered in the previous sections;

* a case study;

* an outline of conclusions; and

* recommendations.

In  the  review  of related literature,  consideration  is  given 
initially  to  literature  related to the  key  themes  (with  no 
special emphasis on education or public administration). There is 
a special attempt in this section to develop linkages between the 
key themes.

The key themes are:

* co-ordination;

* devolution;

* participation;

* decentralisation;

* consultation; and

* networks.

The  operational  definitions used in this thesis for  the  above 
concepts  have  been  included at the beginning of  the  relevant 
review of related literature sections.

In  the  review  of  related  literature  section  such  specific 
questions as the following are considered:

*  difficulties  which might be faced in attempting to achieve  a 
co-ordinated approach in a devolved environment;

*   whether  devolution  necessarily  assists  with  facilitating 

*  the  impact of educational and value systems on the  potential 
for increased community participation;

* the relationship between decentralisation and skill development 
in managers;

*  the  relationship between data-handling capabilities, the 
quality   of  communications  linkages  in  networks,   and   the 
propensity to centralise; and

*  how  the  "network"  concept  can  help  in  analysing  inter-
relationships between the key concepts considered in this  thesis 
and between components in systems.

The  emphasis  in  this  thesis is  on  considering  how  various 
social  alternatives could be introduced using new  technologies, 
rather  than on purely outlining these new  technologies.  Melmon 
has  pointed out that "For some time there has been more confused 
discussion about technology than serious discussion about  social 
alternatives." (Melmon, 1972, p. 52).

The  emphasis in the methodology section is on explaining how the 
"brainstorming"  technique  has been used to generate  a  diverse 
scenario dealing with possible futures in educational and general 
public administration.

This is followed by a discussion on the key themes and reports in 
relation   to  educational  and  general  public   administrative 
structures  and strategies.  The emphasis here is on linking  the 
key  themes  and  the thrusts of the  reports  - with  a  special 
emphasis on how various types of networking could assist with the 
implementation of the themes. Networking as such is not considered 
as  a  separate  component  of  this section;  it  is  used  as  a 
conceptual  linkage between the other key  themes  considered.  In 
this section,  where appropriate,  I have linked the consideration 
of key concepts - for example, devolution and decentralization are 
considered  in  the same sub-section (as it has been in the  White 
Paper [Victoria, 1980, p. 11]).

Skinner  has  pointed  out "There is nothing  to  be  done  about 
completely  unpredictable difficulties,  but we may foresee  some 
trouble  by extrapolating current trends." (1972,  p.  152).  His 
approach does not take into account the potential use of  futures 
techniques  to  generate  possible futures which  are  not  based 
purely on extrapolation.

In  relation  to this,  in my "findings" section I have used  the 
brainstorming  technique to focus on the future.  My results  are 
presented  in  the form of a scenario relating to  the  potential 
development  of  educational and  general  public  administrative 
systems  in Australia over the next 12 years.  The emphasis is on 
possible   futures   (rather  than  preferable   or   necessarily 
probable).  The  aim of this section is to stimulate  thought  on 
possible  options.  A  central  assumption  in  relation  to  the 
usefulness  of  such  an  approach  is that  the  future  is  not 
predetermined - it is,  to a degree,  "created" - and it is  thus 
useful  to  consider  longer-term  options in this  way  so  that 
policies  can  be  developed  which  will  assist  with  creating 
preferable aspects, and with avoiding negative aspects.

However,  it is important to also consider restraints which might 
impede the implementation of such possible futures.

To  assist with this,  a case study is included which reviews  an 
interview   by  the  author  with  Dr  Mick   March,   Principal, 
Narrabundah College in the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T.). 
The  purpose of this interview was to gain a  senior  educational 
administrator's  views on the relationship between the key themes 
and  the  structure  of the  A.C.T.  education  system,  and  the 
practicality of implementing the scenario in a particular school. 
This  case study creates a linkage between the  possible  futures 
considered  in  the  scenario  and the  probable  futures  of  an 
educational  system  (and more specifically a school within  that 
system) as perceived by a Principal working in that system.

The  problem  statement for this thesis could be  summarised  as: 
"What effect could computer networking (and related technologies) 
have on educational and general public administrative  structures 
and strategies in the 1980s and 90s?"


The  first  portion of this thesis is  basically  descriptive  in 
nature.  It  aims to present information on the current situation 
in  education (with a focus on aspects of education in  Victoria) 
and  in public administration (with a focus on the APS),  with an 
emphasis on the key themes. 

The data I have used has come from a review of related literature 
and  through  studying  a number  of  "blueprint-type"  documents 
relating to both of these systems.

The  ERIC  data  base  was  searched  using  the  key  themes  as 
descriptors.  I  also  searched  the  subject  catalogue  at  the 
National Library using the themes as search terms. 

"Data" for the scenario has also come from numerous conferences I 
have   attended  dealing  with  technological   change,   futures 
research,  and  education.  However,  this  data is purely  of  a 
background   nature  and  sections  of  the  scenario  cannot  be 
specifically  attributed  to  any particular  conference  I  have 

In  the scenario I have attempted to focus on the key themes,  to 
inter-relate  these,  and  to  suggest possible  trends  for  the 

I  do  not  contend  that the "data"  I  have  selected  for  the 
production  of  the  scenario could be  described  as  completely 
comprehensive  or  has  been scientifically selected  to  give  a 
representative  sample of the population of "data".  This lack of 
comprehensiveness  would create potential problems for  construct 
validity  if  I was attempting to produce a  predictive  scenario 
based  on a complete overview of  current  trends.  Instead,  the 
emphasis is on developing a scenario which highlights a sample of 
potential  futures  rather  than on  developing  a  comprehensive 
scenario.  In  this context the use of non-comprehensive (or even 
representative)  "data"  is  not  inappropriate.   Instead,   the 
emphasis  has been on selecting data which would contribute to  a 
greater  understanding  of  possible (as  compared  to  probable) 

I  have not attempted to study the Victorian Education Department 
or the APS in detail.  Rather, I have reviewed related literature 
on  the  key  themes,  considered a  number  of  "blueprint-type" 
documents  relating  to both of  these  systems,  attempted  some 
integration,  and developed a scenario of possible futures.  More 
specifically,  I  have  limited the study to a  consideration  of 
those  aspects of the key reports which relate to the key  themes 
considered in this thesis. 

This study is limited to the extent that it does not consider the 
systems  as wholes,  and that it does not consider historical and 
present aspects in great detail (apart from the six key  themes). 
However,  this  limitation is deliberate and necessary in a minor 
thesis if it is to have any degree of depth.  The aim has been to 
consider  future options based on a number of thrusts which  have 
been recognised as central to both systems' futures.

The "findings" section of this thesis (the Scenario) was produced 
by  myself  using the brainstorming technique on the  information 
included in the first half of the thesis (no group of persons was 
involved  - the ideas were generated by myself).  This  technique 
allows  for  maximum diversity - the emphasis  is  on  generating 
ideas  and  possibilities.  The  ideas in the  scenario  are  not 
ordered  in any rigorously structured fashion.  The emphasis  has 
been  on  presenting  them  in such a  way  as  to  encourage  an 
"inventive"  response  from the reader.  This compares  with  the 
first  half of the thesis which is more tightly structured  around 
the  key themes in a traditionally "rational" fashion.  I see  the 
two halves as complementary. Dror has indicated that "Invention of 
new  futures  is an essential element of  policy-oriented  futures 
studies,  as  are   more "scientific" forecasts and  predictions." 
(Dror, 1971, p. 48).

A  case  study  is then included based on  a  senior  educational 
administrator's (Dr Mick March,  Principal,  Narrabundah College) 
comments  on  the implementation of the key themes in the  A.C.T. 
schools system, and the practicality of implementing the scenario 
in a particular school.

There  is  a need for additional research on probable futures  in 
these  areas (using such techniques as case studies [as has  been 
done  in  this thesis],  trend extrapolation and  modelling)  and 
preferable  futures  (using  such techniques as  delphi  to  rank 
preferences).  This thesis could be of assistance in providing  a 
listing  of  possible futures which could be ranked in  order  of 
preference using a ranking technique such as delphi. 

Once differences between preferable and probable futures had been 
identified, it would be appropriate for research to be undertaken 
on  what strategies and structures could be used to  "shift"  the 
probable future towards the preferable one.



In  this chapter the emphasis is on integrating consideration  of 
the  key themes and reports which have been considered separately 
up to this point.


This  chapter is divided into sections dealing with the impact of 
technological change on society and the need for a response  from 
education  systems to the specific telecommuncations and computer 
technologies   which  will  have  a   significant   impact,   and 
interpretations  of  a  number of the key themes in  the  various 
governmental  reports.  Networking  is an overall  theme  linking 
these sections together conceptually.

     4-1-1.  Analysis of the impact on society of a rapid rate of 

Educational and general public administrative systems  throughout 
the world are experiencing a rapid rate of change.  This has been 
recognised  by  administrators;  in  fact,  a key  theme  running 
through   the   report  of  the  RCAGA  was  "...the   need   for 
adaptability,  for those in the administration to be aware of and 
responsive  to the facts of social  change."  (Coombs,  1976,  p. 
407).  The rate of technological change is increasing.  Computing 
and  telecommunications  technologies are becoming more  powerful 
and less expensive. These technologies use minute amounts of non-
renewable  resources  and  they  assist  with  the  expansion  of 
knowledge.  "Knowledge  is  a  rather special  type  of  resource 
because  it has the capacity of effectively  infinite  expansion, 
and it is enhanced by being consumed." (Webber, 1973, p. 293). 

The  recognition of the important impact technological change  is 
having,  and  will have,  on public administrative structures  is 
reflected by the comment in the RCA report that "In commissioning 
us  with our task the Government identified technological  change 
as one of the critical challenges facing public administration at 
this  time." (Reid,  1983,  p.  86).  The need for the Australian 
Public  Service  (APS) to keep up with  technological  change  is 
highlighted  in the fact that "Whether the [ADP support]  systems 
are  available  or not,  managers are expected to react  to  huge 
quantities of data and to use a quantitative approach to problems 
of  administration,  to  the analysis of policy options  and  the 
operation of programs." (Arthur Andersen, 1982, p. 3).

The   finding  of  the  RCAGA  that  "  systems   of 
government  have  failed  to develop  adequately  the  informaton 
resources  at  their disposal,  to integrate them fully into  the 
decision   making   processes   and   to   ensure   them   proper 
dissemination." (Coombs,  1976,  p.  346),  if still  true,  will 
become  an  increasingly glaring deficiency in a future in  which 
computer  technologies  are increasingly  becoming  available  to 
laymen  (in  the  form of microcomputers  and  powerful  computer 
software [such as electronic work sheet and data base packages]), 
to   sections  and  individuals  within  government   Departments 
(without  the  need under current practice to refer to a  central 
authority because the cost of the systems is often less than that 
required  for external tendering) and  educational  systems.  The 
claim of the JMR that "In situations where management information 
is  being  provided by ADP systems [in the APS],  managers  often 
complain that the presentation is not satisfactory for their  use 
because  the  information  is too detailed,  with  the  level  of 
summarisation   and  exception  reporting  inadequate."   (Arthur 
Andersen,   1982,   p.   31)  would  indicate  that  deficiencies 
identified  by  the RCAGA in regard to ADP management in the  APS 
have not been overcome.

Public  administrative and educational systems  are  increasingly 
becoming more open to disadvantaged groups - this includes ethnic 
minorities,  the poor,  Aborigines,  the handicapped,  and women.  
There is also an increasing emphasis on the need for young people 
to  be  able  to  participate  in  the  societal  decision-making 
process,  and  to be able to anticipate possible,  probable,  and 
preferable  futures.  Political systems are also  experiencing  a 
rapid rate of flux.  This is a result of the emphasis on the need 
for  direct  participation  in  democracy,   the  need  for  more 
immediate  responsiveness  from politicians,  and  an  increasing 
emphasis  on  the  need for public servants to be  more  directly 
responsive   to  the  community.   As  a   result   "Increasingly 
sophisticated analysis is required of possible policy options and 
their effects,  and almost all departments now have policy groups 
of  varying  size to keep abreast of thinking in the  community." 
(Coombs,  1976,  p.  78). Such policy units are not enough if the 
administration  is to respond effectively to community demands  - 
"It  should be realised that without a more rapid  conversion  to 
the  use  of  computers  the  Service  will  be  even  less  able 
adequately  to  cope  with  the scale and  urgency  of  community 
demands." (Reid,  1983, p. 89). In this context it is interesting 
to note that "One recent survey estimated that 80 per cent of the 
manager's time is spent in 150 to 300 'information  transactions' 
daily." (Toffler, 1981, p. 197).  

     4-1-2. Need for a new educational paradigm.

Parents  are  increasingly demanding the right to participate  in 
educational decision-making which will influence their  children. 
This  is  partly  the result of a broader  societal  emphasis  on 
participation,  but  also relates to a failing which many parents 
perceive in the educational system:  namely,  that success in  it 
does  not necessarily result in young people gaining  employment. 
It  has  been argued that "By setting up mass education  systems, 
governments...helped to machine youngsters for their future roles 
in the industrial work force..." (Toffler,  1981,  p.  79).  This 
approach  may have been questionable in a period of full  employ 
ent;  in  a period of massive youth unemployment it is clear  to 
all  that  there is a need for a re-direction  in  the  education 
system.  One  possible  approach to redirecting  education  would 
involve  young people participating in "real world" decision-mak 
ng.  This  approach  is reflected in the  involvement  of  young 
people  in  the  decision-making processes of the  Youth  Affairs 
Council  of Australia - in comparison with the  more  traditional 
approach where youth professionals tended to dominate. It is also 
reflected  in  an increasing emphasis by investigators  on  youth 
particiation.  For example, the Club of Rome's book "No Limits to 
Learning"  argues that there is a need for young people not  only 
to  be  trained in "anticipatory" skills (which involve  them  in 
considering possible,  probable, and preferable futures) but also 
to  be  able  to use these skills  in  real-life  "participatory" 
experiences. One problem with Australian youth affairs approaches 
is that they have increasingly enabled young people to be able to 
participate without supporting this with training in anticipatory 

The emphasis on participation in decision-making processes is not 
confined to education.  "Demands for participation in management, 
for  shared decision-making,  for worker,  consumer,  and citizen 
control,  and for anticipatory democracy are welling up in nation 
after nation." (Toffler, 1981, p. 81).

There is also an increasing emphasis on both educational and more 
generally  public administrators being more accountable  for  the 
money which they are responsible for spending.  However, it could 
be  argued that no matter how efficiently money was spent,  crit 
cism would still occur,  in that much criticism " based  on 
outright   hostility   to  the  size  and  cost  of  the   public 
bureaucracy." (Coombs, 1976, p. 18).

Many  of the themes which have occurred in educational  administ 
ative  blueprints  for the future (such as the  Victorian  White 
Paper)  have also occured in more general  public  administrative 
blueprints  (such as the RCAGA Report and the RCA Report).  Thus, 
one  of  the  purposes of this thesis is to  consider  how  these 
themes  can  be interconnected,  and to consider areas  in  which 
common  approaches  can be used by educational and  more  general 
public  administrators.  More specifically,  I am  attempting  to 
consider  how  computer-networking technologies could be used  to 
assist with the introduction of new structures and strategies  in 
educational  and public administration.  The emphasis will be  on 
the  future  - how  these techniques could more  effectively  and 
efficiently  be implemented with the use of  computer  networking 
technologies.  I  will also be considering how related techniques 
could  assist.  This analysis is particularly relevant  when  one 
considers  the results of a survey undertaken by the RCAGA  which 
indicated  that "Possibly the most universal complaint from users 
of the services [provided by government departments] surveyed was 
about the time involved:  time taken to receive  attention;  time 
taken  to  get matters sorted out when something had gone  wrong; 
and time elapsing before the service applied for was  delivered." 
(Coombs,  1976,  p. 128) The relevance of this study to this com 
laint  becomes obvious when one takes into account the speed  at 
which  computer systems operate and their potential for providing 
services to people in their homes.  However, technology alone can 
not be seen as a "quick fix" for these difficulties - particular 
y  when one considers that "...recent years have  seen  massive, 
almost  indiscriminate,  public  resistance to  new  technology." 
(Toffler, 1981, p. 161).  


     4-2-1. Telecommunications and related technologies.

This   section   of  the  thesis  relates  mainly   to   physical 
technologies.   However,   it   is  important  to  realise   that 
"  is  increasingly  related to the  development  of 
techniques  and processes for bringing about desired actions  and 
for  controlling  and  managing systems..." (Elliot  and  Elliot, 
1976, p. 2-3).

The  potential usage of telecommunications and computing  systems 
to  facilitate  improved approaches to public administration  has 
been  appreciated for some time.  For example,  the RCAGA  stated 
that  in  one  of  its task force reports (the Task  Force  on  a 
Regional  Basis  for Administration) "...reference is made  to  a 
preliminary   analysis  of  the  feasibility  of  developing   an 
electronic  information  system  designed  to  support  delegated 
decision-making and,  at the same time, to provide necessary data 
for central supervision and management." (Coombs, 1976, p. 53).

A  number  of  technologies exist which  could  assist  with  the 
development of such information systems.  I will discuss these in 
the following paragraphs.

Educational  and general public administrators are familiar  with 
the telephone system. They use this system for co-ordination. The 
telephone  is convenient - it reduces the need for travel.  It is 
so much part of administration that its role tends to be ignored. 
This  acceptance  can  be  compared  to  the  attitude  of   many 
administrators to the use of computer systems - reflected in  the 
fact  that  "...there  is  still  a  lingering  tendency  to  see 
computers  as  some  kind of unnecessary luxury  instead  of  not 
merely  desirable,  but essential,  tools of management."  (Reid, 
1983, p. 89).

There  are  a number of applications of telephone  systems  which 
could   be  used  to  enhance  educational  and  general   public 
administration.  Telephone link-ups could be used for matters  as 
diverse  as  meetings  of  subject  consultants  and  for  Inter-
Departmental  Committee meetings (particularly where some of  the 
officers  involved  are located long distances from each  other). 
Telecom  can "link-up" up to nine telephones at a time for  these 

Groups  can  be involved at each location with the use  of  loud-
speaker telephones (telephones with a loud-speaker and microphone 
attachment). This is very inexpensive when no long-distance calls 
are  involved  and is relatively inexpensive even when  they  are 
(particularly  when one takes into account the time saved in  not 
needing to travel).  Loud-speaker telephones can also be used  to 
bring  expertise  into meetings when this might not otherwise  be 
possible. For example, schools which are a long distance from the 
centre  of  a town could use loud-speaker telephones  to  "bring" 
experts from the town to speak to groups of students.  They could 
also  be  used  by  public  administrators  (for  example,   when 
researching  topics needing a quick response) where there is  not 
the time available to travel to meet all the resource people with 
whom discussion is needed.

     4-2-2. Data processing technology.

Dede  and Bowman have pointed out that "The costs of computer and 
telecommunications  hardware have fallen precipitously  and  will 
continue  to plummet for at least another ten years."  (1981,  p. 
111).   In  this  context  it  is  of  concern  that  educational 
administrators  at the school level tend not to be familiar  with 
data-processing techologies. 

As  the cost of these technologies continues to  decrease,  there 
will  be increasing potential for them to be used  routinely  for 
timetable  development,  report  writing (using  word  processing 
software),  and  other  administrative functions (in  particular, 
those which are amenable to the use of computer packages such  as 
data base and financial planning packages).  Naturally, they will 
also increasingly be used in teaching - however,  not just in the 
mathematics  area  (where they have tended to be concentrated  in 
the  past).  Teachers in areas as diverse as English and  foreign 
languages will be able to use computers to assist with teaching.

General public administrators often have had some experience with 
computers.  However,  this experience has usually been with large 
main-frame  systems.  In  this context it is interesting to  note 
that  "From  1965  to 1977...we were in the  'era  of  the  large 
central  computer...It  represents  the  epitome,   the  ultimate 
manifestation  of machine age [sic] thinking.  It is the crowning 
achievement...manned by a bunch of super-technocrats'." (Toffler, 
1981,  p.  179).  The impact of these systems is reflected in the 
fact  that "A number of senior managers [in the APS] have  gained 
experience with systems which are predominately batch mode.  They 
have had little exposure to such current technology as data  base 
and distributed systems." (Arthur Andersen, 1982, p. 99). Systems 
which  operate in a batch mode have often not been responsive  to 
administrators'  wishes partly because of the backlog of  program 
development  which  most  Government Departments  face.  The  JMR 
"...found  a substantial backlog of systems development work  has 
been  identified  in departments and that delays of  up  to  four 
years  before development on some new systems can start are being 
forecast." (Arthur Andersen, 1982, p. 32).

This will all change.  Increasingly officers in Departments  will 
purchase  personal  computers  (often as office  machines  - thus 
avoiding the need to go through a formal tender  process).  Also, 
with  the  development  of  fourth  generation  languages  (which 
involve  the  use  of sophisticated report  generators)  computer 
users  will increasingly be developing their own systems  without 
the  need for programming support and without the need  for  long 
time delays.  Toffler (1981,  p.  180) has predicted that "Small, 
cheap machines,  no longer requiring a specially trained computer 
priesthood, will soon be as omnipresent as the typewriter." Also, 
it  is probable that "...many middle-class employees may be given 
a terminal to use at home." (Hiltz and Turoff,  1978, p. 191). In 
this  context it is interesting to note the comment of  the  Reid 
Report that "Particular care needs to be taken with the increased 
use  of data processing and information systems,  to ensure  that 
concomitant  audit,  review,  and probity verifying programs  are 
devised and operated effectively." (Reid,  1983,  p.  52).  Audit 
requirements  are  often not considered when users develop  their 
own systems using computer packages.

