UBC Theses and Dissertations
Program planning as technology in three adult education units Burnham, Byron Robert
This study examines program planning in adult education units in a school district, a community college and a university. Program planning is conceptualized as technology which is defined as activities undertaken to change program ideas into planned educational activities. This definition and a framework of three kinds of technology (long-linked, mediating, and intensive) and eight program planning activities allowed specific tasks performed by program planners to be examined for differences. The study was undertaken to determine if differences in program planning exist among units and if the concept of technology can be usefully employed in describing program planning. The case study method is employed in this investigation. Depth interviews with thirty individuals, organization reports, records, and publications contained data which were analyzed and used to describe the technology of each unit. Most interviews dealt with how programs were planned. They were tape recorded and conducted in two phases. Other interviews dealt with the relationships between the units and the organizations to which they belonged. The reports, records, and publications were used to help describe the organizational context of a unit and corroborate data from interviews. Program planning was accomplished in similar ways by individuals within a given unit. Degree of conformity varied among the units and technology was not a standard undertaking, although patterns of a technology were present in each unit. Individuals exhibited personal consistency more than they exhibited consistency in a unit. The historical or contextual setting of units influenced the pattern of technology employed. The investigator concludes that mixed technologies exist in the units and they are affected by unit purpose, leadership, and history. It was also concluded that integrating a unit with its organization was an important goal for unit and organizational heads and this goal also affected the kind of technology pattern used by unit.
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