The instructional materials center: Implications for a management plan



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The study was concerned with the role of the instructional materials center (IMG) in secondary education. Whether the IMO was to function as a center-of-focus expanded library or as the heart of the instructional program was the research subject. What the IMC was and what it was to become led to the development of alternative management plans. Data relative to the functions performed by IMC's was gathered by two methods: (1) Thirty contemporary documents— books, brochures, manuals, and periodicals-furnished information regarding functions performed or recommended, and (2) Eighteen IMC's in six states were observed and scored by an instrument. Score Card for a Learning Laboratory, developed for this purpose. Functions listed from these two sources were consolidated and arranged in an hierarchical order. The resulting twelve all-inclusive functions furnished the basis for determining facility and personnel requirements necessary to operate an IMC as a learning laboratory, defined as "an innovative IMC wherein all of the necessary materials and personnel are provided to enable a pupil to learn what he wants to learn." Alternative management plans, providing for team participation in planning and evaluating educational programs, were developed. Recommended plans cast the IMG director in the role of chief curriculum and instruction administrator, placing department heads and teachers under his leadership. Work-flow diagrams were employed to illustrate individualized instruction, independent study, and pupil-paced progress, as functions of the IMO in its learning laboratory role. Program Evaluation and Review Technique furnished guidelines for IMG installation procedures. Events leading from the decision to consider a high school IMG to full-scale IMC/Learning Laboratory operation were calculated to be completed in one academic year, exclusive of building planning and construction time.