It is clear that both educational and public administrators  will 
increasingly  be using computers in both more applications and in 
new  ways  which require less  professional  support.  This  will 
facilitate  the development of a more "participatory" approach to 
information analysis, but also could result in the development of 
un-coordinated approaches to information linkages.

     4-2-3. Computer conferencing.

The  really exciting potential comes from the linking of computer 
and  telecommunications  technologies.  This potential  has  been 
recognised  by UNESCO which has indicated that it  perceives  two 
major    thrusts   for   "informatics"   development    - "...the 
proliferation   of   highly  reliable,   powerful  and   low-cost 
information  processing  equipment on the one hand,  and  on  the 
other,  the  appearance  of new digital transmission systems  and 
specialized  satellites  which enable data to be  transferred  at 
great  speed  and  low  cost,   irrespective  of  the   distances 
involved." (UNESCO, 1979, p. 13).

Already   central   office  staff  in  the  Victorian   Education 
Department  have  access via computer terminals to  massive  data 
bases on such matters as buildings and personnel.  It is probable 
that  such  data bases will be increasingly expanded  and  inter-
linked.  Also,  it  is  apparent that there  will  be  increasing 
emphasis  on  using computer terminals as communication tools  as 
well  as  information disseminators  between  officers.  The  JMR 
recognised  the  potential power of the linking of computing  and 
telecommunications technologies and indicated that "The potential 
of  electronic mail is likely to be fully realised only if  there 
are  common  standards between organisations as  well  as  within 
them.  There  are  thus grounds for assigning responsibility  for 
developing Service-wide standards to one agency and asking it  to 
begin development immediately." (Arthur Andersen, 1982, p. 64)

Communication   is  a  two-way  process,   and  allows  for  more 
participation  than  purely  the  dissemination  of  information. 
Computer  conferencing facilitates  communication,  whereas  many 
traditional  distributed  systems  are designed  purely  for  the 
dissemination of information.

As costs continue to decrease it is likely that schools will also 
have  access  to data bases dealing with such areas as  community 
services and educational developments. The devolution of computer 
power  in Commonwealth Departments is also noticeable - that  is, 
the  use of computers is increasingly being moved outwards to the 
interaction point with the public.  This philosophy is  reflected 
in   the   massive  computer  network  being  developed  by   the 
Commonwealth Department of Social Security. 

"Computer-mediated communication systems are not meant to totally 
replace all other communication forms." (Hiltz and Turoff,  1978, 
p.  139).  For example, in public service environments there will 
continue  to be a place for face-to-face communication  regarding 
client difficulties which are not of a "standard" nature.

A  computer  terminal looks like a typewriter with  a  television 
screen  attachment.   It  connects  to  a  central  computer  via 
telecommunications  lines.  If a central computer has appropriate 
software  it can link terminals.  In this way it is possible  for 
schools  and government offices which have a high  client-contact 
component to be linked both with each other and with central data 
bases. Messages from participants in such networks can be indexed 
according to such keys as:

     * subject discussed;

     * author;

     * institutional affiliation;

     * topic,  author, or hoped-for responder to questions asked; 

     *  topic,  name  of  questioner,  or name  of  responder  to 
questions answered.

Computer    conferencing    systems   facilitate    very    rapid 
communication,   because   "Spoken   word  systems  cannot   move 
[information]  any  faster than the average talking speed  of  an 
individual  in the group,  whereas written word systems can  move 
[information] at the average reading speed of the individuals  in 
the group." (Hiltz and Turoff, 1978, p. 38).

Computer conferencing can be particularly useful in  facilitating 
the  exchange of information on good management  techniques.  The 
RCA indicated that "It seems to us that at present good practices 
or solutions to problems being employed in one department do  not 
always come adequately to the notice of others." (Reid,  1983, p. 

Dror has commented that "...the resources in qualified personnel, 
political support,  span of attention, information, and the like, 
needed  for improving policymaking are extremely scarce  in  most 
modern  countries,  often  making  even  a  small  critical  mass 
impossible  to  achieve without very effective new types of  aid, 
which,  at present, are unavailable." (Dror, 1971, p. 209). Given 
the features of computer conferencing,  this technology could  be 
the "type of aid" which Dror envisaged.

     4-2-4. Computer conferencing applications and implications.

Computer conferencing is already being used in the United States. 
For example, if people own computer terminals with audio couplers 
(which  allow  access to a computer system via a telephone  hand-
set) they can access commercial computer conference networks. One 
such  network  is called "The  Source".  "The  Source...makes  it 
possible for anyone with a cheap computer terminal to communicate 
with anyone else in the system.  The Source will...facilitate the 
creation  of  what  might be called  'electronic  communities'  - 
groups of people with shared interests." (Toffler, 1981, p. 180 - 
1).  This  network was used by the World Future Society to assist 
with the organising of the First Global Conference on the  Future 
(held  in  Toronto in July 1980 - the headquarters of  the  World 
Future Society are in Washington D.C.).

With   the   rapid  development  of  such  technologies   it   is 
increasingly  more reasonable to assert that "For many years  our 
technological  knowledge has been rapidly outpacing our  decision 
making institutions." (Dror, 1968, p. 3). This is particularly so 
in   the   area   of  education  where   sophisticated   computer 
technologies   are  just  beginning  to  make  their   appearance 
(particularly  at  the  school  level),  and  in  general  public 
administration  where  only  recently has it  been  possible  for 
individuals   to  purchase  personal  computers  with   extremely 
powerful  processing  and  communications  features.  In  such  a 
context  of rapid change it is reasonable to assert that  optimal 
education  and general public administrative policy will only  be 
developed   if   government   Departments   establish   "...units 
explicitly  in  charge of  thinking,  long-range  policy  making, 
surveying knowledge,  and research and development about policy." 
(Dror, 1968, p. 53).

Some   may   argue   that  the  need   for   new   computer   and 
telecommunications   technologies   is  not   great,   and   that 
educational  and general public administrative systems are coping 
adequately  at  present.  However,  "The  single  most  important 
standard for evaluating an activity is its optimal quality,  that 
is, how good it could possibly be." (Dror, 1968, p. 67). Adequate 
performance is not enough - the aim should be for optimal quality 
output  (particularly  when  one  considers  that  resources  are 
limited and community "wants" are limitless).

Thus,  in evaluating education and general public  administrative 
systems  we should not be comparing their current state with that 
of the late 1970s.  We should instead be considering the sort  of 
performance  which might be possible in the 1990s if technologies 
(both  social  and computer-based) are used in  an  optimum  way. 
Whereas  the  Victorian  White  Paper  and  the  various  Federal 
Government  reviews  which I consider deal mainly with social  or 
computer technologies,  I will attempt to integrate consideration 
of both of these technologies.


     4-3-1. Interpretations in the White Paper and RCAGA.

The   RCAGA   argued   that   "   skilful   devolution   and 
decentralisation  of  administrative  procedures and the  use  of 
modern  technology  it  is possible even  in  large  and  complex 
societies  to  come closer than ever before to  situations  where 
decisions  can  be  made substantially by consensus  among  those 
primarily concerned." (Coombs,  1976, p. 126). In conformity with 
a  number of the key thrusts of this statement,  Hiltz and Turoff 
have  argued that "Computerized conferencing can  facilitate  the 
decentralization  of  information exchange and decision  making." 
(1978, p. 144).

Devolution  and  decentralisation are considered jointly  in  the 
White Paper which defines them in the following way:  "Devolution 
refers  to the transfer of authority and responsibility to  other 
organisations further from the centre within an administrative or 
governmental  system,   while  decentralization  refers  to   the 
transfer  of  powers and functions away from the centre to  other 
levels within the same organisation." (Victoria,  1980,  p.  11). 
The  White  Paper indicates that in  the  participation  exercise 
before  its development,  large numbers of groups and individuals 
encouraged  the Government to transfer as much power as  possible 
to the local level (Victoria,  1980,  p.  11). Citizens' pressure 
for  devolution  is consistent with  efficiency  - "...efficiency 
depends upon adequate authority being devolved upon or  delegated 
to  officers  at  various points of decision  - indeed...the  aim 
should  be  to  shift the authority to decide  as  close  to  the 
geographical  periphery and as low in the hierarchical  structure 
as possible." (Coombs,  1976,  p.  34). It is planned for this to 
occur  in the case of education in  Victoria;  however,  ultimate 
responsibility  will  still be maintained at  the  centre.  "Thus 
devolution  and decentralization of authority can proceed only in 
accordance   with  broad  policies  acceptable  to   government." 
(Victoria,  1980,  p.  12).  The  RCA  supports this  concept  of 
devolution and indicates that "Even though Ministers, formally or 
informally, devolve many of their powers to officials, subject to 
any  statutory limitations Ministers may nevertheless enter  into 
whatever aspects of their portfolios they wish." (Reid,  1983, p. 
38).  Computer  conferencing,  through  its  massive  information 
accessing capacity, could assist in implementing this approach to 

In  relation  to decentralisation,  the RCAGA went so far  as  to 
recommend  that  "Arrangements  for all  programs  which  involve 
direct  contact between a member of the community as 'client' and 
a  member  of the administration be reviewed with the  object  of 
making  the  point of contact with the member of the  public  the 
point of decision also unless there are unusual considerations to 
be  taken  into  account."  (Coombs,   1976,  p.  418).  Computer 
conferencing  could  certainly  assist  with  this  process.  The 
information  required to make the decisions would be provided  to 
contact officers by computer terminals.

This  situation  can  be  compared with  that  where  centralised 
systems  are used in "batch" mode,  which results in  significant 
delays in feedback to contact officers. 

At a recent UNESCO conference "A number of States referred to the 
desirability   of  decentralization,   following  experience   of 
excessively  centralized computerization which led to operational 
difficulties." (UNESCO, 1979, p. 30).

The  concept  of  decentralisation is also having  an  impact  in 
private enterprise - "...the term 'decentralization' has...become 
a buzzword in management, and large companies are racing to break 
their  departments  down into smaller,  more  autonomous  'profit 
centres'." (Toffler, 1981, p. 269).

Devolution  and  decentralisation in education as interpreted  by 
the  White  Paper  have  a  strong  component  dealing  with  the 
involvement of citizens in the educational governance process (in 
particular  in relation to school councils:  in  Victoria,  State 
schools   are   governed  by  school   councils   which   include 
representatives   of  staff,   students,   and  the   community). 
Devolution  and decentralisation in education have little meaning 
if  school  governing  bodies do not have  access  to  knowledge. 
Through  computer terminals school councils would easily be  able 
to  access data bases.  Where the data base did not  contain  the 
required information,  they could leave a question which could be 
accessed   by  experts  at  the  central  office,   or  by  other 
participants in the network.  Schools could be encouraged to  add 
their  own  experiences  to the data bases  incorporated  in  the 
system.   They   would  also  be  encouraged  to  participate  in 
dialogues.  This  would be particularly useful where one  of  the 
schools in the network has already faced a particular problem.

     4-3-2  Devolution  and decentralisation in schools  and  the 

Through  computer  conferencing,  schools would thus be  able  to 
access both knowledge and expertise.

The  knowledge would be within data bases.  The data bases  would 
not  just be of a "traditional" nature (for example,  established 
educational  indexes  such as ERIC and the  Australian  Education 
Index).  Schools would also be able to access specially developed 
indexes of "precedents" using familiar key words. They would also 
be   encouraged   to  include  their  own  experiences   in   the 
"precedents" index.

The Coombs report argued for devolution from another perspective: 
that   is,   from   the  central  co-ordinating  Departments   to 
Departments, and from Departments to regions. However, the thrust 
of the proposal is the same, and the importance the RCAGA gave to 
this  theme  is reflected in the comment that "Perhaps  the  most 
significant  changes  envisaged by the commission flow  from  our 
emphasis   on  the  primary  responsibility  of  the   individual 
department  or  agency for efficient use of  resources,  and  the 
consequential   changes   in  the  role  of   the   co-ordinating 
authorities,  particularly  the Treasury and the  Public  Service 
Board." (Coombs, 1976, p. 410).

If  the Service becomes "devolved" it is interesting to  consider 
the impact this would have on central Departments. The RCA report 
indicated that in relation to the Public Service Board (PSB) they 
"...see  the PSB as needing to give fresh and added  emphasis  to 
its  responsibility for promoting efficiency in the  Service.  To 
carry out this role we think it is necessary for it to retain the 
closely    interrelated   functions   including   ceilings    and 
establishment administration, management improvement, recruitment 
and selection, and training." (Reid, 1983, p. 57).

Decentralisation  was  supported by both the RCA and the RCAGA  - 
the  RCA report indicated that "We think it is obvious  that  the 
span  of  operations of most Departments is so large that it  can 
only be effectively managed if decision-making is  decentralised. 
The  same point was made by RCAGA...Seven years on,  we stress it 
again." (Reid,  1983,  p. 79). It could be argued that one reason 
more decentralisation did not occur in that seven year period was 
because  of the limited information and communication  capacities 
to  monitor  devolved operations in  most  Departments.  Computer 
conferencing  could improve these capacities and thus  indirectly 
facilitate increased decentralisation. The JMR considered how ADP 
technologies   could  be  used  to  assist  with  devolution  and 
indicated that "We see a real need for a deeper consideration  by 
departmental  managers of the advantages which might accrue  from 
dispersion of some systems to end users.  Those which essentially 
service  the  end  user and do not impact heavily  on  operations 
elsewhere  might  best  be developed and operated  by  the  users 
themselves." (Arthur Andersen, 1982, p. 59).

In  relation to devolution in the APS,  there has been some  real 
progress in the ADP area.  This is noted in the RCA report  which 
indicated  that  "The Government approved new procedures for  ADP 
acquisition   in  April  1981  which  require   departments   and 
authorities   to   produce  annual  ADP  strategic  plans   using 
guidelines  issued by the Department of Administrative  Services. 
The new procedures, by disbanding the Interdepartmental Committee 
on  ADP and revising the roles of central  co-ordinating  bodies, 
devolved   greater   responsibilities  to  Permanent  Heads   and 
increased Ministers' involvement." (Reid, 1983, p. 172).

     4-3-3. Devolution, access to knowledge, and privacy.

Devolution at the operational level requires access to knowledge. 
It  could be argued that one of the reasons practitioners  rarely 
use  indexes  is  because the material  included  seldom  relates 
directly  enough to the problems they face.  With  an  integrated 
"data   base/computer  conferencing"  model  it  is  possible  to 
overcome this problem.  For example,  a School Council interested 
in developing a community farm might first access the  precedents 
data base for schools which have already developed such farms. In 
Australia there would be a number of these. Members of the School 
Council  would  then read the reports on the progress of each  of 
these farms.  This may suffice. However, members may still desire 
more information on a particular problem the farms are facing. If 
there is no specific information in the progress reports  dealing 
with the aspects they are particularly interested in,  they might 
direct a question to each of the schools concerned.  If, however, 
one of the projects has obviously faced a problem similar to that 
which  they  are interested in the question could be directed  to 
that specific school. The question would be stored in the central 
computer,  and  directed to the Executive Officer of the  project 
next time he or she came "on line".

A key issue in terms of the use of a computer conferencing system 
in this way is that of privacy. In this context it is interesting 
to note that in the late 1960s MacBride indicated that "...hardly 
any  aspect of government computer operations is not a threat  to 
the  privacy  of some individuals."  (MacBride,  1967,  p.  100). 
However,  when  considering the question of privacy one must take 
into account the fact that "Considerations of privacy and freedom 
of information are in conflict - the greater the scope of privacy 
safeguards  the more restricted will be the range of  information 
publicly available." (Bennett, 1980, p. 3). 

To facilitate the protection of data from unauthorised access,  a 
data  base  can be divided up into schema.  To gain access  to  a 
schema  one needs authorisation.  In order for  the  "precedents" 
data base to be as frank as possible, limitations might be put on 
the access that central offices of government Departments have to 
them.   Also,   groups  of  schools  or  sections  of  government 
Departments could develop schema within schema which only members 
of their group could access. 

The  central  office,  and  regional  offices,  might  also  have 
confidential schema which only they could access.  However,  this 
would need to be limited if the concept of devolution of power to 
the  schools  and sections of government Departments is  to  have 
real meaning. Power requires knowledge, and schemas are basically 
designed to restrict access to knowledge.


     4-4-1. Interpretations of participation.

"One  of  the most significant trends of our time  is  the  near-
universal  demand for participation..." (Botkin,  Elmandjra,  and 
Malitza, 1979, p. 13).

Henderson  has  indicated  that  "We cannot  stifle  demands  for 
participation:  we  can  only make better provision  that  it  be 
informed and orderly." (Henderson, 1978, p. 265).

Neesham   has  defined  worker  participation  in  management  as 
occuring "...when those below the top of an enterprise  hierarchy 
take part in the managerial functions of the enterprise."  (1978, 
p.  5).  The  emphasis of the RCAGA was on staff participation  - 
specifically   the  increased  participation  of  staff  in   the 
operation of the APS.  This compares with the White Paper,  where 
the  emphasis  was on non-employee participation (in  particular, 
parents and interested community members).

The RCAGA, which was arguably one of the most participative Royal 
Commissions     in    Australian    history,     reported    that 
"...participation   is   not   easy  to   organise   fairly   and 
effectively." (Coombs, 1976, p. 126).

Hawker has argued that "Hearings gave RCAGA a public presence and 
a certain legitimacy..." (1978, p. 52). This can be compared with 
the  participatory processes which led up to the  development  of 
the  White  Paper.  There  were numerous  complaints  that  these 
consultative processes were not genuine,  that the key themes had 
already  been  determined before the process began,  and  that  a 
number  of  key  themes identified at  numerous  community  input 
sessions  were not included in the final report.  I would not  be 
able to comment on these criticisms;  however,  it is interesting 
to  note  that "...the demands for participation frequently  lead 
officials  to  devote  their  ingenuity  to  devices  which   are 
imitations  of or substitutes for participation - being  designed 
rather to 'make people feel' that they are being consulted or are 
participating.  The  introduction of such pseudo-public-relations 
techniques can ultimately have the effect of seriously alienating 
the community from the bureaucracy." (Coombs, 1976, p. 126).

Power   is  heavily  related  to  participation.   As  a   result 
"...effective   'participative'   planning  needs  to   adopt   a 
'bargaining', rather than a 'consensus' approach, concentrated at 
a 'grass roots' level." (Elliot and Elliot, 1976, p. 184).

Educational  systems could potentially assist  with  facilitating 
grass-roots participation.  Dror has argued that "...some  rather 
drastic changes in education generally may be needed to bring the 
individual  into policy making and to escape some of the  defects 
of  mandarinism  that  a meritocracy (that is,  rule  by  persons 
selected only by merit) is almost always subject to."  (1968,  p. 
10).  Dror  has  also indicated that " order for  increasing 
citizen  participation  to  constitute in  fact  an  improvement, 
changes in the quality of that participation are needed.  At  the 
very  least are needed more knowledge of policy problems,  better 
understanding of the inter-relations between different issues and 
various  policies,  and  fuller realization of  the  longer-range 
consequences of different alternatives." (Dror, 1971, p. 20).

     4-4-2. Approaches to achieving participation.

"Creative  participation...emphasizes problem detecting,  problem 
perceiving, problem formulating, and common understanding, and is 
not restricted merely to problem solving." (Botkin et al.,  1979, 
p. 30).

Drastic  changes in education (both for adults [often in  a  work 
place  environment]  and  young  people) will  be  necessary  for 
"creative  participation"  in organisations  to  occur.  This  is 
partly  because if staff do not participate to some degree in the 
development  of the goals,  objectives and strategies related  to 
their work,  it is difficult for the staff to identify with them. 
In  a  broader  context  Nyerere has  indicated  that  "  is 
sometimes  difficult for local people to respond with  enthusiasm 
to a call for development work which may be to their benefit, but 
which has been decided upon and planned by an authority  hundreds 
of miles away." (Nyerere,  1972, p. 1). This should be taken into 
account  when considering that "...efficiency will be promoted to 
the degree to which staff identify themselves with the objectives 
to which their efforts are directed,  and with the procedures  by 
which those objectives and the related tasks have been formulated 
and allocated." (Coombs,  1976, p. 35). This is reinforced by the 
fact   that   "...cost-reduction  methods  which   derive   their 
effectiveness from greater involvement of staff in their work and 
a  more  enthusiastic  approach to it rarely  require  additional 
capital  costs but derive from the application of commonsense  to 
the  work  environment  as it is seen by those  engaged  in  it." 
(Coombs, 1976, p. 45).

"Participation...refers to providing opportunity to contribute to 
policy development and formulation." (Victoria,  1980, p. 14). It 
must   be   recognised   that  providing  the   opportunity   for 
participation is not enough to ensure broad-based  participation. 
"The level of participation undertaken by any citizen will depend 
on the opportunities available to him, the political resources he 
commands,  and  the  attitude  held by society  in  general,  for 
example  whether  favourable to interest group activity or  not." 
(Higgins and Richardson,  1976,  p.  7).  It has been found  that 
"Participatory  democracy,  except  at the local and  small-scale 
level,  increases  the influence and power of activists  and  can 
weaken  concern  for  the interests of the inarticulate  and  the 
unorganised." (Coombs,  1976, p. 15). It has also been found that 
"In   many  universal  participation   is 
prevented.  For example, the poor and uneducated may not take the 
time,   or   may  be  too  handicapped  to   express   themselves 
effectively.  Or  the population may expand until a town  meeting 
becomes  unmanageable,  and mass media of communication,  such as 
television, are not yet adapted to the requirements of politics." 
(Lasswell, 1971, p. 105).

