ERIC Number: ED161786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Oct-21
Reference Count: 0
Forecasting Social Trends as a Basis for Formulating Educational Policy.
Lewis, Arthur J.
The paper describes how information regarding future trends is collected and made available to educational policy makers. Focusing on educational implications of social and population trends, the paper is based on data derived from use of trend forecasting by educational policy makers in Florida and other southeastern states. The document is presented in two major sections. Section I describes four approaches to synthesizing and generalizing information on the impact of social trends on education. The approaches are: (1) composing exploratory and normative scenarios; (2) constructing cross-impact matrices; (3) extrapolating trend lines of statistical data; and (4) relating trends to educational issues such as financial support, objectives, and methods of evaluating curriculum and educational programs. Section II focuses on ways of helping educational policy makers understand and use forecasts. The author discusses political and bureaucratic unwillingness to make decisions and take actions which are politically unpopular; problems faced by politicians in convincing the public that a pending decision or action is necessary or beneficial; and the need for forecasters to be independent of decision makers. The conclusion is that the growing concern evidenced by educational policy makers for future trends should be matched by efforts to refine forecasting techniques. (DB)
Descriptors: Bureaucracy, Data Analysis, Data Collection, Decision Making, Educational Objectives, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Futures (of Society), Higher Education, Information Needs, Information Utilization, Literature Reviews, Policy Formation, Politics, Population Trends, Prediction, School Policy, Social Change, Social Indicators
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at World Future Society Conference (Houston, Texas, October, 21, 1978)