To participate effectively, persons should be assisted to develop 
anticipatory  skills.  "Anticipation is the ability to deal  with 
the future,  to foresee coming events as well as to evaluate  the 
medium-term  and long-range consequences of current decisions and 
actions." (Botkin et al., 1979, p. 25).

Communications  systems can now potentially be used to facilitate 
participation  and the development of  anticipatory  skills.  For 
example,  in Ohio,  United States, a cable T.V. system (QUBE) has 
been  developed which "...provides the subscriber with thirty  TV 
channels   (as  against  four  regular  broadcast  stations)  and 
presents  specialized  shows for everyone  from  preschoolers  to 
doctors,  lawyers, or the 'adult only' audience." (Toffler, 1971, 
p. 174). The system allows people to vote on issues as they watch 
them  being discussed on their television sets.  It has been used 
for  voting on issues as diverse as local government matters  and 
talent  quests.  It  could  easily be  used  to  facilitate  mass 
participation   in   school  governance  at  the   local   level. 
Consideration  has been given to the development of a cable  T.V. 
system   in   Australia,   but  in  the  public   debate   little 
consideration  has been given to its use in facilitating  greater 
community participation in governance.

Computer  conferencing systems could supplement the use of  cable 
T.V.  systems  for  such  applications.  Hiltz  and  Turoff  have 
indicated  that  "The most exciting and potentially revolutionary 
political  application of a CC [computer conferencing] system  is 
the  facilitation  of  the direct  participation  and  voting  of 
citizens on important state and national issues." (1978, p. 197).

Technology   is   not  a  necessary   component   for   increased 
participation of staff in large organisations.  For example,  the 
RCA  indicates that "Intelligent and able staff at junior  levels 
should  be  capable  of  contributing  useful  suggestions  about 
management and operational practices." (Reid,  1983,  p. 85). All 
that  is  needed for this to occur is for procedures  which  have 
been developed by the PSB to be applied in all departments in the 
APS,  and  for these to be communicated to staff so that they are 
aware that their suggestions are welcome.

It  might  also  be appropriate to consider  ways  of  increasing 
public  participation in the operations of the Australian  Public 
Service. "Public directors" of some form could be considered. For 
example, Chamberlain has argued that "Public directors would seem 
to be appropriate for all corporations over some specified size." 
(Chamberlain, 1982, p. 94).

     4-4-3.   Potential   role   of  computer   conferencing   in      
     facilitating participation.

Dye  has argued that participation in school governance has  been 
restricted because " school issues become more complex,  the 
knowledge  of  citizen school boards seemed insufficient to  cope 
with  the  many  problems  confronting  the  schools   - teaching 
innovations,  curricula  changes,  multi-million-dollar  building 
programs,  special education programs,  and so forth." (1978,  p. 
149).  This  has resulted in professionals playing an  increasing 
role in school governance in the U.S. and Australia. With the use 
of telecommunications technologies,  professionals' actions could 
be  made  more  open to  scrutiny.  Computer  conferencing  would 
facilitate  school  councils gaining second opinions  on  actions 
proposed  by  professionals - either from other  school  councils  
which  have faced similar problems,  or from other professionals. 
Professional educators could well argue that this would lead to a 
highly  turbulent  environment.  The key issue is "Who  owns  the 
schools?"  There is no question,  for example,  that a person  is 
responsible  for his or her own body and that it  is  appropriate 
for  a second opinion to be sought in relation to health matters. 
If the community "owns" the schools (as against the professionals 
who  administer  them) it would be appropriate to argue that  the 
same thing should apply for schools.

The  lack  of  access to all information has also resulted  in  a 
centralisation of power within the APS.  The RCAGA indicated that 
"We  have received evidence that many officers are  unwilling  to 
accept  responsibility because of the consequences they fear  may 
follow  from  making even a relatively small 'error' or from  the 
exercise of a discretion,  for example,  to grant a  pension,  in 
circumstances  with  which  a superior may not  agree."  (Coombs, 
1976,  p.  150). If officers are to be able to take initiative it 
is  critical  that they have access to the  same  information  as 
their superiors (that is,  relevant to the decisions they need to 
take).  Without  such  information they will have  difficulty  in 
justifying  their decisions,  and will tend to continue  to  send 
cases  "up  the  line" for decisions.  The RCAGA  indicated  that 
"Action  [should] be taken to ensure that  departmental  decision 
makers  at  all levels have access to the information upon  which 
their  decisions should properly be  based."  (Coombs,  1976,  p. 
413).  Computer  conferencing systems could economically  provide 
for the provision of such information, and thus indirectly assist 
in building up the confidence of officers at the client interface 
level  in  their  ability to make decisions without the  need  to 
regularly  consult  with senior officers because  of  uncertainty 
resulting from a lack of information.

The  continuing importance of public servants who  work  directly 
with  the  public  having sufficient information to  make  speedy 
decisions  is  highlighted by the comment that  "It  is  doubtful 
whether the hiatus between the public and the bureaucracy identiŠfied  by the
Coombs report
has diminished in the five years since 
the Report was published." (Chapman, 1982, p. 28).

     4-4-4.  Barriers  which  need  to be considered when  it  is 
     desired to increase participation.

Lack  of  information is not the only barrier  to  participation; 
such things as language difficulties, location (for example, if a 
person is in prison), handicap, poverty, and geographic isolation 
can all restrict participation. 

As indicated by Lasswell (1971,  p. 105) the poor may not be able 
to take the time to participate. For example, they may be working 
long  hours in poorly paid jobs.  With telecommunications  people 
would  be able to participate at a time convenient to  themselves 
(assuming  they are subsidised - Hiltz and Turoff have  indicated 
that  "Whenever a useful new technology is developed,  one policy 
question  that  should be vigorously pursued is how  to  make  it 
available  to  those  who cannot afford to  buy  it  themselves." 
(1978,  p. 167)). For example, with computer conferencing one can 
input a comment into a discussion at any time. When others in the 
network access the discussion, they read the comment and respond. 
Instead  of  taking two hours for a meeting,  a few weeks may  be 
spent on the discussion,  but this approach has the advantages of 
allowing for;

     * greater participation; and

     *   more  time  for  reflection  - one  does  not  need   to 
immediately respond.

Another  barrier to participation is that of language.  Computers 
are   gaining   increasingly   more   sophisticated   interpreter 
capabilities.  Eventually it is likely that a computer conference 
will  be able to take place with people inputing ideas  in  their 
own  languages and having these translated into as many languages 
as required.  This can be done manually now; but translators need 
to be used to regularly key-in translated comments. 

In  education such an approach would allow for students  studying 
an  issue in different countries to communicate,  and for  school 
councils  in different countries to liaise.  It would also enable 
much   faster   dissemination  internationally   of   educational 
innovations.  In  general public administration it  would  enable 
much  easier  communication than is now  possible.  International 
organisations  such  as the O.E.C.D.  would need  to  place  less 
emphasis on employing multilingual staff (particularly where much 
of the communication is in a written form).

Prisons presently restrict the ability of inmates to  participate 
in society.  Computer conferencing could reduce this restriction. 
It  is  as  true for Australia as the U.S.  that  "...our  prison 
system  dehumanizes  and neither educates  nor  rehabilitates..." 
(Hiltz and Turoff, 1978, p. 174).

Telephone  link-ups  can  be  used  to  break  down  barriers  to 
participation  which result from geographic factors.  By  linking 
this  approach  to the use of  loud-speaking  telephones,  school 
council  meetings  could  include people who would  have  trouble 
coming  to  the school (perhaps because of  distance  factors  or 
embarrassment about gross deformities or their physical or social 
difficulties).  Other technologies could also be considered - for 
example,  the  school  council  meeting could be  broadcast  over 
community  radio and community members could then be  linked-into 
the  discussion (and broadcast) through a  telephone  link-up.  A 
wide  variety of "resource" people could also be linked-in  using 
this  technique (which I term BOR - Brainstorming on  Radio).  As 
broadcast technologies continue to decrease in cost this approach 
should become an increasingly viable option, especially for large 
school districts.

The  BOR  technique  could  also be  used  to  facilitate  public 
participation in discussions on government programs.


     4-5-1.  The White Paper's interpretation of consultation and           
     the potential use of Videotex to assist with consultation in              
     education and public administration.

Another   key   theme  of  the  White  Paper   is   consultation. 
"Consultation  with regard to the management of public  education 
refers  to  the process of sharing information with and  securing 
feed-back  and  comments  from participants  and  from  community 
interests." (Victoria,  1980,  p. 16). Many of the submissions in 
the  lead-up  to the development of the White Paper  referred  to 
"...the  need  for  schools and for  administrative  agencies  to 
provide more detailed information to parents and communities with 
regard to objectives and programmes." (Victoria, 1980, p. 16).

Currently the Victorian Education Department publishes annually a 
booklet  outlining the objectives and programs of schools in  the 
State.  With the use of a Videotex system such a booklet could be 
updated  on  a  daily basis.  Videotex allows  people  to  access 
hundreds  of  thousands of pages of information in  a  data  base 
through  a key pad next to their television set.  The information 
is displayed on the television set.  Communication with the  data 
base  is carried out through telephone lines.  Such a system  has 
been in use in the U.K.  for a number of years. It is mainly used 
for  commercial information.  As this system gains greater use in 
Australia there will be a real need for educators and other human 
service professionals to pressure the government to ensure that a 
portion of the space is allocated for community information.

As well as being able to access information about the  objectives 
and  programs of their local school via such a system,  community 
members  would also be able to access information on such  things 

     *  short courses being offered over the next month in  their 

     * areas in which volunteers are needed;

     *  proposals which other community members have put  forward 
for the school (and scheduled meeting times to discuss them);

     * profiles of new teachers at the local school; and

     * information on the school budget and any budget variances.

Videotex  systems  could also be used as a supplement  to  annual 
reports by Commonwealth Departments. "The annual report should be 
a  vehicle  by  which Departments furnish  an  account  of  their 
activities  and  performance in terms of  ministerially  approved 
goals and objectives." (Coombs,  1976,  p.  75). The RCAGA argued 
for  there  being  "...further  development of  the  practice  of 
departments  preparing  annual  reports.   These  should  include 
references  to  developments  of  significance  and  to   issues, 
together with financial and staffing information." (Coombs, 1976, 
p.  414).  With  Videotex  a broader version of the  departmental 
"annual report" could be produced on an up-dateable-daily  basis. 
It  would  include  the types of information included  in  annual 
reports but also:

     * contact points for complaints by the public, and access to 

     * information on proposed new programs;

     * new contact points in the department;

     * daily updates on current issues affecting the department;

     * daily updates on staffing levels;

     * information on any new functions;

     * statements by new Ministers; and

     *  regular evaluations (with some outside involvement  - one 
approach  might involve the use of parliamentary committees as  a 
supplement  to cross-departmental evaluative task forces) of  the 
Departments'  performance with information on how the  Department 
plans  to  improve  on  weak  points  identified.  Much  of  this 
information would be produced automatically via the  Departmental 
computer conferencing network. 

The  JMR in part recognised the potential for innovative uses  of 
videotex  technology when it indicated that "Videotex will permit 
the  storage  and  reference  of  important   manuals,   reports, 
directories,  instructions and policies. These would be available 
for  use  both  within the Service and for the  public."  (Arthur 
Andersen, 1982, p. 15).

     4-5-2.   The   use  of  television  and   telecommunications 
     technologies to assist with consultation.

The Victorian Government accepted the notion that there is a need 
for   "...more   frequent  consultation,   involving  many   more 
individuals than merely the members of school councils and  other 
official advisory bodies." (Victoria,  1980,  p.  16). A Videotex 
system   could   assist  with  this   process.   However,   other 
technologies  considered  in this paper could also  be  of  great 
assistance.  It  is  important  to also use  currently  available 
technologies  as much as possible to facilitate the  consultative 
process.  Dror  has indicated that "Policy sciences must  develop 
new  formats  for presenting and analyzing public issues  in  the 
mass  media of communication in ways conducive for the  formation 
of informed individual opinions." (1971, p. 21). 

Already the Victorian Education Department has been  given,  free 
of charge, time in the morning to show films on a commercial T.V. 
station.  Television  shows  could be developed around issues  of 
pressing concern (such as the need for a core curriculum, and sex 
education). Participants involved in these issues could be filmed 
in dialogue over a number of days.  The danger with attempting to 
develop  a show out of a two or three hour dialogue is  that  any 
consensus  reached  tends to be forced.  By integrating a  SEARCH 
format (involving, amongst other things, completely open dialogue 
over  a  number  of days) with film,  it should  be  possible  to 
capture a number of viewpoints, and possibly expose the public to 
innovative syntheses of viewpoints which are generally considered 
to be opposing.

Other resources could also be used.  For example,  the Council of 
Adult Education in Victoria has conference telephones in a  large 
number  of  its country centres.  These could be  used  to  allow 
people in the country to dialogue with key decision-makers within 
the Victorian Education Department on a regular basis.

These  could also be used to assist with involving country people 
in  evaluations  of APS activities in country areas.

     4-5-3.   Consultation  could  be  facilitated  by  the  more 
     imaginative usage of currently available technology.

I  would  emphasise that I am not just advocating the use of  new 
technologies to facilitate consultation. I am also advocating the 
more imaginative use of currently available systems.  Toffler has 
indicated that "...techno-rebels contend that technology need not 
be  big,  costly,  or  complex in order to  be  'sophisticated'." 
(Toffler,  1981, p. 164) Thus, loud-speaker telephones should not 
be  seen as just a medium for delivering instruction  to  country 
students.  Television  should  not  just  be seen  as  a  one-way 
transmission medium.  Paradigms must be exploded if resources are 
to  be used in the most efficient fashion.  To assist  with  this 
process  it  is  essential  that  educators  and  general  public 
administrators consider:

     * schools;

     * government departments;

     * themselves;

     * students;

     * technology;

     * society; and

     *  buildings  

as multi-purpose rather than single purpose units. 

Thus a school could be used as a home,  a home as a school (as in 
the case of "School of the Air" in remote areas of Australia),  a 
hospital  can be a library (a "resource centre" might be a better 
term  in this context),  and a teacher can be a member of a  task 
force  carrying  out  research  as  well  as  a  learner  in   an 
experiential learning project.

This  multi-purpose  perspective is reflected in a submission  to 
the RCAGA which indicated "...that departments should become more 
accessible  to the community by becoming a 'learning  resource'." 
(Coombs, 1976, p. 144).

Consultation   in  which  new  approaches  are  proposed  by  the 
community will only be effective if educators and general  public 
administrators adopt a flexible approach.


     4-6-1. Co-ordination, communication, and control.

All of the approaches I have considered in this thesis need to be 
efficiently co-ordinated. 

There  is  great  potential  for  innovative  approaches  to  co-
ordination  involving  the  use of  communications  technologies, 
since  "Communications  [technologies]...make  it  possible   for 
individuals  to operate from almost anywhere and for societies to 
be controlled from almost anywhere." (Ferkiss, 1972, p. 31).

Co-ordination becomes more,  not less,  important in a period  of 
rapid  change  and  turbulence.  Co-ordination  involves  "...the 
regulation  or  adjustment of activity or functions in  order  to 
secure  greater  overall  harmony  and  consistency,  to  achieve 
greater  efficiency  and a more desirable balance,  and to  avoid 
unnecessary  overlap  and  wasteful  use  of  scarce   resouces." 
(Victoria, 1980, p. 17). 

In  order to achieve a co-ordinated approach it is important that 
no   more   change   than  is  necessary   be   introduced   into 
administrative  structures.  The RCAGA report indicated  "...that 
more  conscious thought and rigorous examination should be  given 
to proposals for administrative change,  because they are  almost 
always  costly  in both manpower and money and often damaging  to 
departmental and staff morale." (Coombs,  1976,  p. 387). In view 
of the number of Departmental mergers and break ups since 1976 at 
the  Commonwealth  level  one could  well  question  whether  the 
Government took notice of this advice.

Co-ordination of communications and influences is critical in all 
administrative  contexts.  For  example,  the  RCAGA  found  that 
"Senior  officials...are  finding  that  they  must  be  prepared 
consciously  to  work  with a pluralist range  of  influences  on 
ministers  and perhaps even to see their role as being  primarily 
to  organise  those  influences,  so that,  while  ministers  are 
exposed to the widest choice of advice and of options,  they  are 
helped  by their officials to assess and give appropriate  weight 
to them." (Coombs, 1979, p. 15).

These  influences  must  be  channelled  through   organisational 
structures  by  officials.   "Organisational  structure  involves 
limits  on members' decision-making.  As such it is an  essential 
form of control." (Salaman,  1979,  p. 51). However, improved co-
ordination  does  not  necessarily  involve a  need  for  greater 
"control".  For  example,  particularly in  high-priority  areas, 
there   will  be  a  need  for  experimentation  in  relation  to 
organisational structures. A number of approaches will need to be 
tried at once.  Duplication could be classified as "necessary" in 
such cases.  This is because "One very interesting feature of  an 
optimal  policymaking  structure  is  that it  should  be  rather 
redundant:   the  contributions  to  the  various  phases  should 
duplicate  and overlap each other...The correct criterion  should 
be  that  the more critical a certain polilcy is or  one  of  its 
phases  is,  the  more redundancy should be provided as a way  to 
minimize  the  risk  of  mistakes..."  (Dror,   1968,   p.  211). 
Naturally, the various approaches implemented should be evaluated 
and  the  results  recorded so that the system  can  "learn  from 
experience".  "One of the amazing weaknesses in much contemporary 
public policymaking is that there is no systematic learning  from 
experience.  Very few evaluations of the real outcomes of complex 
policies are made, and there are even fewer on which improvements 
of future policymaking can be based." (Dror, 1968, p. 274).

     4-6-2. Evaluation, feedback, and self-correction.

The   potentially  important  role  of  evaluations  in  resource 
allocation  decisions  is refected in the comment by  Hadley  and 
Hatch  that  "The  evidence  from  evaluations  of   professional 
interventions  in education,  health and social work hardly serve 
to  explain or justify all the resources which have been  devoted 
to them." (1981, p. 2).

However, if evaluations are to serve their purpose it is critical  
that  action be taken based on the results of the evaluation  (if 
the  recommendations  are accepted by the responsible  Minister). 
The  RCAGA argued that this could be facilitated in the  case  of 
government  Departments by ensuring that "Where the parliamentary 
committee  primarily  concerned  with  administrative  efficiency 
reports  critically  or  adversely  upon  the  activities  of   a 
department  or  agency,  or  in  relation to  matters  which  are 
peculiarly its responsibility, the department or agency should be 
expected  to report directly to the committee on action taken  or 
proposed to be taken in response to the committee's comments  and 
recommendations." (Coombs, 1976, p. 417).

The  need  for action to result from evaluations  is  highlighted 
when  one  considers the large amounts of money which  are  being 
invested  in  such programs as transition from  school  to  work. 
These  are  co-ordinated at the State rather than federal  level. 
With computer conferencing it would be possible for people trying 
out  similar approaches in different States to keep in touch on a 
"real time" basis.  Also, information on evaluations of different 
approaches  could  be  readily available,  together  with  expert 
advice  from  both  the evaluators and the  implementers  of  the 

Co-ordination  is  also  related to efficient  communication  and 
feedback  - "...policymaking  must  have  highly  elaborate   and 
efficient  communication and feedback channels and mechanisms  in 
order to operate,  especially to operate optimally." (Dror, 1968, 
p.   194).  Increasingly  this  feedback  will  be  of  a  "self-
correcting" rather than "central authority directive" nature. The 
more  quickly schools and area offices can get  information,  the 
more  quickly they can co-ordinate their activities  for  optimum 
results.  Telecommunications technologies (in particular computer 
conferencing)  allow  for speedy information  transfer,  and  for 
iterative feedback (that is feedback over a number of "rounds" as 
the system assists with self-correction).  Such "self-correcting" 
feedback  is  important  if responsibility is to  be  effectively 
devolved within government departments.

In the context of APS administration, "self-correction" refers to 
the  use  of  feedback  to correct procedures  as  close  to  the 
operational level as possible.  For example,  "exception reports" 
would  be  directed both to those responsible  for  administering 
programs  as  well  as those in central offices  responsible  for 
following up on extreme exception conditions.  In this context it 
is  interesting to note a current use of exception  reporting  in 
the  APS - "...the use of ADP to detect from departmental records 
atypical  occurrences in the servicing of patients  by  doctors." 
(Arthur  Andersen,  1982,  p.  32).  Implementation  of a  "self-
correcting"  philosophy  in  such a  context  would  involve  the 
reports  being  distributed  to  both  regional  offices  of  the 
Department  of Health and a central policing unit.  The  policing 
unit would only become involved if the regional offices failed to 
take appropriate action.

     4-6-3. Co-ordination and broad-based systems linkages.

In relation to co-ordination of data,  the JMR indicated that "We 
see  scope for greater co-operation between departments which use 
common  data,  for  example in unemployment and  welfare  areas." 
(Arthur Andersen, 1982, p. 63).

Co-ordination  of data in education will not only involve liaison 
between   the   school   and   other   traditional    educational 
institutions.  It  may also involve them in linkages with  social 
units  as  diverse as the local police and the  local  employment 
office.  Naturally,  this  implies a need for such agencies to be 
linked   into  the  educational  computer-conferencing   network. 
Increasingly,  such  agencies  are  part  of  semi-open  networks 
incorporating computer networking.  However,  these are generally 
one-way systems.  For example,  they may involve the police using 
their computer system to check whether a car is stolen.  The idea 
of linking schools into such networks for co-ordination  purposes 
raises  profound  social  questions.  It may result in  more  co-
ordinated education systems,  but it might also result in a world 
in  which  one  is followed from birth  to  death  by  electronic 

The  technology itself is not the danger - the danger is that  it 
may  be  used in inappropriate ways.  If the police could  access 
school  records,  for  example,  there would be clear dangers  to 
privacy.  The  technology could be designed to ensure  that  this 
could not happen - however,  discussion would need to take  place 
before, rather than after, a "Network Nation" developed as to the 
limits  to which educators would allow their network to integrate 
with others.



Martin   has  argued  that  "Data  transmission  may  become   as 
indispensible to city-dwelling man as his electricity supply.  He 
will employ it in his home,  in his office,  in shops, and in his 
car.  He will use it to pay for goods, to teach his children, and 
to obtain information,  transportation, and items from the shops; 
he  will use it from his home to obtain stock prices and football 
scores;  he  will  use it to seek  protection  in  crime-infested 
streets." (1973, p. 9).

This scenario is designed to consider ways in which systems (both 
educational  and general public administrative) could change over 
the  next  twelve  years with the use  of  modern  computing  and 
telecommunications  technologies.  There is a focus on the  other 
themes  considered  in  the  first  part  of  this  thesis  where 

In  this scenario I have attempted to integrate consideration  of 
educational    and   public   administrative   aspects   wherever 

Wherever  I  write of periods up to (but not including) 1984  the 
events described have actually occurred.

Wherever  I  speak  of 1984,  or further  into  the  future,  the 
discussion is purely "possible",  and should not be considered in 
any  way "probable" or necessarily "preferable" (at least from my 
point of view).  The emphasis is on highlighting possible futures 
in education and public administration of which policy developers 
should  now  be aware and for which they should be  planning  (or 
against which as the case may be).



The year is 1995. Typing has been part of the core curriculum  in 
government schools for five years.  Students are beginning to use 
terminals for simple communications tasks in primary schools.  In 
secondary schools,  students have been using computer packages on 
a  wide scale for around ten years.  These include data base  and 
financial  planning  packages.  Since 1985 there has been  little 
emphasis  on  teaching programming techniques  to  students.  The 
emphasis  instead  has  been on teaching  them  to  use  computer 
packages,  because  it is recognised that it is not economical to 
actually design and program systems "from the ground up" in  most 
real-life   situations.   Computer  packages  have  become   more 
economical to purchase as a result of economies of scale factors. 
The emphasis in both public and private administration is also on 
using prepared packages and higher-level languages rather than on 
developing  customised systems.  Packages are required by law  to 
include self-instructional material.

There  is  however,  much  work also done  in  teaching  computer 
professionals    new   techniques   for   programming,    program 
modification  and  adaptation,  and program  juxtaposition  (this 
involves  the simultaneous running of more than one  program  and 
the selective synthesis of components from these).


Computers  and  communications  networks have had  a  significant 
impact  in facilitating a change in role for schools  and  public 
libraries.  Many children who previously went to school now learn 
at home,  using terminals at least 50% of the time. Libraries are 
seen as information-search training institutes rather than purely 
as  depositories of information.  Computer terminals (for use  in 
local  communication  and international data-base  searches)  are 
available in all schools and public libraries. Initially a number 
of  schools could not afford to access international data  bases, 
but  the  Government developed a special  "Disadvantaged  Schools 
(Information  Systems)" program in 1990  to assist such  schools. 
This was administered by the Commonwealth Schools Commission. 

All  major libraries have had international access to  world-wide 
information systems since the mid-1980s. At that time there was a 
debate  over whether data-base access should be provided free  to 
individuals in libraries. This debate became less relevant as all 
key  community  information became available on Videotex  systems 
(the  community  information  section of  the  national  videotex 
system established in 1985 was funded by the Government),  and as 
the cost of access to data bases (both in Australia and overseas) 
became  less  expensive  (as  a  result  of  new  approaches   to 
communication   involving  the  compression  of  information  and 
digitalisation   of   information).   The   additional   national 
satellites have greatly benefited this access.

Access to data bases has come to be seen more and more as a right 
in a democratic society (that is,  if all persons are to have the 
potential  for  effective  participation  in  societal  decision-
making).  Some  commercial  data  bases are  still  expensive  to 
access;  these  are generally of a kind which have both a limited 
potential audience and for which the development costs have  been 
extremely  high  (access to these data bases is on a "user  pays" 

Libraries  still provide conventional services,  but the emphasis 
is  very  much  on  how to use technologies  to  gain  access  to 
information  (as is traditional;  for example,  how to use  index 
systems)  and also on using technologies to  process  information 
(this was an innovation - for example, free courses in how to use 
financial  planning packages were available in all central  State 
libraries  from  1985) and how to lobby for change based  on  the 
results  of  information  processed  (the role  of  libraries  as 
facilitators  of  change became particularly strong in  the  late 
1980s when it was increasingly realised that many of the  studies 
carried  out by individuals were not having an impact on societal 
decision-making  processes,  because many of the individuals  and 
groups  who  undertook them  lacked  lobbying  skills).  Wherever 
possible, self-teaching courses are used as a supplement to face-
to-face teaching in libraries.

Librarian  roles  have been expanded to include  basic  technical 
skills  required  for the maintenance of the extensive  range  of 
computer and related electronic equipment which is now as  common 
and integral to library operations as are books and  audio-visual 

School   libraries  have  increasingly  taken  on   a   community 
orientation.  Most  school  libaries now provide services to  the 
community,  particularly where there is no public library in  the 


An  increased community orientation in education is reflected  in 
parents  now  playing an integral part in the education of  their 
children. Many children stay at home to learn from parents who in 
the  majority of cases now also work from home.  The progress  of 
these  children  is monitored both technically and personally  by 
teachers  with  whom  the children meet  face-to-face  every  few 

Students  also  regularly dialogue with their  friends  (both  in 
Australia  and  overseas  [sometimes using  computer  translation 
packages provided with computer conferencing facilities]) through 
terminals.  They do, however, go to school on a regular basis for 
general  socialising  activities  and  to  participate  in  small 
business  activities.  A  number  of schools now lease  space  to 
groups  of  students  who  are involved  in  the  development  of 
computer  software,  the sale of art works,  and action  research 
activities (often dealing with youth-related topics).

In some locations, there are as many parents as children enrolled 
in  formal  educational  programs.  Partly as a result  of  this, 
parents also use terminals for learning activities. 

There  is  a general awareness of the need for learning to  be  a 
lifelong   process,   and  for  retraining  to  occur   regularly 
throughout  a person's life.  Career educators are used to assist 
both  young  people  in transition  from  school  to  work/higher 
education/unemployment/self-employment,   and  older  persons  in 
transition from work to retraining,  to new types of work or into 
constructive and rewarding retirement.


Career  education  starts for young people at a very  early  age. 
They  often watch their parents at work on computer terminals  in 
the  home.  This  compares  with previous  situations  where  the 
parents'  work  was  not visible to the young.  In a  sense  this 
reflects  a return to more traditional work forms.  The young and 
old  have  access to volunteer "mentors" from any  profession  or 
trade in which they have an interest. 

Mentors  have been used in the APS as a career  development  tool 
since   the  mid-1980s.   They  supplement  other  approaches  to 
broadening  the  vision  of  up-and-coming  executives  (such  as 
executive interchanges). There is a special emphasis on providing 
mentors to disadvanted groups (for example,  new female financial 
executives  might  have  a female mentor who is  the  Head  of  a 
Financial  Planning Branch in another Department).  To avoid  any 
possibility  of  influence  being  used to  assist  mentees  gain 
promotions  (actual  or apparent),  mentors may not sit on  their 
charges' interview panels. 

Some  mentors  are  either  wealthy  philanthropists  or  retired 
persons - with both professional and trades backgrounds.

Various businesses have opened their data banks in a limited  way 
to  schools and other learning institutions (as well as to public 
administrators who increasingly do "Executive Exchanges"  without 
leaving their work place for long periods: they do them via their 
computer terminal,  [either at home or at their work place]). The 
opening  of  data  banks has allowed young people and  others  to 
observe  businesses  and professions in  operation.  This  is  an 
extension of a system termed "Adopt-a-School" which was developed 
by  the  United Bank of Denver in the late 1970s.  This  involved 
Branches of the Bank adopting local schools,  acting as a contact 
point for speakers on business-related topics, providing tours of 
their branches to the school,  work-experience opportunities, and 
possibly a representative on school councils. The opening of data 
banks  is limited:  students only have access to daily "executive 
summary"-type  reports which previously would have been  included 
in annual reports.  However they do also have access to a  number 
of decision-makers whom they can question via their terminals.

These  techniques  have  highlighted to  both  young  people  and 
educators  the  broadening range of skills which persons need  in 
order to be effective in business and professional  environments. 
There  is  little  talk  of a need to  "return  to  basics";  the 
emphasis  is  now on redefining the notion of basic skills  in  a 
society in which everyone has access to word processing  packages 
which  can  check spelling and grammar,  and  financial  planning 
packages  which can assist with the modelling of numeric problems 
(and naturally also with the calculations involved).

These  techniques have also had enormous benefit in the areas  of 
vocational  guidance  and  training.   Students  in  schools  can 
"monitor"  in  great  detail the  work  of  surgeons,  engineers, 
draughtsmen, computer technicians and so on. The world of work is 
directly accesible to every child in every school. 


Communicative  competence  is seen to be a much  broader  concept 
than  simply  the  ability  to communicate  effectively  both  in 
writing and verbally. It is now seen as incorporating the ability 

     * identify issues;

     * design ways to gain information;

     * process information;

     * lobby for change;

     * understand power structures; 

     * use various types of communication media; and      

     * understand  which  media  should be  used  for  different 
purposes and how to design messages for maximum effectiveness.

The  need to broaden the meaning of communicative competence  was 
highlighted  as  it  was seen that merely providing access  on  a 
large  scale to such things as computer  packages,  and  computer 
conferencing  facilities,  was insufficient for individuals to be 
able to use these technologies effectively.  It was seen that  it 
was  necessary  for  these  technologies to  include  a  training 
component in their introduction. 

The APS was one of the first to take up the challenge of this  in 
the mid-1980s. It introduced courses on such things as:

     * using word processing software;

     * integrating  financial and word processing  software  for 
maximum impact;

     * communicating from home using computer terminals;

     * inputing  information into Videotex systems  for  maximum 

     * using  cable  T.   V.  to  gauge  public  perceptions  on 
governmental programs and proposed programs;

     * finding  appropriate  uses  for computer  networks  as  a 
supplement to face-to-face communication;

     * developing innovative uses for loud-speaker telephones  in 
administration and policy development.

Education departments also took up the challenge.  They developed 
special programs for young people. T.A.F.E. systems were involved 
in running broad-based communications programs for adults. 

The  running of such innovative programs (which are  relevant  to 
all age groups),  and the emphasis on lifelong education, has led 
to  a  greater awareness of the need to keep accurate records  on 
the  development  of competencies by  students  throughout  their 
life,  in order to ensure that they gain maximum benefit from the 
educational programs which they undertake.


Teachers can easily access information on the background of their 
students  (a  national  data base on students is  kept  which  is 
linked  to  an international data base),  innovative  educational 
programs,  evaluation  of programs and  professional  development 

The  data  base on students is similar to one  developed  in  the 
United  States in the 1970s.  It was decided that a similar  data 
base  was needed in Australia because of the increasingly  common 
national  and  international mobility of students.  In the  late-
1980s  it  was decided to link-up national student data bases  so 
that  students who were internationally mobile could  have  their 
records  accessed.  Some students were also mobile through  their 
terminals. For example, by the late 1980s some students who had a 
strong   grasp  of  French  were  being  taught  in  the   French 
educational system even though they lived in Australia.  This had 
advantages  both for migrant children,  and for children who were 
especially  gifted  in  languages and in  relating  to  different 
environments,  but who could not afford to travel.  The data base 
allowed  foreign  schools to have an evaluation  of  a  student's 
strengths  and  weaknesses,  and  minimised  problems  caused  by 
changes  between  educational  systems (across  both  States  and 

Studies  in  politics,   social  sciences,  botany,  biology  and 
geography  have  also been transformed with this new  technology. 
Students  can,  for example,  experience the realities of life in 
Central   Europe  while  physically  being  in  their  homes   or 
classrooms in Australia.

National  and international visual linkages are now  economically 
possible for educational purposes. These allow for the display of 
still  imagery,  with  changes  possible  at  regular  intervals. 
"Continuous   movement"   visual   conferencing   is   relatively 
expensive,  and  is still only routinely possible between capital 
cities  using  optical fibre linkages,  with the aid  of  studios 
especially set aside for this purpose.  This is because it is far 
too  expensive to hire the band-width required on  satellites  or 
normal   telephone   lines  to  allow  for  "real  time"   visual 
conferencing.  The  transmission of still visual information  via 
satellite  has enhanced the teaching of numerous subjects in  the 
"School  of the Air",  and in adult training programs  beamed  to 
isolated areas. The technology to do all of the things considered 
in  this paragraph had been available for over twenty years;  the 
key  new factor in 1995 was the continuing dramatic reduction  in 
cost of all but "continuous movement" video conferencing.

"Continuous  movement"  video  conferencing  has  been  used  for 
linkages  in  high priority areas (such as emergency medicine  in 
isolated  areas) in Australia,  but authorities have  discouraged 
its  use in other than emergency situations because of the  large 
amount  of band-width required,  compared with such approaches as 
audio or terminal-based conferencing.

Research is being undertaken into how linkages could be developed 
between Cable T.V. systems, optical fibre cable networks (between 
States),  and  new "broad band-width" satellite systems to  allow 
for  economical  small-scale  educational  usage  of  "continuous 
movement" video conferencing systems on a large scale over  great 

All   teachers   and  educational   administrators   have   their 
professional  interests recorded in a data base and are  notified 
of professional development opportunities by the system.  This is 
an   extension   of  a  more  focused  approach  to   information 
dissemination  which has been made necessary as access to  masses 
of  information  has become more  economical.  For  example,  the 
Victorian  Education  Department  in  the  early  1980s   started 
producing  a listing of conferences indexed according to  subject 
areas. Previously this listing was produced purely in date order. 
In a sense this was a forerunner to more advanced approaches,  in 
that  it  recognised that educational professionals are far  more 
likely to use professional development information tools if  they 
can  access  areas  of interest to  themselves  directly  without 
needing to wade through large amounts of irrelevant data.

Where cost or time is a factor, teachers can attend international 
conferences  via  their terminals while remaining  in  Australia. 
Needless  to  say,  this  does not fully  accomodate  the  social 
intercourse benefits of in-person attendance.


The National Educational Data Base has assisted in the running of 
better  distance education programs.  It has meant that  students 
who  move  frequently around Australia have a  continuous  record 
kept on them, which can be accessed by teachers in new locations. 

There  was some talk of organising a National Distance  Education 
School,  but  this  was resisted by the States and  NT.  Instead, 
there  is very close contact between distance educators  in  each 
State and the NT,  facilitated by satellites.  Pilot programs for 
such  liaison  began  in  the  early  1980s  using  the  Intelsat 

It  has  been  found that satellites have been useful  for  other 
distance  education programs.  Teachers who were  previously  not 
able to attend national conferences because of distance regularly 
participate  now  via audio-satellite link-ups.  This  was  often 
possible  before  the  advent  of the  domestic  satellite  using 
terrestrial  linkups,  but it was found that the availability  of 
the  satellite both allowed for the participation of teachers  in 
areas with no conventional telephone access, and tended to "raise 
the   consciousness"   of  professional   development   personnel 
regarding the options available.


The  availability  of  satellites has also  assisted  with  adult 
education  in isolated areas.  The need for retraining for adults 
has   been  generally  accepted,   but  problems  did  arise   in 
implementing   this  concept  in  isolated  areas  with   limited 
communications linkages. 

Now   all  Technical  and  Further  Education  authorities   have 
developed  programs which include mastery learning sequences  and 
linkages  via terminals for interaction.  These programs  can  be 
transmitted  either  via  terrestrial linkages  or  the  domestic 

All   professional   associations  now  have   requirements   for 
continuing  professional education if a member is to maintain his 
or  her  standing.  Continual  up-dating  is  essential,  because 
changes occur so rapidly.

The Australian Public Service continues to encourage its  members 
to  undertake  study leave related to their work and  in  certain 
areas  has begun to direct public servants to do so if they  wish 
to  retain  their  substantive positions.  In  the  mid-1980s  an 
innovative  form of this approach was developed incorporating the 
concept  of permanent part-time work,  and a  lifelong  education 
philosophy.  This  allows officers to work one year,  then take a 
year off,  then work another year for a pre-determined  time.  It 
has  been  found  that  this approach  has  advantages  over  the 
traditional  approach  of giving large blocks of time  for  study 
leave.  Officers participating in this scheme are also allowed to 
undertake some consultancy work during their study leave.  It has 
been found that this has real advantages for officers undertaking 
such degrees as the Ph.D.  and new Te.D.  (Doctor of Technology). 
It  has  meant that the officers maintain contact with  the  APS. 
There  are  also  tax advantages in spreading the periods  of  no 
income over time,  since this allows for an "averaging of income" 
for tax purposes which does not occur when large blocks of study-
leave are taken. 

The  APS particularly encourages this approach for  officers  who 
need to keep in touch with both the APS and the business world if 
they  are  to  remain at the cutting-edge of  their  fields  (for 
example,   data-processing   professionals,   long-range   policy 
analysts, organisational consultants, and adult trainers).

With  approval,  some  of the officers have continued  with  this 
program  after  gaining  their  higher  qualification.  This  has 
diminished  the  financial disadvantages of being in the APS  for 
those  officers who work in fields which are very highly paid  in 
the  private  sector,  in that one year in two can  be  spent  in 
consultancy   activities.   Naturally,   there  are   significant 
restrictions  on officers involved in this program to ensure that 
there are no conflicts of interest.



Since 1984 the PSB has been conducting extensive training courses 
on the use of computer packages for public servants.  The impetus 
for this resulted partly from the finding of the JMR that "Modern 
system  development tools including very high level languages (ie 
non  procedural and user oriented) are not in common use [in  the 
APS]."  (Arthur  Andersen,   1982,   p.   2).   Politicians  have 
increasingly  been  encouraged to participate,  as  it  has  been 
recognised  that  "...upgrading  the  professionalism  of  senior 
administrators  while  leaving the capacities of politicians  and 
political  institutions  low  will change the  balance  of  power 
between administrators and politics in directions which may often 
involve  undesirable  alienation and de-democratization."  (Dror, 
1971,  p. 269). There has been a particular emphasis on decision-
support  systems,  particularly systems designed to  assist  with 
quantitative  analysis,  the development of models,  and  systems 
designed to produce reports efficiently.  This emphasis coincided 
with  a shift in policy towards part-time work.  From 1985 public 
servants  who  wished  to work from home  and  were  involved  in 
clerical-type  or policy work have been allowed to do so for  50% 
of  their  time.  This has been particularly helpful as an  equal 
opportunity  measure.  It  has meant that a number  of  men,  who 
otherwise  would not have been able to,  now work from  home  and 
contribute  to  child  supervision.  It also has  broadened  many 
womens'  options.  There are many families in which  "  and 
wife split a single full-time job." (Toffler, 1981, p. 227). 

The  PSB  developed a tender document in 1984 for  micro-computer 
systems  with  communications capabilities which  allow  officers 
(with  approval) to work from home.  The Public Service pays  for 
half the cost of these systems and the public servants using them 
pay for the other half.


The general availability of terminals has had other effects.

Statistical  reports  are  rarely made available in a  hard  copy 
format (that is,  on paper).  This is because all executives  now 
have  access  to  computer terminals.  Also,  as  the  amount  of 
information  available became more and more overwhelming,  it was 
seen that to provide all the information which executives  needed 
in a paper form involved  much redundancy. The emphasis now is on 
having  customised  reports produced around the parameters  which 
executives specify.

This  has also had an impact on education,  and on adult training 
in  the APS.  Just as calculators changed the emphasis placed  on 
repetitive  calculation in schools in the early  1980s,  computer 
packages  have  had an effect on the emphasis placed on  students 
producing  tables manually in schools,  and on learning  computer 
programming.  Since  the  late 1980s there has  been  a  dramatic 
change in mathematics in schools and APS training programs. A new 
form  of  mathematics  called  "information  analysis"  has  been 
introduced.  This  involves students using quantitative and  non-
quantitative data to produce reports. There is little emphasis on 
students  producing reports themselves from the "ground up";  the 
emphasis  is  on  students  setting  parameters  which   computer 
packages use to produce "skeletons" of reports.  Students need to 
"flesh-out"  the reports produced by the packages.  Packages  are 
now available which interact with the students and assist them in 
defining  the  parameters of the reports.  Similar packages  have 
been in use in the APS since the late 1980s.


The  new  types  of statistical packages have had  a  significant 
impact on the APS. For example, reports which could not have been 
produced  in the early 1980s are now regularly prepared with  the 
assistance of packages.  Freedom of Information reports have been 
much   easier   to  provide.   In  the  mid-1980s  there  was   a 
proliferation  of micro-systems in all Departments.  By the  late 
1980s  this  was controlled through the use of  "information  co-
ordination plans" which recognised the value of data and  planned 
for it - as with the other resources of the Departments.  By 1990 
it  was generally recognised that information systems had  become 
so  powerful that the "information co-ordination approach" needed 
to  be  taken  across the APS.  This emphasis on  a  need  for  a 
Service-wide approach to information seemed to be an extension of 
the  approach  of the Committee on Integration of  Data  Systems, 
"...which reported in 1974...[suggesting] that efforts be made to 
ensure  that official data systems...[were] mutually compatible." 
(Coombs, 1976, p. 349). 


The  need  for  compatability  of information  systems  has  been 
highlighted  by the trend to interpret the concept of Freedom  of 
Information  more broadly than in the 1980s.  This is because  of 
the  decreased  need  to use expensive  manpower  to  search  out 
information.  Much  information under the Freedom  of Information 
Act  is gained directly through computer  terminals.  This  means 
that  advocacy groups often follow the development of legislation 
and  regulations from the early stages.  Also,  they  follow  the 
public   administrative   responses  (including  early   drafting 
discussions) through their terminals. Early attempts were made by 
a number of public servants to develop confidential schema on  an 
"unofficial"  basis  but this has been made almost impossible  by 
the  regular scanning of computer systems by "policing  software" 
which had been developed by the Auditor General in the mid  1980s 
to pick up such activities along with attempts at fraud.

Personal  information  is still protected under  the  Freedom  of 
Information  legislation.  Access  to adults' school records  and 
childrens' court records are particularly restricted. Some access 
to  researchers is allowed,  but only where there is no way  that 
individuals can be identified (that is, data is only available in 
an  aggregate  form).  Where  data  could  be  used  to  identify 
individuals  (for example,  where the data involved refers  to  a 
very  few individuals) dummy data is inserted at random in  order 
to  make this impossible.  The Bureau of Statistics has used this 
approach  for  many  years with Census  data,  and  continues  to 
research  ways  of preventing the identification  of  individuals 
when  other data of a confidential nature is being analysed  with 
powerful computer systems.



School  and  work governance is much  more  participatory.  Young 
people  are  heavily  involved  in  the  governance  of  schools, 
particularly  in the selection of material to learn  outside  the 
core  curriculum.  They make their selection on terminals and can 
make suggestions for new types of learning activities.  They  are 
also  encouraged  to  liaise  with  other  students  and  develop 
coalitions for change. 

In   government  there  is  a  significant  emphasis  on   worker 
participation, with expanded staff suggestion schemes, the use of 
autonomous work groups,  and related techniques being widely used 
in  the  APS.  Computer conferencing is used to assist  with  the 
implementation of these techniques.

Cable  T.V.  (based  on  optical fibre technology)  has  been  in 
operation in all major Australian cities since 1990. It is mainly 
used for the distribution of films,  computer programs, data base 
access,  and  related information  purposes.  However,  there has 
been   a  significant  increase  in  educational  and   political 
documentary  material  on  the  normal  Australian   Broadcasting 
Corporation  and  commercial  television channels,  which  is  in 
addition to the two "access educator" channels - one for  primary 
and secondary students,  and the other for tertiary and Technical 
and  Further Education students.  The system is also used  partly 
for  polling groups of citizens on issues,  and to facilitate the 
purchasing of goods from home.  Appropriate guidelines have  been 
legislated  to ensure the privacy of voting "records" produced by 
such  systems (this is necessary as a number of the issues  voted 
upon are controversial - for example,  the restriction of smoking 
rights to consenting adults in private).  Also, if it were legal, 
the  system could have been used to produce  (without  consumers' 
consent)  detailed  records  on the types of goods  purchased  by 
specific households. 

Citizens  are  encouraged to participate in  various  government-
established  task  forces on societal  problems.  They  can  also 
access the deliberations of most government bodies (local, state, 
federal,  and  global)  via  computer terminals  (access  is  via 
various key terms, and responses to the deliberations can also be 
entered in the terminals and directed to backbenchers, Ministers, 
or other key decision-makers). 

The  use  of  key terms as a lobbying  tool  has  increased.  For 
example,  some  environmentalists have instructed their terminals 
to  contact  them  whenever environmental  issues  are  discussed 
(individuals would generally be more specific;  for example, they 
might  distinguish between environmental issues  affecting  their 
local area as compared with global issues,  or perhaps they might 
be  particularly  interested in one type of  environmental  issue 
[for example, the preservation of specific areas of wilderness or 
species  of  animal]).   Similarly,   libraries  have  programmed 
terminals  to  co-ordinate the recording of  television  programs 
pertaining  to a wide range of curriculum areas,  using the  same 

A  number of lobbyists have developed "standard" responses to  be 
sent  to  decision-making  bodies when  issues  of  interest  are 
discussed.  All of this has been made possible through the use of 
improved index systems of deliberations.  Initially, abstracts of 
deliberations  with  key  words linked to  them  were  developed. 
However,  as  the power of computers increased,  greater use  was 
made of accessing according to every word used in discussions.

     5-15. LEISURE

As  participation  has become easier,  more and more  people  are 
participating in societal governance in their leisure time.

When  word processors were still relatively uncommon,  access  to 
them  gave  persons  a  degree  of  power  which  was  previously 
unobtainable  without  significant support staff.  This  resulted 
from  the ability to,  for example,  customise letters to a large 
number of decision-makers.  As word processors became more common 
this  differential  in  potential  power  became  less   obvious. 
However, the people at the forefront in using word processors for 
lobbying  then  began  using data base packages  to  focus  their 
lobbying for maximum effect. 

By  the late 1980s artificial intelligence systems were available 
to  people to assist in leisure pursuits.  These could be run  on 
micro-computers and assisted  with such things as:

* advising on political strategy;

* advising on how to relieve tension;

* medical advice;

* child-rearing advice;

* learning;

* career planning advice;

* marriage guidance;

* leisure options advice; and

*  networking  advice (to assist in linking-up with  others  with 
similar interests).

These  systems are also used widely in the APS.  They use a large 
amount of storage space,  and it was not until the mid-1980s that 
it  was recognised by both the management and unions in  the  APS 
that  they  would  have  a significant  effect  on  "higher-level 
routine  work"  (undertaken  by such persons  as  senior  clerks, 
doctors, accountants, and other professionals) in the APS. 

This was surprising when one takes into account that even in  the 
early  1980s  artificial intelligence systems were  available  to 
assist   with   mineral  exploration  activities,   and   medical 


As  the  power  (and personal  power-enhancing  capabilities)  of 
available  systems became increasingly obvious,  it was perceived 
that,  if the democratic process was to continue, it was critical 
that  the  poor  not  be excluded  from  access  to  information, 
conventional computer systems,  and artificial intelligence-based 
systems.   This  was  initially  a  problem  when  systems   were 
introduced,  because  of  their  few users and high  fixed  cost. 
However,  it  was  soon  recognised that  the  marginal  cost  of 
additional users was often not high,  and that the Government had 
a  responsibility  to fund the involvment of such people  in  the 
system  (free  use of such systems other than in  libraries  [for 
example,  in the home] was restricted to those who passed a means 

This  awareness  was not immediate.  In the late-1980s there  was 
still discussion on how such facilities should be provided to the 
poor.  It  had been argued for a number of years  that  terminals 
should  be  made available in the homes of people who  could  not 
afford  them,  but Telecom had resisted this concept (or at least 
resisted  funding of the required terminals - it had been  argued 
that  this  was  a  responsibility of the  Department  of  Social 
Security).  Eventually  the  problem was overcome by  making  the 
provision  of  information  terminals  to  the  poor  a  national 
priority. A number of Departments were involved in making a Joint 
Cabinet  Submission  on  this matter (a  key  component  being  a 
significant  grant  to Telecom to implement the policy) and  this 
was accepted by Cabinet in the late 1980s.


The  question of access to information about oneself recorded  in 
systems  was  highlighted in the late 1980s when the  public  and 
union  members  in the APS became increasingly aware of how  all-
encompassing  were the computer systems operated by the  APS  and 
educational systems.

Educational  administrators monitor the progress of teachers  and 
students via terminals.  The APS in the mid-1980s resurrected the 
Mandata  system  partly because of the need for  a  comprehensive 
Service-wide  system  for monitoring staff.  This monitoring  was 
partly  to assist with career planning (both for individuals  and 
Departments) but also had a component dealing with the evaluation 
and  supervision of staff.  At the more junior level the emphasis 
was on specific evaluation around output measures.  At management 
levels the emphasis was on using prose comments around key themes 
by  supervisors.  Computer  packages were developed in  the  late 
1980s  to assist with the interpretation of such prose  comments. 
These  packages were particularly useful in  highlighting  themes 
which occurred over a number of years in individuals'  evaluation 
reports,   or  in  groups  of  evaluation  reports  in  Sections, 
Branches, Divisions, Departments, or the APS as a whole. 

Computer  packages  are available to produce  summary  evaluative 
reports on both staff and learners.  As learners are increasingly 
involved   in  real-life  problem  solving,   and  staff  have  a 
responsibility to learn, the packages are very closely related.

Initially, learning facilitators (especially teachers) and unions 
were  concerned  about  the  use  of  such  approaches.  However, 
safeguards were developed which ensured that the systems are used 
to  assist  with the development of individuals,  not purely  for 
negative  evaluative and supervisory purposes.  Learners are  now 
assisted in the most appropriate fashion possible. 

With  regard to staff evaluation,  the emphasis is very  much  on 
evaluations  being used to assist with the individual  concerned; 
both  with encouragement when he or she is doing well,  and  with 
remedial  suggestions where there are problems.  This means  that 
officers  with  difficulties (for example,  in coming to work  on 
time,  or logging-on on time) are identified within a short  time 
of  the  problem arising and remedial action is  generally  taken 
quickly  to ensure that the officer concerned is given assistance 
to overcome the problem.

The  emphasis at the macro-level in these approaches is to ensure 
that  broad  policy  is being adhered  to,  whilst  allowing  for 
appropriate flexibility for individuals in the implementation  of 
that  policy.  Exception reports are produced listing only  those 
people  for  whom action needs to be taken.  The computer  system 
also  gives advice on the most appropriate action in such  cases. 
For example, it might indicate that one student comes from a very 
poor  home  where there is no transport to  school,  and  suggest 
that  remedies be investigated when it is found that a student is 
consistently  coming  to  school late.  In the case  of  a  staff 
member,  it might indicate that an officers' spouse was dismissed 
the week before and so the officer would be given a warning to be 
on time in future,  but not too much pressure would be placed  on 
him or her at this time.

Specific  controls  have  been built in to ensure  that  personal 
contact and interpersonal interaction are maintained.  Also,  the 
use  of telephones which allow for a stationary visual  component 
has  greatly improved the "personal" touch in distance and  other 
non-direct  interactions  (which is particularly  important  when 
evaluative activities are being undertaken).


In the late 1980s the government used as one justification of the 
need  for  close monitoring of citizens via computer systems  the 
fact  that  a  number of schools and  government  Departments  no 
longer  had  buildings,  and that in such a  context  traditional 
less-structured   approaches   to   monitoring   would   not   be 

A  number  of correspondence schools sold their buildings in  the 
late-1980s and allowed staff to work from home 100% of the time - 
as  do their students.  Some new schools were  developed  without 
buildings  - particularly  where  there was a limited  number  of 
potential  students,  or  where the students were  widely  spread 
geographically.  Some schools which initially planned to maintain 
their  buildings found this was almost impossible to  justify  as 
the  number  of  students  decreased.  Also,  some  teachers  who 
initially  found  the  idea  of working  from  home  unattractive 
(because of a concern that career prospects might be limited,  or 
that  professional  interaction would be cut off)  soon  came  to 
appreciate  the advantages of this approach and more and more are 
now applying for "home" rather than "school" placings. 

The  first  Government Departments with no buildings  were  small 
ones.  A number of these Departments were in areas which involved 
the  analysis  of  future  trends and had  a  heavy  reliance  on 
information  in  data  bases and could operate  without  a  heavy 
emphasis on face-to-face supervision and communication. 

As  the  cost of space became more expensive,  and  the  cost  of 
communications technologies continued to decrease, the Department 
of  Administrative Services developed a set of guidelines in  the 
mid-1980s  outlining  the  types  of  positions  which  could  be 
operated from home.  To the surprise of many senior officials, it 
was found that almost half of the policy positions in the APS had 
a  50% or greater component which could be done from  home.  This 
meant that some officers were working from home up to 4 days  per 
week.  This  dramatically reduced the rent and overheads bill for 
the  APS  in  Canberra.  The effect in Regions was  not  felt  as 
greatly,  as  much  more  of the staff were  involved  in  direct 
interaction with the public. However, by the early 1990s more and 
more  of the public were using their terminals  for  interaction, 
and  greater  numbers of Regional Office staff were able to  work 
from home.


A problem which was not generally recognised until the mid  1980s 
was,   that   in   using  terminals   regularly,   students   and 
professionals   could   over   time   develop   extremely   close 
relationships  with  the systems they interacted with,  and  lead 
unbalanced (as traditionally interpreted) lives as a result. 

There  has  been  a  significant  decrease  in  the  quality  and 
regularity of much inter-personal interaction.  Some students are 
described  as being anti-social,  having lost,  or never learned, 
good   inter-personal  skills.   This  is  a   serious   negative 
consequence   of  increased  terminal  usage  which  is   causing 
educators  and politicians much concern.  In some areas,  special 
classes  in  social  interaction are conducted in  an  effort  to 
counteract this problem.

A  number  of  students and professionals have  become  "terminal 
addicts".  The  highly  motivational aspects  of  using  computer 
terminals  for work and study had not been fully recognised until 
the early 1980s. Computer systems provide immediate feedback, and 
do  not  have personality faults.  They respond  to  instructions 
immediately, assist with the clarification of needs, and have the 
potential  for repeated testing without criticism  - explicit  or 
implied  (as compared with teachers,  friends,  supervisors,  and 
companions). They can also tailor the interaction to the needs of 
the interactor. A significant number of students are now starting 
Ph.  D.  studies  before  18  years of age as a result  of  these 
factors (in particular because students can proceed at their  own 
pace using such systems). 

In  the  work  situation  such features have  resulted  in  clear 
performance   differentials  between  officers,   which  can   be 
monitored  by  the system.  This has resulted in  less  need  for 
"broadband"  type supervisors,  and more need for supervisors who 
can  assist  with the follow-up of  specific  difficulties  which 
individuals might face.  One reason for the massive difference in 
the  performance  of  officers  is that there  is  now  virtually 
limitless  clerical  assistance-type  support  (for  example,  in 
accessing,  filing,  checking spelling,  copying,  indexing,  and 
mailing  documents).  The trend towards the employment  of  fewer 
clerical  assistants in the early 1980s by the APS was seen to be 
an  appropriate  step by the end of the 1980s and  virtually  all 
clerical  assistant-type  tasks  are now  being  carried  out  by 
computer  systems.  The places originally filled by these persons 
are  now  filled by  programmers,  systems  analysts,  and  other 
computer-related professionals,  so that employment opportunities 
have not been lost but have been redefined.  This has not reduced 
the career prospects of clerical assistants on the payroll.  They 
have  been able to rise through the ranks purely on ability (with 
a  five year experience bar) since the early 1980s,  and when  it 
was  perceived  that there would be less need for their  type  of 
skills, the PSB made a special effort to involve such officers in 

Performance differentials have resulted in some officers entering 
the upper executive echelons of the APS (specifically the  Senior 
Executive Service - containing less than 1% of the administrators 
in the APS) in their early twenties. Initially this was seen as a 
good thing, as it highlighted that age discrimination (even if it 
had  existed in the Service) was no longer a problem;  but by the 
early  1990s  it  was increasingly  seen  that  technology  could 
provide  more support than most people could cope with (that  is, 
it  was  seen that more and more individuals [both  students  and 
professionals]  were  suffering  from "burn-out" as a  result  of 
overstimulation from their environment).

From the late 1980s,  to avoid addiction to  terminals,  students 
and office workers were being encouraged to participate in sport, 
arts and crafts,  drama,  and various other forms of physical and 
social  activity.  All new office buildings have provided  sports 
facilities and showers,  reading rooms,  and other facilities for 
physical and intellectual leisure.  As many students and  workers 
are  located in their homes,  this is not always of great help in 
getting them away from their terminals.  In an effort to overcome 
this, research is being undertaken into new types of sports which 
incorporate   the   feedback  and  self-correcting   aspects   of 
terminals.   Also,   computer   systems  themselves   are   being 
increasingly  designed  to  avoid  "burnout"  in  operators,   by 
"keeping  tabs"  on  their use of the systems and  notifying  the 
operator  and supervisors of unhealthy trends.  Some models  have 
built-in warning lights and buzzers to indicate to the user  that 
a rest-time is overdue.


Students,  public servants, and other adults and young people who 
have the ability,  are increasingly working on international task 
forces established by such bodies as the United Nations. A strong 
push for increased youth involvement in U.N. task forces resulted 
from  pressure  placed  on the U.N.  by young people  during  the 
International Year of Youth in 1985. 

A   number  of  private  groups  have  also   facilitated   youth 
involvement. The Club of Rome in their book published in the late 
1970s  "No Limits to Learning" was particularly supportive of the 
twin  thrusts  of youth "participation" in society and  of  young 
people  being trained to "anticipate"  (possible,  probable,  and 
preferable futures).  It argued that young people should not only 
be allowed to participate in societal activities,  but should  be 
trained in how to anticipate, so that this participation could be 
real  and not tokenistic.  Since the mid-1980s there has been  an 
increased  use  of computers to allow both for participation  and 
training (and facilitating) in the use of futures techniques.

Telecommunications technology has made significant  participation 
by  previously non-involved persons possible at the international 
level.  This  is  particulary  the case at the  early  stages  of 
discussion when innovative ideas are being sought.


All  social  institutions  are seen as multipurpose  rather  than 
single purpose. Increasingly, professionals and trades people are 
participating  in community education  activities.  Education  is 
seen  as a lifelong process,  in which all professions and trades 
have a function.  Also, there is growing recognition that clients 
need to be educated to use the powers which they are increasingly 
being  given by the government in the areas of  health,  housing, 
the  law,  and  education.  The  emphasis  is  on  assisting  the 
community to create its own future,  rather than having a  future 
thrust   upon  it  by  forces  over  which  individuals  have  no 

The increased potential influence which individuals can  exercise 
over   their  own  futures  has  partly  resulted  from   smaller 
institutions.   In  a  sense,  schools  have  become  one-student 
institutions:  the  student has significant control over what  is 
learnt,  when it is learnt, the way it is learnt, and the pace at 
which it is learnt.  The same is true for public servants.  Those 
in  policy  positions  now have the equivalent of  a  statistical 
section,  library,  large  numbers  of  clerical  assistants,  an 
editorial  team  (both  for graphics and  written  work),  and  a 
personal  assistant at their service.  This means that  virtually 
any  officer can have great administrative support at a very  low 

The  supportive nature of this environment for both learners  and 
workers  came as a shock to many;  it was thrust onto  a  society 
which  was little prepared for it.  Most of these changes occured 
in  the decade 1985 - 1995.  It has been a period of  exponential 
growth.  Governments  have been hard-pressed to keep  control  of 


The powerful technologies available have tended to break down the 
hierarchical  approaches  to education and  public  administrtion 
which  have existed for so long.  Information is a form of power. 
Access  to  information is thus related  to  power.  With  manual 
systems it was much easier to restrict access than it now is with 
automated systems.  As all data analysis is done within computers 
using standard packages,  it is difficult to argue that requested 
information  is  difficult to produce.  Also,  in the late  1980s 
there  was  an  acute  awareness amongst  the  public  about  any 
information to which they were not allowed access. A law has been 
passed  requiring  that  a  red light flash  on  an  individual's 
terminal  when  he or she attempts to access information  with  a 
higher security classification than he or she possesses.  If  the 
person  feels  that  the restriction of access  is  unreasonable, 
there are established procedures for appeal.  The ease with which 
participants in the educational and government process can obtain 
information  has broken down hierarchical  structures.  More  and 
more  a  person's  power  is related to his  or  her  ability  to 
contribute to the goals of the organisation rather than merely to 
his or her formal position within that organisation. 


Related  to  the reduced emphasis on hierarchical structures  has 
been   the   all-pervasive  nature  of   matrix   approaches   to 
organisation  in  education  and general  public  administration. 
These  incorporate  the  advantages  of  project  and  functional 
approaches  to organisation,  with an emphasis on,  respectively, 
the  achievement  of specific  measureable  results  facilitating 
accountablity,  and  on the maintenance of functional  expertise. 
"The result is that vast numbers of people report to one boss for 
purely  administrative  purposes and another (or a succession  of 
others)  for  practical  get-the-work-done  purposes."  (Toffler, 
1981, p. 270).

It   has   been  found  that  "...computerized  conferencing   is 
particularly   good  for  interdisciplinary  communications   and 
multidisciplinary projects." (Hiltz and Turoff, 1978, p. 249).

In  education,  teachers  are allocated to functional areas  (for 
example,   curriculum  development,   instructional   technology, 
community  development,  professional development,  or a  subject 
area). Each functional area has a head who is responsible for the 
development  of  expertise amongst his or her  staff.  Staff  are 
allocated  to  projects as required.  Projects are  organised  on 
topics as diverse as "The impact on education of the average life 
span  increasing  to  100  years" and  "The  use  of  holographic 
technologies  in graphic communications".  Staff work on  project 
teams  for as long as necessary.  Each project has a head who  is 
responsible  for ensuring that deadlines are met.  There is  less 
emphasis on the traditional teaching function in specific subject 
area  skills (at least in the cognitive domain,  as compared with 
the psychomotor and affective domains); much of this is done more 
efficiently and effectively by computer.

In  public  administration  there has  been  increasing  emphasis  
since  the  mid  1970s  on the need for specific  results  to  be 
achieved.  There  was  also a feeling that there was a  need  for 
public  administrators to be more willing to shift between  areas 
within  the APS.  By the mid 1980s increasing emphasis was  being 
placed  on  the use of matrix approaches in  the  APS,  although, 
initially, it was found that the complexity associated with large 
scale adoption of matrix approaches in large systems resulted  in 
much confusion.  However,  the approach was found to work well in 
clearly  defined sub-sections of organisations - for example,  in 
the  development  of  computer  systems  within  large  statutory 

By 1990 these difficulties had been overcome with the  assistance 
of  data  processing  and  telecommunications  technologies.  For 
example, all projects are now co-ordinated with the assistance of 
computerised  PERT  (Program  Evaluation  and  Review  Technique) 
packages.  Information  on  such things as staff preferences  for 
different types of projects, staff qualifications and experience, 
staff development needs,  and project progress, is all integrated 
into the system.

"Ongoing  transcripts  of all conferences among  middle  managers 
permit monitoring and/or intervention if an unwise decision seems 
imminent." (Hiltz and Turoff, 1978, p. 144).


There has been great emphasis on integrating matrix approaches to 
organisation into a corporate planning perspective. 

In  the  early  1980s the Department of  Administrative  Services 
developed  guidelines for the development of ADP  stategic  plans 
for   Commonwealth  Public  Service  Departments.   These   plans 
incorporated a five-year time horizon.

By  the  mid 1980s it was increasingly realised that  Departments 
needed  corporate plans with broad  goals,  specific  measureable 
objectives  (to facilitate accountablity),  and clear  strategies 
designed to achieve the objectives outlined. Strategic plans were 
then  integrated  into  this plan for each functional  area  (for 
example,  data processing,  personnel,  and finance). In 1985 the 
Public  Service  Board issued guidelines on  the  development  of 
corporate  plans for Departments and also ran training courses in 
this area for middle and top management.  It was also decided  to 
hold regular six-monthly meetings between all Permanent Heads and 
Ministers to assist with broadening the vision of Permanent Heads 
on  government  goals (and the perspectives of Ministers  on  the 
administrative implications of their ideas, the implementation of 
which would relate to more than one Department).

As  it was increasingly seen that there was a need  to  integrate 
education with other areas at the State level, it was appreciated 
that  there was an increased need for State Education Departments 
to also develop corporate plans. A particular emphasis in most of 
these  was on efficient interfacing between Education  and  other 
relevant Departments. Education Departments were increasing their 
roles in such areas as adult training (with a particular emphasis 
on retraining, in comparison with initial training), training for 
participation in societal decision making, and the implementation 
of  a lifelong education philosophy.  The complexity of this  (in 
particular in relation to the need to use resources from a number 
of  Departments  on many of the less  traditional  projects)  was 
controlled  by using matrix approaches and by having clear  goals 
and objectives to work towards.


Rational  techniques (such as strategic planning approaches)  are 
used   to   the  maximum  for  efficient  and  effective   policy 
development.  However,  it  is  also recognised that  "All  these 
rational  techniques are auxiliary to creativity,  which  is  the 
central way to invent new and better alternatives." (Dror,  1968, 
p.  179). Futures studies techniques such as scenario development 
techniques,  delphi,  CIMAT  (Cross  Impact Matrix  Analsysis  on 
Transparencies),  games,  role  plays,  and BOM (Brainstorming on 
Microfiche)  are used to facilitate the development  of  creative 
alternatives.  It  is also increasingly recognised that  face-to-
face  meetings  are not necessary for the generation of  creative 
approaches, and may actually inhibit their development.


As well as an increased emphasis on the use of futures techniques 
in the development of programs,  there is an expanded emphasis on 
the need for structured evaluation of the results of programs.

Face-to-face  communication  is  used less than in  the  past  in 
evaluation  exercises  because it is much easier to  make  candid 
comments  via a computer terminal.  Candid comments are essential 
if   educational   and   more   general   public   administrative 
organisational  improvement consultancy is to  work  effectively. 
"Experience  confirms the point that the advisory relationship is 
most  effective  when  decision  makers  are  willing  to   allow 
themselves  and  their  operation to be fully  examined,  and  to 
receive, as well as make, candid disclosure." (Lasswell, 1971, p. 
79).  This  is  facilitated at the beginning of  the  consultancy 
process  by  allowing  the  participants  (both  consultants  and 
management) to make comments anonymously into terminals.

The openness of computer conferencing has also been found to have 
indirect advantages in the area of evaluation.  "One of the  many 
advantages  of  an  open society is that  evaluations  of  social 
progress come from a variety of sources." (Jones,  1977,  p. 19). 
Evaluations too often tended to be closed-shop affairs,  and were 
often of a self-justifying nature.  With computer conferencing it 
has been easier to allow for wide participation in the evaluation 
of  educational and public administrative systems.  For  example, 
one  school  council used conferencing to allow parents to  input 
ideas and criticisms at the early stage anonymously. It was found 
that  this increased dramatically the input at  this  stage.  One 
Commonwealth  Department with a large number of service locations 
allowed clients to input comments when they came for service  via 
the operator. The comments were analysed by a computer package. 


This  section  of the thesis is based on an interview  which  the 
author held with Dr Mick March,  Principal,  Narrabundah College, 
Canberra  on  10 September 1983.  Section 6-1 deals with the  key 
themes, and how they apply to the College at present. Section 6-2 
deals  with  the  broad question of  how  relevant  the  scenario 
outlined in this thesis is likely to be to Narrabundah College in 

A  non-structured interview approach was used in which  Dr  March 
was  encouraged  to comment on his own experience in relation  to 
the key themes and the scenario.  The emphasis was on gaining  an 
appreciation  of one Principal's views on how the key themes  are 
being implemented in one school system, and also his views on the 
potential for the scenario to be realised by 1995. In relation to 
the  scenario the emphasis was on gaining one senior  educational 
administrator's  perceptions  of "probable" futures (as  compared 
with possible [as in the scenario] or preferable futures).

The  interview  with Dr March lasted for  over  two  hours.  This 
section  of  the  thesis does not consider  Dr  March's  comments 
exhaustively  - instead the author has focused on a number of key 
areas considered in the discussion.

Dr  March  has been principal at Narrabundah  College  since  the 
early  1970s.  He  has had previous experience as a  High  School 
Principal  in N.S.W.  Narrabundah College is a Government  senior 
college in the A.C.T. schools' system (students being in Years 11 
and 12).

My  own  comments on Dr March's views are included at the end  of 
each sub-section.

I  have  also  included  a section  giving  an  overview  of  the 
usefulness  and implications of this interview (section 6-3)  and 
have included a number of proposals,  flowing from the interview, 
in the recommendations section. 

     6-1. THE KEY THEMES

          6-1-1. Co-ordination.

Interviewer's comments:    

Dr  March  indicated that being strongly technology-oriented  can 
tend to result in one losing sight of human-relations aspects  of 
administration.   There   is  a  possibility  of  depersonalising 
information-processing  once one gets into the  machine  age.  He 
indicated that if properly used,  however, technological aids are 
very useful. 

He  felt  that  one of the basic problems  with  data  processing 
technologies  is  the  requirement that data input  be  extremely 
accurate.  Many  teachers  feel frightened and "put off"  by  the 
precision required. One frequent criticism is that it will be the 
computer,  and not educational requirements, which will determine 
how the school will be administered. There is a continual need to 
personalise the information processing.  It is important that the 
people who put the information into the system get it back;  that 
is,  that they have a sense of "ownership".   A key aspect in the 
ownership process is to train users. 

Dr  March  also indicated that sometimes it is better to adopt  a 
less efficient model than a totally efficient model, if staff are 
willing to support the less efficient model and make it work. 

Researcher's reflection:

I agree that efficiency is not the only objective which needs  to 
be aimed for in developing data-processing systems to assist with 
the  co-ordination of educational processes.  There is a need for 
participants to feel some "ownership" of the system (in terms  of 
both its development and refinement). Human relations aspects are 
also  central  if co-ordination is to be carried out  effectively 
(for  example,  teachers need to be "sold" on the need for  input 
data to be extremely accurate if the output is to be useful).

          6-1-2. Devolution.

Interviewer's comments:

The  A.C.T.  government school system is a highly  devolved  one. 
Devolution to schools is counterbalanced by the fact that it is a 
very  small  system  and  a  very  visible  operation.   Although 
responsiblity  for  decision-making  rests in  the  schools,  the 
results of that decision-making are very visible. 

In  the A.C.T.  the Principal is working with a  highly  educated 
community.  Dr March felt that this internal co-ordinating factor 
makes  for an excellent environment for devolution.  He indicated 
that,  for  the individual teacher in the A.C.T.,  there is  much 
more involvement in decision-making than in N.S.W.  In the A.C.T. 
the  structures  are more fluid,  and project teams can  be  more 
easily formed.

A difficulty with devolution is that governments are  responsible 
for decisions taken by public bodies.  It is virtually impossible 
for  the Minister of Education to detach herself ultimately  from 
decisions taken in individual schools.  Thus, there is a limit to 
the extent to which devolution can take place. 

Dr  March indicated that devolution tends to be a  representative 
rather  than a full participatory process.  This can create a new 
elite  within the structure.  Representatives tend to  be  better 
educated  people,  who are already involved in the system at some 
level.  "John  Citizen"  will not necessarily  either  stand  for 
election  or  get elected.  However,  to make participation  less 
elite  would  involve  the  administrator  attending  even   more 
meetings than at present. 

Another difficulty is that the more people become involved in the 
decision-making  process,  the less weight the views of  any  one 
participant   on   average  will  have.   The  more   educational 
administrators try to involve people,  the less power any  single 
individual  has.  This results in a feeling of powerlessness  for 
people who are participating.  There is,  however, a non-zero sum 
of power. One can share power, build it up, and form coalitions. 

Dr  March  indicated that most people experience frustrations  at 
times because of the slowness of the A.C.T. educational decision-
making structure.  For example, even the A.C.T. Schools Authority 
cannot make decisions which will "stick". They attempted to close 
Watson  High  School  and  failed  - as  a  result  of  community 
pressure.  The  school is now temporarily closed because  of  the 
"asbestos scare" - again because of union and community pressure.

Researcher's reflection:

It  is  clear from Dr March's comments that there is a degree  of 
conflict between devolution and Ministerial accountability (as  I 
have  considered  in Section 1-2 of this  thesis).  Also,  it  is 
interesting  to consider how the educational level of communities 
could  affect  devolution.  If devolution is to  be  carried  out 
effectively,  it  is  essential that both well-educated and  less 
well-educated parents be able to participate.  The key difference 
between  these  groups of parents would be that one  group  would 
need  little facilitation to participate in a devolved  structure 
and  the other would need facilitation.  Clearly there is a  need 
for  an advocacy role in relation to participation by the  poorly 
educated.  It is also important to consider ways of  facilitating 
new approaches to participatory-based  involvement (compared with 
representative involvement). For example, it might be appropriate 
to  consider  such approaches as "Search" conferences  which  can 
involve  large  numbers  of people  considering  policy  options. 
"Search"  approaches can be compared with traditional  approaches 
to  considering  technological change,  which only involve  elite 

          6-1-3. Participation.

Interviewer's comments:

Parents,  teachers,  students, and other citizens can participate 
in School Boards (school governing bodies) in the A.C.T. 

Dr  March  indicated  that the majority of  non-teacher  or  non-
student  members  of School Boards tend to be either  parents  of 
students, or ex-students. It is rare for a Board to ever have its 
full  quota of community representatives nominate for  positions. 
For  example,  at Narrabundah College elections for School Boards 
are held only occasionally.

Dr  March indicated that teachers can participate through  school 
boards,  faculty meetings, executive planning meetings and so on. 
The  extent  to which this results in real  participation  varies 
from  school  to  school.  To some people a staff  meeting  is  a 
meeting  where the Principal tells the staff what they  will  do. 
Other  schools have staff meetings which allow all staff  members 
to contribute.

Participation  by teachers also occurs in the promotion  process. 
Dr  March  felt  that  this is important if teachers  are  to  be 
"professionals" in the true sense of the word.  The ideal of peer 
involvement  in  the  measurement of  professionalism  is  a  key 
feature of this concept.  However,  there are difficulties. It is 
hard  for  a  teacher's peers to tell him or her that he  or  she 
should  not  be  considered eligible for  promotion  (even  after 
perhaps twenty years of teaching).

Dr  March  indicated  that most secondary  schools  have  student 
councils.  However,  Narrabundah College has experienced  various 
lengthy periods when, because of a lack of student support, there 
was  no  student  council.   A  council  has  recently  been  re-

Generally,  popular  students  are elected to the  School  Board. 
There  is  a  danger that the students on the School  Board  will 
eventually  come to be seen as part of the  establishment.  There 
needs  to  be a mechanism for student representatives  on  School 
Boards  to  report back to fellow  students.  Without  a  student 
council this is difficult; however, newsletters can assist.

Researcher's reflections:

These  comments show that a key feature of professionalism is the 
determination  of  standards  by  the  professionals  themselves. 
Certainly  in  relation to teacher promotions it  is  clear  that 
there  is  a  heavy  emphasis on professionalism  in  the  A.C.T. 
However,  it  could be argued that the extensive  involvement  of 
other  groups  (such as parents,  students,  and other  community 
groups)  in educational decision-making limits  the  professional 
autonomy  of teachers.  This is an increasingly common feature of 
all  professions (for example,  there is increasing  emphasis  on 
disadvantaged  groups having more control over medical processes, 
and government control over accounting standards).

It  is also clear from Dr March's comments that it is  much  more 
difficult   to  establish  a  participatory,   compared  with   a 
representative,  model  for  community  participation  in  school 

          6-1-4. Decentralisation.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March stated that there has always been a limit  to  freedom, 
and that there always will be.

In  relation  to the A.C.T.  schools system this means that  only 
well  thought-out  decisions can "survive".  There  are  so  many 
checks  and balances that a radical decision will need to be very 
good to be accepted. Regrettably, some quite good decisions never 
get  off  the  ground  because of  the  excessive  difficulty  in 

Dr  March  felt  that  there is a general  conservatism  of  both 
parents and students in a time of economic recession.  This makes 
change  more  difficult,  even though it is  possible  under  the 
formal  rules.  Students are particularly conservative;  they are 
less  adventurous  than  they were  in  the  middle  1970s.  Some 
students  seem  to see education as a race to  gain  marks.  They 
worry  about  employment and the competitive nature of  entry  to 
tertiary  studies.  In  1975,  when Narrabundah College  surveyed 
students  about the subjects they wanted to study,  there  was  a 
great  diversity  of subjects requested (in such things  as  life 
skills),  but few students ever actually took these subjects when 
they were eventually offered as part of the curriculum.

Conservatism  in  curriculum  choice also results  from  external 
pressures. Dr March indicted that the subjects which are accepted 
as  part  of  a tertiary package are  becoming  more  rigourously 
scrutinised.  The Australian National University is exerting more 
pressure on the content of subjects for tertiary entrance and has 
complete  freedom  in  either  accepting  or  rejecting   College 

In 1982 the Economics faculty at A.N.U. had a very poor pass rate 
in  first year courses.  They responded by blaming the  Colleges, 
and  by  laying  down strict criteria on the content  of  College 
Economics  courses (if they are to count  for  A.N.U.  admissions 
purposes),  even  though  there is no close relationship  between 
studying Economics at College and at University.

Researcher's reflections:

It  is clear from Dr March's comments that there are a number  of 
limits to the impact of a decentralised structure on a particular 
College.  These  factors  include the review  procedures  through 
which  all  decisions need to pass,  the conservative  nature  of 
students   and  parents  (particularly  in  times   of   economic 
constraint),    and    external   factors   (such   as   tertiary 
institutions).  It  could also be argued that a  structure  which 
only  allows for "good" (that is universally accepted)  decisions 
to  survive  will  tend to be one which is not  able  to  respond 
quickly   to  social  changes,   or  to  give  encouragement   to 

          6-1-5. Consultation.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March indicated that if a Principal is to involve himself  in 
radical  change,  he  will  generally have meetings  with  staff, 
parents,   and  students.   At  present  Narrabundah  College  is 
examining its aims and objectives.  It has brought in consultants 
to structure such meetings. The consultation process in this case 
has not extended to the whole community.

Narrabundah  College  recently organised a day  for  students  to 
consider  the aims and objectives of the school.  Attendance  was 
not compulsory, and only twenty students attended. 

Researcher's reflections:

It  is  clear  that consultation is particularly important  if  a 
Principal  wishes to introduce changes.  However,  the  offer  of 
consultation    will   not   always   result   in   participation 
(particularly  when more attractive alternative uses of time  are 
available).  This  is highlighted by the lack of student interest 
until  recently  in  having a Student  Council  (as  outlined  in 
Section 6-1-3).

Technology   and   computer-based   procedures   may   facilitate 
consultation  and  participation,  in  that they  can  allow  for 
student input at times convenient to them,  and in ways which are 
non-threatening.  Interpersonal  interaction must be retained  as 
being  of primary importance;  the technology should be seen as a 
supplement  to  other  approaches  to  consultation,   not  as  a 
replacement for them.

          6-1-6. Networks.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March  outlined various types of education  networks  in  the 
A.C.T. which influence Narrabundah College.

There  is  a  local education network.  This  involves  the  High 
Schools and Primary Schools in a College's immediate region.  The 
problem  is  that the student population of most  Colleges  comes 
from  across  the  A.C.T.  (and also from other States  and  even 

Regional meetings of School Boards are held occasionally so  that 
if  a primary school is planning a new curriculum innovation (for 
example, the introduction of a new language course) it can liaise 
with other schools (for example,  secondary schools) which  might 
be  interested  in  developing a  co-ordinated  approach  between 
different levels of education in the region.

The  College  is involved in a network of  international  schools 
through the International Baccalaureat Program (this is a year 12 
program  acceptable for tertiary entrance purposes in a number of 
countries).  The College also has close link with Senior Colleges 
in Tasmania.

Principals nationally have close linkages;  for example,  a  High 
School Principals' conference was held recently in Canberra,  and 
the  National Conference of Principals of Independent Schools was 
held in Brisbane early in 1983.

Teachers   tend   to  network  through   professional   Teachers' 
Assocations  (for  example,  in Mathematics) which are  organised 
locally, and are part of national bodies.

Many educational administrators in the A.C.T. are involved in the 
Australian   Council  of   Educational   Administrators.   Senior 
educational  professionals  often are members of  the  Australian 
College of Education.

At the Year 12 level the A.C.T.  Schools Authority is linked with 
a  number  of  examining bodies.  The  Australian  Conference  of 
Examining Bodies meets two times a year. Representatives from the 
agencies  are involved in the meetings,  and there is generally a 
teacher  representative  from  each  agency  (usually  a  College 
Principal in the case of the A.C.T.). 

Dr March felt that there is not as much networking as there ought 
to  be.  For example,  it is rare for all the  staff  development 
funds  to  ever  be  completely  expended  in  the  A.C.T.  Also, 
sometimes  it  is  very  difficult to get  staff  to  investigate 
educational projects elsewhere in Australia.

Researcher's reflections:

It  is  clear from the above comments that  there  are  extensive 
networks of all aspects of education in the A.C.T. These networks 
are  organised along both functional (for example,  subject area) 
and project (for example, the International Baccalaureat Program) 
lines.  However,  it  could  also be argued that  information  on 
networking opportunities is not as widely available as it  should 
be,  given  the  fact  that  all the money  available  for  staff 
development purposes is rarely expended.

Further,  the increasing costs associated with actual  attendance 
at  National  conferences,  or with national data collection  for 
research,  are becoming prohibitive for many potential  delegates 
and  researchers.   It  is  clear  that  the  new  computer-based 
technologies  will have the potential to permit greater  national 
involvement  without  actual  attendance,   and  in  these  ways, 
educators of all types should be significantly assisted with this 
type of networking.

     6-2. SCENARIO

This section of the discussion focused on Narrabundah College and 
the  relevance  of certain aspects of the  scenario  to  possible 
futures for Narrabundah College up to 1995.

          6-2-1. Computer packages.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March argued that many people deplore the fact  that,  partly 
because of the influence of the modern calculator,  some students 
cannot  perform routine mathematical processes such as the  long-
division  algorithm.  He  indicated  that the  advantage  of  the 
calculator,  if  properly  used,  is that examples  of  real-life 
mathematics can be looked at without the arithmetic obscuring the 
logic  of the problems.  Once one gets to the stage of being able 
to program as well, the ability to explore ideas, structures, and 
logic by numerical analysis is extended tremendously. This can be 
done without being detrimental (according to many people) to  the 
individual's ability to calculate.  However, some balance must be 
drawn between understanding concepts and technical skills. 

Mathematicians have been the first to use computers.  This is not 
surprising,  taking  into account the logical processes involved. 
However,  computers  are now spreading into other subject  areas. 
For example, at Narrabundah College a computer has been installed 
to  teach students word processing techniques.  It  is  essential 
that  typists  learn these techniques,  for it will not  be  long 
before  all businesses have simple word processors.  The  science 
department  at  the College has requested that mini computers  be 
made available for use in physics courses.  The design technology 
teachers are investigating computer graphics package usage. These 
can be used in the technical drawing component of  courses.  They 
can  assist  with  giving  students a  clearer  understanding  of 
perspective, and general design principals. A synthesiser is used 
in the music department - this is based on microchip technology.

In the College students are free to choose the subjects they wish 
to study. Thus, there is no way that typing can be made part of a 
"core  curriculum".  There  are no compulsory  subjects  at  all. 
Nevertheless,  Dr  March indicated that in future there will need 
to  be an increased emphasis on keyboard  skills.  Students  will 
also tend to learn to type at home using home computers. 

He  feels  that  packages will be used extensively  by  1990  and 
almost universally in Australian education by 1995.

Packages   will  also  be  used  in  educational  administration. 
Narrabundah  College  has been using computer systems  since  the 
early 1970s.  Many reports are generated.  However,  this is  not 
necessarily  a  good thing,  because the reports produced do  not 
necessarily  focus  on  the information need of  the  educational 
administrator.  The  current  administration computer  system  at 
Narrabundah  College  is batch-based rather  than  real-time  via 
terminals. In such an environment it is possible to print-out the 
academic  status  of every student but not to have a terminal  in 
the  principal's  office which he could use  to  gain  customised 
reports quickly. 

Dr  March  believed that by 1995 senior teachers and  educational 
administrators  would have terminals on their  desks,  and  would 
obtain reports via "user-friendly" query languages.

Researcher's reflections:

I   agree   that  real-time  systems  will   enable   educational 
administrators  to access information in a more focused  fashion. 
However,   such   systems  will  only  be  used  efficiently   if 
administrators  are  trained  to  use the  systems  to  gain  the 
information they require.  With interactive query-based languages 
becoming  generally  available  (designed  to  allow  information 
systems   users  to  request  customised  reports  using  English 
language-like  commands),  this training should emphasise  report 
design  rather than computer programming.  As is clear  from  the 
scenario  in this thesis,  I also agree with Dr March's vision of 
the  extensive use of computer packages in all subject areas  and 
their expanded use in the home.  For example, extremely effective 
economical  interactive packages are already available  to  teach 
skills such as typing.

          6-2-2. The role of school and public libraries.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March  argued  that  broadening the  role  of  libraries  and 
allowing students to learn from home would produce individualised 
learning and a lack of control and standardisation.  He felt that 
this would worry many educators. From a cynical point of view, it 
could  be argued that many educators and community members  would 
not  care  what people know,  as long as everyone knew  the  same 
thing. It is the fact that different people know different things 
that causes concern.

He  felt that the use of mastery learning packages is not related 
to  the way people learn.  They tend to create boredom and  force 
people  to go through learning steps unnecessarily.  They do  not 
take  account of the enormous capacity of the  human  mind.  This 
learning  facility  needs  to be built into  packages.  Dr  March 
doubted that the problems with mastery learning packages will  be 
solved by 1995. The combined effect of many people "out to make a 
quick  quid"  and many teachers being lazy in their teaching  and 
software-selection process means that much software will be of  a 
very  poor  quality.  Schools will need to have a  rigourous  ADP 
strategic plan,  and all proposed software purchases will need to 
be thoroughly tested.

Dr  March  felt  that  the  actual role  of  the  teacher  as  an 
intervener  in the learning process would have to be developed if 
students were to learn from home.  Teachers would need to have  a 
considerable  amount  of  training to play  this  new  role,  and 
teachers  at present have not always had the necessary  training. 
However, once this sort of learning becomes more common, teachers 
will want to learn about it.  Conservative forces will need to be 
overcome.  People  will  need to be conditioned to think of  this 
learning as acceptable.

One approach to this would be to have pilot programs. The "School 
without Walls" (an innovative Government school in Canberra which 
emphasises the use of community resources) could be such a pilot. 
This  school  was  designed  to  use  community  resources,  with 
students spending much of their time outside the school  building 
learning  in  the  community  (using such  organisations  as  the 
National  Library as learning resources).  In the pilot  program, 
students  would  learn  on  their own at home  with  the  aid  of 
computer  terminals  much of the time,  and the school would  act 
purely as a co-ordinating body. 

As  regards  a  more conventional  community  education  approach 
mentioned in the scenario,  Dr March indicated that most  schools 
in  the  A.C.T.   do  not  have  community  libraries  (libraries 
available outside school hours).  He felt that it could be a very 
effective use of a school resource,  and would be a positive goal 
to work towards.

Researcher's reflections:

As regards the last point mentioned above,  I feel that the  cost 
of  allowing  for the duplication of such resources as  libraries 
will  ensure that school and community libraries are combined  or 
closely coordinated, and accessible to all.

Dr  March's  comments on mastery learning software are  based  on 
approaches  to  computer  assisted instruction which are  out  of 
date,   but  which  are  regrettably  still  reflected  in   some 
commercially  available software.  Good mastery learning software 
now  has  a  testing component which allows  students  to  "jump" 
modules of a learning program which they already understand to  a 
predefined level of competence. The software can also be designed 
to allow for customisation to the learning style which best suits 
the  individual  learner (for example,  strongly  graphically  or 
prose-oriented,  depending  on the student's success in  learning 
earlier  material based on alternative presentation  approaches). 
As with all types of packages,  it is essential that the software 
be  tested before purchase,  and fit in with an overall ADP  plan 
for  the school.  However,  this does not mean that  computerised 
mastery  learning  approaches  as such are  inappropriate  as  Dr 
March's comments would seem to suggest.

Both pre-service and in-service training of teachers will need to 
reflect  rapid  changes in technology and their  applications  in 
education.  If this is not done,  teachers will not cope,  and by 
default, will become increasingly redundant.

          6-2-3. Innovative approaches to education.

Interviewer's comments:

On  the issue of parents playing a key role in the  education  of 
the  young,  Dr March indicated that schools were established  to 
meet a particular need in society.  Certain skills were needed to 
survive in the late nineteenth century,  which the average parent 
did  not have.  Consequently it was necessary to provide "elders" 
(teachers)  to children in an isolated environment (the  school). 
Dr  March wondered whether in the future parents would  have  the 
skills needed to impart knowledge. Even if parents were to play a 
role, Dr March felt that teacher the would still be essential for 
isolating and packaging information in an accessible way. He felt 
that  teachers  will need less specialised  knowledge,  and  more 
skills in facilitating learning and accessing information.

Dr  March did not feel that the full vision of the scenario  will 
have  been achieved by 1995.  He cited as evidence for  this  his 
view that in the last decade in the A.C.T., changes have not been 
as dramatic as envisaged in the scenario.  Instead,  the progress 
which  has occured has tended to be of "a few steps forward and a 
few steps back" nature. However, he did feel that there will be a 
growing call for data base and networking access.  There will  be 
less  emphasis on textbook learning and more on using data  bases 
and networks generally (if these are readily available).  He felt 
that  people may have some difficulty in adjusting to involvement 
in extensive international liaison via networks.

Dr March indicated that lifelong learning could be very costly if 
current approaches are used. However, the use of new technologies 
may make it cheaper to allow for this type of education. 

Researcher's reflections:

I  feel  that there is real potential for parents to play  a  key 
role  in the education of the young.  Where they do not have  the 
basic necessary skills,  it is the responsiblity of the education 
system  to  provide  programs to assist  them  in  gaining  these 
skills. It is regrettable that with Australia's low participation 
rates  in education (for persons over fifteen years of age)  many 
parents  (unless there are significant changes) will continue  to 
lack  the  higher level conceptual skills necessary for  them  to 
assist  the  young  in  learning.   This  does  not  change   the 
desirability of the vision - it means that more resources must be 
put into assisting adults learn the necessary skills. 

The rate of change in the last decade in the A.C.T. may have been 
relatively slow; however, inexpensive and powerful communications 
and  computing technologies were not available at that time.  The 
development   of  inexpensive  computer  networks   and   related 
technologies  needs  to  be recognised as  being  potentially  as 
significant   as  the  development  of  the  printing  press  for 
learning.  If these technologies are not applied  quickly,  human 
potential will be wasted. This must be seen as the crime which it 
is,  rather  than  as  "a continuation  of  past  trends".  Adult 
education  will  also need to increase people's awareness of  the 
potential uses of the new technologies, if significant numbers of 
community  members  are  to become involved  in  such  things  as 
international networks.

          6-2-4. Approaches to career education.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March posed the question of whether we will be  talking  much 
about  careers  in 1995.  Unemployment could be as high as 30  or 
40%. He felt that people will have to be educated to foresake the 
ideal of having a conventional career,  and that there would be a 
need to break down the rewards associated with having careers.

He felt that mentors (which were considered in section 5-5 of the 
scenario) could be paid to assist other people in learning  broad 
skills  (not purely as a career education device as envisaged  in 
the scenario).

In  relation to the "Adopt-a-School" concept,  he indicated  that 
businesses do not adopt local schools in Canberra,  although some 
businesses offer prizes for school competitions.  Work experience 
goes some of the way towards this concept. 

Researcher's reflections:

I  agree that unemployment will continue to rise,  and that there 
is  a  need  to  broaden  one's  vision  in  relation  to  career 
education.  I  would agree that mentors could be used  to  assist 
young   people  in  gaining  an  appreciation  of  such   diverse 
activities  as  how  to participate in handicrafts or  in  social 
change  processes.  I do not agree with Dr March's view that  the 
rewards  associated with having a conventional career need to  be 
broken down.  What is needed instead is for much of the potential 
satisfaction  from  having  a  career (such  as  the  feeling  of 
contributing,  and  being able to have a reasonable  standard  of 
living)  to be offered to the unemployed,  through involvement in 
non-career based activities.

          6-2-5. Communicative competence.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr March felt that a broader concept of communicative  competence 
is  an  ideal  goal.  However,  this  assumes a  basic  level  of 
intellectual  competence.  For some people this level may be  too 
high, and may be undesirable even if it could be attained. From a 
cynical point of view,  it may be better to keep people ignorant. 
The only people who start revolutions are those who know they are 
badly off. 

He  indicated  that a significant part of schooling (he  prefered 
not  to use the word "education" in this context) is  for  strong 
socialising.  Fundamental  survival  skills  are taught  with  an 
emphasis on the need to obey rules (in relation to such things as 
physical violence). He wondered if such socialisation could occur 
if  students  learnt from home.  He indicated that  schools  keep 
children together and form them into a society.  If they learn at 
home  they may become more individualistic (even if well  taught) 
and interpersonal skills may suffer.

By  1995 people will be using the new technologies but,  if  they 
are too mechanically complex,   some people will feel discouraged 
from using them.  It is therefore essential that the equipment be 
"user-friendly",  simple,  and  developmental.  There  must be  a 
structure which will assist people to learn broader communicative 
skills,  but  which will also allow them to proceed at their  own 
pace. It will take at least 12 years to achieve this. 

Researcher's reflections:

I  would agree with Dr March that it is important for children to 
learn  basic  social values.  This can be achieved  through  them 
being at school with other young people some of the  time.  Also, 
students  who  behave in deviant fashions could  be  required  to 
attend  schools  in a way similar to that in which deviant  young 
people at present are required to attend remand centres. However, 
I  do  not feel it should be necessary for all  young  people  to 
attend school 100% of the time in order to learn how to behave in 
society.  In  fact,  it  could be argued that more  deviants  are 
created  by  schools than are reformed by them (in  that  schools 
give  disadvantaged children a feeling of inadequacy and  failure 
which  may result in them seeking rewards in socially undesirable 
ways).  I  would  also argue that Australian society  needs  more 
creative   individuals  if  it  is  to   remain   internationally 
competitive  in  a  global  economy  increasingly  based  on  the 
creation,  storage, and communication of knowledge rather than on 
the   production  of  goods  and  services  in  tightly   defined 
hierarchical organisations.  If this is the case education should 
encourage, rather than stifle, individualism.

          6-2-6. National educational data base.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March  agreed  with Bennett that there  is  conflict  between 
freedom of information and privacy ([1980,  p.  3] as outlined in 
section 4-3-3 of this thesis).

He  felt  that  it  is  desirable  for  people  to  have   strong 
information-accessing rights.  However,  it is also critical that 
bad  information  not "follow people" forever.  People should  be 
able  to  "shrug-off" a negative label,  and not  be  permanently 
classified  as deviants.  Data needs to be edited  regularly,  so 
that people know what information is held about them (they  would 
be given copies of their records as a part of this process),  and 
records  relating to childrens' court offences should not be held 
for long periods.

Researcher's reflections:

I  feel that Dr March's specific proposals in regards to  privacy 
protection could play an important part in ensuring that a degree 
of  privacy is maintained in a "Network Nation".  The concept  of 
keeping only negative information on persons for a specified time 
would be worthy of further exploration,  but it should not  apply 
to more major crimes.

          6-2-7. Distance education.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March  agreed  that  a  national  educational  data  base  on 
itinerant students would, if established, prove very helpful, but 
felt the logistics could be overwhelming.

He  predicted that satellites will have as big an impact  as  the 
pedal-radio   did   for  education  in   isolated   areas.   Such 
technologies   will  also  assist  with  teachers'   conferences. 
National  conferences  are becoming very difficult to arrange  at 
present,  partly because of the increasing cost of travel. At the 
same  time,  the desire for national conferences is  growing.  Dr 
March felt that educators need to look for new ways of exchanging 
information.  It  may  not be as enjoyable to sit in front  of  a 
terminal  to  participate in an international  conference  as  to 
attend a conference in person (for example,  in Miami);  however, 
many   international   conferences   could  be   organised   more 
efficiently  on a regional basis with interchange of  information 
via computer networks between regions.

Researcher's reflections:

I  agree  with  Dr March that there is  real  potential  for  new 
technologies  to  be  used  in facilitating  the  interchange  of 
information   between   educators  as  a  supplement   to   other 
approaches. It would be appropriate for the Australian College of 
Education  to approach the Overseas Telecommunications  Authority 
to   fund  a  pilot  linkage  of  regional  conferences   between 
professional  educational assocations in different parts  of  the 

          6-2-8. Adult education.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March doubted that continuing education would be required  of 
large  numbers of professionals in order to maintain their status 
by 1995. However, he did indicate that the Teachers Federation in 
the A.C.T.  has accepted involvement in continuing education as a 
criteria  for  promotion.  Compulsory  attendance at  courses  to 
maintain status industrially is not, however, required.

He  indicated  that compulsory continuing education may  be  more 
likely  to  come  in the para-professional  areas.  For  example, 
doctors  may apply pressure to require continuing  education  for 
nurses, rather than for themselves. The people at the "top of the 
tree"  generally  see  themselves  as fairly  competent  and  not 
requiring continuing upgrading,  but they see a need for this for 
"the minions".  Dr March felt that,  similarly,  the Principal of 
the  school  is more likely to  require  continuing  professional 
development of his staff rather than for himself. Yet intuitively 
it  may  be that the administrators are the ones who are most  in 
need  of continuing education,  and are possibly the  ones  least 
likely to receive it.

Researcher's reflections:

I  would  agree  with  Dr March that  it  is  likely  that  para-
professionals   will  have  pressure  put  upon  them  to  accept 
compulsory  continuing  education  (if  only  to  up-grade  their 
status).  However,  I  also  feel that  professionals  will  feel 
increasing  pressures  to define compulsory continuing  education 
requirements   for  themselves,   as  the  public  becomes   less 
deferential  towards  them.  If professions do not  define  these 
requirements for themselves it is likely that governments will do 
it for them.  The need for continuing professional development is 
likely to grow exponentially, as will technological change.

          6-2-9. Leisure.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March felt that there is a need to break down the distinction 
between  work and leisure in peoples' conceptual  frameworks.  By 
1995  we  may  need  to  think  about  all  human  activity   not 
necessarily  being  categorised  in as value-laden a  way  as  at 
present. For example, some people currently talk about leisure as 
being less valuable than work. 

Researcher's reflections:

I  would  agree with Dr March that there is a need to break  down 
distinctions between work and leisure.  I feel that  technologies 
such  as  computer networking could facilitate this  by  allowing 
people  to  work from home,  to search for information  in  their 
leisure time, and to work in team situations. One would hope that 
such  approaches  would tend to make work  less  alienating,  and 
allow  for  the incorporation of some of the positive aspects  of 
work in leisure activities.  Also, such technologies could assist 
with  the  development  of new leisure pursuits  which  are  more 
socially developmental than the often non-participatory  sporting 
activities  which many Australians currently watch on  television 
most weekends, and increasingly during the week as well.

Governments  will  increasingly  be called upon  to  provide  and 
financially support such gainful social activity.

We  need to redefine work and leisure and ensure that people  are 
gainfully engaged in some activity for the 30 hour working  week. 
These  activities  may  not be "work" according  to  our  present 
conceptions   of  employment.   It  is  clear  that  many  future 
employment  opportunities  will often be in the  information  and 
human development areas,  and educators must be trained to convey 
this   to  students  and  the  entire   community.   Notions   of 
unemployment  must be re-conceived to refer to those who are  not 
gainfully  engaged  in  productive  activity.

          6-2-10. School buildings.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr March believed that school buildings will still exist in 1995. 
They  will  be  used partly as central  agencies  for  organising 
educational  experiences.  He  found  it  difficult  to  see  how 
practical subjects such as science,  art,  and physical education 
could  be  taught  efficiently  at  home.  Art  may  become  more 
terminal-oriented; but computers cannot produce quality paintings 
as  conventionally interpreted.  Also,  learning practical skills 
like  motor maintenence (psycho-motor skills)  requires  hands-on 
experience  with  a  teacher  observing.  It is  too  costly  for 
everyone to have his own backyard laboratory.

He  commented  that it is interesting to note that  the  subjects 
which  many  peope see at present as the "raison d'etre"  of  the 
educational  process  could  be  taught  at  home  for  a   large 
percentage of the time (for example, mathematics and English). 

Researcher's reflections:

I  agree with Dr March that the role of schools will change,  and 
that  many psycho-motor skills will still need to be taught in  a 
group  environment in 1995.  However,  this does not  affect  the 
viability  of  the broad thrust of my scenario,  which  does  not 
propose that students learn at home 100% of the  time.  Also,  Dr 
March does not appear to appreciate the potential for students to 
develop    "masterpieces"   on   terminals   with   sophisticated 
graphics/artistic  packages.  Computer systems can simulate  such 
things   as   chemistry  experiments,   and   motor   maintenance 
activities,  often  saving  money and not  exposing  students  to 
dangers  from  explosions  (effectively this  could  allow  every 
student  to  have a "backyard laboratory").  My own view is  that 
students  will learn aspects of all subjects at home,  and  other 
aspects at school. 

I  would  agree that the school will continue to play a  role  in 
1995,  but that it will be significantly changed, and very likely 
specialise in particular activities. It is virtually certain that 
the  school  will  generally be an  all-age  community  education 
centre, rather than restricted to children and young people as is 
often the case at present. There will be a particular emphasis on 
the school providing a venue for socialisation.

          6-2-11. Terminal addiction.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March  indicated that already some students are  "hooked"  on 
computer  terminals.  These  are usually not the  best  students; 
rather,  students  who  are  less successful  in  a  conventional 
learning  environment  seem to gain some measure of  success  and 
satisfaction in being able to use computer systems.

Researcher's reflections:

I would comment that it is regrettable that schools have not been 
designed  so  that  "average" students can  receive  from  normal 
education the sort of feedback and re-inforcement they gain  from 
computers.  There  is a need for educators to recognise that  the 
features  which  computers offer (such as immediate  feedback  of 
results and the ability to study at one's own pace) are essential 
if  average  students  are  to find  educational  experiences  as 
positive as possible.

          6-2-12. International task forces.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March  was unsure whether young people could be  involved  in 
international task forces. As an ideal he felt that it would be a 
positive thing;  however,  he indicated that there is a limit  to 
educators' imagination.  Where values are concerned,  most people 
are  innately  conservative.  For example,  some educators  would 
reject  the use of international task forces as a  learning  mode 
because  it  is  not possible to test  international  task  force 
participation.  Skills  and  knowledge which can be  more  easily 
tested tend to be taught.

Researcher's reflections:

I  would agree with Dr March on this last  point.  However,  this 
does  not make it any less important for educational programs  to 
be  broadened to include such things as international task  force 
participation by young people.  Educators with an interest in the 
use  of such techniques could start working now on new approaches 
to  evaluating such activities,  so that they can  be  introduced 
more easily into conventional school programs. 

As educators,  we should be more careful that we do not  shy-away 
from  difficult decisions.  If educators are to have an influence 
in the curriculum content of the future,  then issues such as the 
one above must be confronted and pursued.

          6-2-13. Multi-purpose social institutions.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr March indicated that we tend to be a very specialised society.

He felt that the development of multi-purpose institutions  would 
be  one  approach to overcoming this.  Another would be  to  have 
greater  interchange  between institutions.  Dr March was  unsure 
which approach he favoured,  but felt that the motivation of  the 
individuals  involved  could  be a problem in  implementing  such 
approaches  (for  example,  in  the context  of  a  Youth  Remand 

Researcher's reflections:

My own feeling is that there needs to be more interchange between 
institutions  (in  the short term) but that  institutions  should 
also aim to be more fluid and multi-purpose in the longer term.

Economic  and technological costs will prohibit all  institutions 
from providing all services.  However, it will become an economic 
and  social  necessity  for institutions to  be  flexible  whilst 
developing  strong  networks with other institutions,  and to  be 
specialised  in  certain  areas.   Society  is  pluralistic,  and 
practice  would  tend to indicate the  multi-purpose  pluralistic 
institutions are the more stable politically.

          6-2-14. Matrix structures.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr  March  felt  that expertise will become more  important  than 
position in hierarchies.  He felt the thesis that devolution will 
mean less emphasis being placed on formal position power,  was  a 
supportable  one,  since  more information would be  distributed. 
However,  he  also indicated that many people gain their  rewards 
from their personal position and status, and that it is part of a 
basic  human  tendency to evaluate people  using  a  hierarchical 

Researcher's reflections:

I would agree that position power will become less important in a 
devolved computerised structure.  However,  I disagree that it is 
part of basic human nature to evaluate people according to  their 
position  in a hierarchy.  In Western cultures this is  certainly 
part of current business cultures;  however, person-centred value 
systems  are gradually becoming more generally held.  These  will 
become more pervasive as there is less need to motivate people to 
aspire   to   senior  formal  positions  in  tightly   structured 
hierarchical  organisations,  which diminish much of  a  person's 
individuality in return for a high income and social esteem.

          6-2-15. New approaches to planning.

Interviewer's comments:

Dr March indicated that planning approaches are being continually 
developed in education. People are becoming more experienced with 
them in the A.C.T. Schools Authority (for example, in relation to 
assisting schools update their aims and objectives). He felt that 
new  technologies  could facilitate more  efficient  consultation 
with  the  community  in relation to  these  processes  (assuming 
citizens are receptive to being involved).

Researcher's reflections:

I  agree  with Dr March that planning approaches are  continually 
being developed,  and that new technologies could facilitate more 
broad-based   consultation   with  wider  community   groups   in 
educational planning.

The   concepts  of  co-ordination,   devolution,   participation, 
consultation, and networking are inter-related and will each have 
a significant role in the planning approaches to be used to  best 
accommodate and gain from the new technologies.


I  found  my discussion with Dr.  March very useful in  terms  of 
considering   both  the  relevance  of  the  key  themes  to   an 
educational  administrator's experience in a particular education 
system,  and  also  how the scenario might be  implemented  in  a 
particular school.

In relation to the implementation of the scenario Dr.  March made 
me particularly aware of the following:

*  The  need  for  in-service education  for  both  teachers  and 
educational  administrators  if new technologies are to  be  used 
effectively.  This  in-service should include components  dealing 
with  the use of mastery learning computer packages,  the use  of 
computers in non-traditional subject areas,  and the use of real-
time computer systems in educational administration (as  compared 
with batch-based systems).

*  The  need  for schools to be careful  in  their  selection  of 
computer software.  I would argue that all schools should have an 
overall  ADP strategic plan (as do Commonwealth Departments)  and 
that  software should only be purchased if it can be shown to fit 
within  this plan,  and has been properly tendered for and  fully 

*  The  need  for  research to be  undertaken  into  what  senior 
educational policy makers perceive as the goals of education.  If 
it  is  desired  that a significant proportion  of  young  people 
should  remain relatively ignorant and come away from school with 
a feeling of powerlessness,  then it would be most  inappropriate 
for many of the technologies considered in this thesis to be used 
in education.  My own feeling is that such an appreciation of the 
purpose  of  education would be held by virtually no present  day 
education policy-makers (although it could be argued that this is 
the result of current approaches to education in many cases, even 
if it is not the intended purpose).

*  There needs to be further research undertaken into how parents 
could  assist  with  the education  of  their  own  children.  In 
particular,  it  needs to be determined whether more  educational 
resources should be directed to new approaches to adult education 
so  that  parents can gain the necessary conceptual and  teaching 
skills that will assist them in participating in the education of 
their children.

*  More  research  needs  to be  undertaken  into  approaches  to 
participative  consultative  processes in education (as  compared 
with  representative  approaches),  which do not  require  senior 
educational  administrators  (in this case  Principals)  to  give 
unreasonably of their time and effort.

*  Further  research needs to be undertaken into the question  of 
what  skills will be needed in order for people to be defined  as 
"communicatively   competent"   in  the   twenty-first   century. 
Particular  consideration  needs  to be given  to  new  types  of 
information acquisition, processing, and dissemination, skills.

*  Consideration  needs to be given to the question of  how  core 
social  values  can  be taught to  young  people  using  computer 
networks as an aid.

*  Research needs to be undertaken into how regional  conferences 
based  on  the use of communications networks could be made  more 
attractive  for  participants  (as compared  with,  for  example, 
attending an international  conference in person).     

*  It would be useful to know why students can  become  "terminal 
addicts"  but  very  rarely  become  "addicts"  to  learning   in 
conventional learning environments.

*  Consideration  will  need  to  be  given  to  how  educational 
administrators  who gain their satisfaction from  their  position 
and  status  could  be kept satisfied in  an  organisation  which 
values expertise rather than formal authority.

More generally,  Dr.  March has made me aware of how detached one 
can become,  when dealing with possible futures,  from the actual 
every-day    considerations    faced   by   senior    educational 

There  is  real value for persons attempting to develop  possible 
and preferable futures to have regular discussions with pragmatic 
senior  administrators  working in the system they are  studying. 
This will not necessarily change the researcher's vision. What it 
will do is make him or her aware of issues which need to be faced 
if  the  vision is to be "sold" to senior  practitioners  in  the 
field of interest.


Specific  conclusions  relating to Chapter 6 of this  thesis  are 
included in sub-section 6-3.

In  this thesis I have considered how a number of key themes  are 
currently  interacting in public administration and education (in 
chapter  4)  and  how they could affect them in  the  future  (in 
chapter  5).  This  is followed by a case  study  which  includes 
consideration of  the limitations to the effective implementation 
of  the  key themes,  as seen by one  educational  administrator, 
currently  working in the A.C.T.  school's system,  together with 
his  views on the positive and negative features which he saw  in 
the  scenario.   The  case  study  was  particularly  useful   in 
highlighting  one  senior educational administrator's view  of  a 
probable  future  for  education in the  A.C.T.  in  relation  to 
technological change.

In general terms, my key conclusion, based on the evidence I have 
analysed  in  this thesis,  is that computer  conferencing,  data 
processing,  and other new technologies (including new approaches 
to organisational design) have great potential to assist with the 
restructuring  of educational and general  public  administrative 
systems in the 1980s and 90s. 

They could be used to:-

*  Make  educational  opportunities  more  universally  available 
throughout people's lifetimes.  This is an essential attribute of 
an  educational  system  which is designed to  assist  people  in 
coping  with a rapid rate of change.  It is also essential if the 
economy is to respond rapidly to changes in demand for goods  and 
services (both domestically and internationally).

*  Increase flexibility of working arrangements.  This will  have 
real  potential to assist previously disadvantaged groups  to  be 
involved in the workforce (for example,  married women with young 
children).  It  will also allow people to have greater choices in 
their lifestyles. 

*   Allow  for  increased  involvement  of  persons  in  societal 
governance.   This   is  particularly  important  if   democratic 
decision-making  is  to  result in decisions which are  based  on 
correct information. 

*  Improve  evaluative procedures both in education  and  general 
public  administration.   In  a  society  which  is  increasingly 
questioning  the  effectiveness  and efficiency  of  governmental 
programs,  it  is  essential that  all  techniques  (particularly 
relatively  low-cost  techniques)  which could  assist  with  the 
focusing  of  resources  in areas where they will have  the  most 
impact be used.

*  Reduce  the  gap  which  currently  exists  between  work  and 
education.  In  a  society in which there is a need  for  regular 
retraining, it is important that this gap be diminished.

*  Reduce  the current gap between work and leisure.  This  would 
partly result from the increased flexibility which workers  would 
have  in  determining their work patterns.  It would also  partly 
result  from  the  multiple uses to which  such  technologies  as 
computer terminals and networks could be put (for  example,  they 
could be used for both personal and business communications).

*   Provide   massive  support  of  an   information   accessing, 
processing,  and  presentation type to both workers and students. 
This   information  will  be  able  to  be  provided  much   more 
inexpensively and efficiently than at present. Also, the emphasis 
will be on assisting both workers and students focusing-in on the 
exact type of information they need (with the aid of  technology) 
to avoid information overload (that is, there will be an emphasis 
on  exception reporting in business and tight  problem-definition 
in education).

* Improve understanding between nations,  and reduce the need  to 
travel in order to communicate with people of different cultures. 
This  would both reduce the use of non-renewable  resources,  and 
reduce the potential for warfare resulting from misunderstandings 
between persons from different cultures (in the longer term).

*  Facilitate new approaches to governance,  with more  types  of 
linkages   between   citizens   and  their   representatives   in 
Parliament.  This  is particularly useful when one considers  the 
very  limited  time which parliamentarians have in which to  meet 
personally with their constituents.

Some   dangers   which  need  to  be  considered   before   these 
technologies are introduced on a wide scale include:-

*  That  "...the  technology is more portable than  people  often 
realize and those countries that offer the best [in this  context 
meaning the least controlled] regulatory environment could easily 
become world information centers." (Hiltz and  Turoff,  1978,  p. 

*  The need to involve citizens and unions in planning for  their 
introduction.  The  non-involvment  of  unions  in  technological 
change  has  resulted  in industrial  disputation.  It  has  also 
resulted  in the inefficient selection and use of the  technology 
in  question.  It  is essential that workers be able to  have  an 
input  into the selection of new technologies,  since they  often 
have  a  different  perspective  from  management  on  the  "non-
formalised" aspects of the system with which they work. 

*  The  need  to  ensure  that  privacy  is  maintained.   It  is 
particularly important to ensure that international data enclaves 
are  not allowed to develop which could process  Australian  data 
without  the  need  for  the  protections  which  Australian  law 

*  In relation to privacy " would cost little to  intercept, 
screen,   and   automatically  analyze  all  the  computer-stored 
communications  that a person sends [via a computer  conferencing 
system]." (Hiltz and Turoff, 1978, p. 488).

*  The  need  to  avoid burn-out and  other  occupational  health 
problems  resulting from the over-stimulation which such  systems 
can provide.  This is particularly important when one takes  into 
account  the  high  rate of burn-out which  already  occurs  with 
executives  using manual systems and the almost addictive  nature 
of many computer games.

*  The  need  to ensure that,  where such systems  are  used  for 
evaluation  (of either students or workers),  the emphasis is  on 
providing  ways  of  improving  rather than  on  purely  negative 
evaluation.  The dangers in using the equipment purely to control 
operators  is reflected in the sophisticated monitoring  packages 
which are already in use for computer input personnel: these will 
no  doubt  become  more  sophisticated  in  future  (and  include 
components  which will allow them to do higher  level  evaluative 

*  That such systems do not restrict social intercourse of  other 
kinds.  This  danger  is not as great as it might  first  appear, 
particularly  when  one takes into account the reduced  need  for 
travel  which these systems could facilitate (the time  saved  in 
travel could be used for socialising).

The  major limitations are not with the technologies themselves - 
they are with the flexibility which is allowed policy  developers 
in   education   and   general   public   administration.   Until 
organisation  structures  are  redesigned to  allow  for  greater 
responsiveness,  it will be difficult for such systems to respond 
to the challenges posed by these new technologies.



*  It  is obvious that as a result of  technological  and  social 
change  the APS needs a systems-disturbing component (this may be 
sections  or  individuals  within  the  APS).   As  Corbett   has 
indicated, "Public services need to be creative as change-agents, 
or  at  least  some  parts  of them need to  have  that  sort  of 
capacity,  the capacity to respond to,  and even generate system-
modifying  ideas  and policy proposals;  for if  such  capacities 
exist  nowhere  in the public service our  political  social  and 
economic  systems  may  well suffer the fate  of  the  dinosaur." 
(1978, p. 68).

*  In  view of the fact that "Creativity and  invention 
influenced  within policymaking organizations by  institutionally 
protecting  innovative  thinkers from  organizational  conformity 
pressures"(Dror,  1971,  p.  19),  I would recommend that the PSB 
investigate  ways  in  which such innovative  thinkers  could  be 
identified and protected from conformity pressures.

*  That  the Commonwealth Public Service Board establish  a  unit 
similar to the Congressional Clearinghouse on the Future (but  on 
a   much  smaller  scale)  with  a  responsibility  to  keep  the 
Commonwealth bureacracy up to date on possible long term futures. 
This  Clearinghouse  would  also have an educative  function  for 
public  servants,  and a consultative role in such activities  as 
liaison  with unions on technological change,  and in considering 
Commonwealth usage of new technologies (such as Videotex) in  the 
early planning stages.

*   That  the  Australian  Institute  of  Public  Administration, 
together with Telecom,  investigate innovative approaches for the 
use   of  telecommunications  technologies  in   general   public 
administration and report the results of these studies in the the 
journal  of the Institute.  Particular emphasis could be given to 
such questions as:

     *  how  telecommunications could be used to  improve  client 
servicing and involvement in planning;

     * how computer conferencing could facilitate the development 
of innovative organisational structures in the public sector; and

     *   how   telecommunications  technologies  (in   particular 
Videotex)  could be used to communicate information to the  public 
on public sector programs of relevance to the general  community. 
The  issue  of  who  should  fund the  allocation  of  space  for 
community-type   information  in  such  systems  could  also   be 

     8-2. EDUCATION

It    is   recommended   that   in   relation   to    education:

*  The  Australian College of Education,  together with  Telecom, 
experiment  with  the  use  of  such  technologies  as   computer 
conferencing,    videotex,    loud-speaking    telephones,    and 
confravision,    in   various   instructional   and   educational 
administrative contexts - and report the results in Unicorn.

*  That  educators with an interest in the use of  such  learning 
approaches  as international task forces of young  persons  begin 
working  on  student evaluation techniques for  these  innovative 
approaches  in  order to facilitate their more  ready  acceptance 
into  conventional  educational  environments (whereas  Dr  March 
points  out in his comments on the scenario [in section  6-2-11], 
those things which can most easily be tested tend to be taught).

*  That  the  Australian  College of  Education  liase  with  the 
Overseas Telecommunications Commission in an attempt to develop a 
pilot  network of regional educational  conferences  ("Technology 
and Education" would be an ideal theme for such a pilot).

*  A number of educators co-operate in the development of schools 
to  act as "beacons" in each State in the area of technology  and 
education.  A  particular emphasis might be on the need for  both 
community  participation  in  the school,  and  the  use  of  new 
technologies for social development.

I agree with Dr March that the "School without Walls" could be an 
ideal  potential  "beacon"  in the A.C.T.  if  funding  could  be 
obtained  for  it to be structured so that students  could  learn 
from  home  a  significant amount of  the  time,  using  computer 

*  State Education Departments and general Government Departments 
explore  not  just  the use of  computers  for  dissemination  of 
information  (as with Data Base systems) but for two-way dialogue 
(as with computer conferencing).

*  Foundations  consider funding task forces of young  people  to 
investigate  social  problems,   with  the  assistance  of   data 
processing and telecommunications technologies.  There would be a 
particular  emphasis on the young people using computer  packages 
(such as word processing and statistical packages) rather than on 
having them develop customised computer systems.

*  The  Federal  Government,  in consultation  with  the  States, 
establish  a  unit specifically responsible for  considering  and 
publicising  long-term  issues  in education - in  particular  in 
relation to technological change.


*  There  is  a need for research to be undertaken  dealing  with 
innovative applications of satellite technology in education  and 
general  public  administration.   The  emphasis  should  be   on 
exploring  new approaches which satellites could facilitate (such 
as  national  in-service education activities  with  participants 
remaining  in their home States) rather than purely on  exploring 
new  ways  of delivering traditional programs (such  as  distance 
education programs).

*  There  is  a  need  for research to  be  undertaken  into  how 
artificial  intelligence based systems may affect  education  and 
public administration in the future. 

This area has been relatively neglected up to this point in time, 
partly  as a result of most government and education systems only 
recently  coming  to grips with the potential  impact  of  micro-
computer systems and computer packages on themselves. 

Once  artificial  intelligence based systems become  more  widely 
available  they  could potentially have a massive impact  (as  is 
reflected  in  the  scenario).   There  is  a  need  for  unions, 
educators,  and public administrators to define now  "preferable" 
futures  in relation to their use if their introduction is to not 
result in massive social conflict.

*  There  is  a  need  for further  research  into  how  language 
translation  computer  systems  might be used in  such  areas  as 
ethnic education, and international liaison.

*  There  is a need for the Australian Law Reform  Commission  to 
investigate ways in which criminal data bases could be structured 
so that information on minor illegal acts does not "stick" with a 
person for the whole of his or her life.


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Craven, Paul and Wellman, Barry, "The Network City"

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Crousaz, Dione, Davies, Carolyn and Weston, Andrea,

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Cranfield Press, 1971.

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"Communications Technology and Social Policy"

John Wiley and Sons., Inc., 1973, pp. 247 - 264.

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"Social Welfare and the Failure of the State: 

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George Allen and Unwin, 1981.

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"Participation in Social and Political Activities"

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For  people  who  are interested in reading  articles  by  myself 
related to this thesis I give the following references.

"Technology:  A New Educational Paradigm".  Education News,  Vol. 
18, No. 4, April 1983, pp. 48 - 49.

"Community and Career Education".  Education News,  Vol.  17, No. 
11, June 1982, pp. 28 - 30.

"The Network Nation - Its Relevance for Strategies and  Structure 
for Education in the 80s and 90s".  Unicorn,  Vol.  8, No. 2, May 
1982, pp. 110 - 119.

"Uses    of    Future   Studies   Techniques    by    Educational 
Administrators". ED 207 134.

"Innovative Approaches to Career Guidance". ED 203 055

"Community Information Systems". ED 206 284.

"Communications  Options  - The Need for Increased  Awareness  of 
These Amongst Policy Developers". ED 205 198.

"Technology:  A Test of Ability".  Education News, Vol. 17, No. 7, 
pp. 19 - 21.

"New   Directions   in  Computer  Education  at  High   Schools". 
International Journal of Mathematics Education in Science and 
Technology, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1981, pp. 333 - 341.

"Brainstorming-on-Microfiche:    An   Alternative   to   Computer 
Conferencing". Educational Technology, May 1981, pp. 21 - 23.

"The  Use  of  Role  Play in Assisting  Students  Cope  With  the 
Future". New Horizons in Education, No. 61, Spring 1979, pp. 24 - 

"Broadening   Computer   Courses  Using  Role  Plays   and   Work 
Experience". COM-3, No. 17, November 1979, pp. 23 - 25.

"The Line to Learning". Quest, No. 28, October 1979, p. 10.

"The  Use of Future Studies Techniques in Assisting  Students  to 
Cope with Change". Pivot, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1979, pp. 76 - 78.

"The  Use  of  Research  Projects  in  T.A.F.E.   Social  Science 
Courses". Compak, February 1978, p. TAFE.8.

ED numbers refer to documents available on microfiche through the 
ERIC system.




(key descriptors have a * before them)

Accessibility  (for  disabled);   Adult   Education;   Artificial 
Intelligence;   Career  Education;   Change;  Change  Strategies; 
Community;   Conflict;  *Co-ordination;  Curriculum  Development; 
Demonstrations (Civil);  Disabilities; Disadvantaged; Educational 
Media;  Educational Trends; *Efficiency; *Evaluation; Exceptional 
Persons;  Extention Education; *Futures (of Society); Governance; 
Governing   Boards;   Individual  Power;   *Information  Systems; 
Innovation;  International  Educational Exchange;  Leisure  Time; 
Motivation;  Management Systems;  Man Machine Systems;  Meetings; 
Motivation;    Multilingualism;    *Networks;   Nonprint   Media; 
Objectives;   Open-Plan  Schools;  Organisational  Effectiveness;  
Outcomes  of  Education;   Parent  Associations;  *Participation; 
Planning;  Policy;  Political  Power;  Productivity;  Redundancy; 
Schools;   Self  Determination;   Social  Action;  Socialisation;  
Specialisation;   Standards;   Teaching   Methods;   *Technology; 
Tokenism; Totalitarianism;  Training; Transition.


Australia;  Automatic Data Processing; Australian Public Service; 
Commonwealth Public Service;  Communicative Competence;  Computer 
Conferencing;   *Consultation;  Coombs,  H. C.; *Data Processing; 
*Decentralisation;  *Devolution;  Educational Paradigm; Feedback; 
Freedom of Information;  Hierarchies;  International Task Forces; 
*Joint  Management  Review  On  ADP  Management  Issues  In   The 
Australian   Public  Service;   Libraries;   Multipurpose  Social 
Institutions;  Public  Administration  ;  Public  Policy;  Public 
Service   Board;   Reid,   J.   B.;   *Review   of   Commonwealth 
Administration;   *Royal  Commission  on  Australian   Government 
Administration;  Scenario;  Self-correction; *Telecommunications; 
Victoria;   Victorian  Education  Department;   *White  Paper  on 
Strategies  and  Structure for Education in Victorian  Government 


Andrew Freeman welcomes feedback on this thesis.
He can be contacted via his e-mail address of