Twenty-seven scholars in the field of education, including six Harvard professors, have founded the National Academy of Education. The Academy will be a forum for discussion among scholars, rather than a task force to deal with immediate educational problems.
According to Israel Scheffier, professor of Education and Philosophy, leaders in education have been discussing such a group "sporadically" for several years. In January, eight scholars, including Jerome S. Bruner, professor of Psychology, drafted a constitution, designated categories for membership, and chose the 27 charter members.
The Academy will usually meet in small discussion groups, avoiding large-scale conventions and conferences. They hope to publish a journal of translations and reports of current research. Scheffier said that this journal would be the "main vehicle by which the Academy will make its views known to the public." He added that when pressing educational problems do arise, the Academy might form special sub-groups to determine policy on these specific issues.
According to Scheffier, the importance of the Academy is that it gives an independent voice to scholarship in the field of education that is not provided by existing professional organizations. "It is ironic that education, of all fields, has a public image of being low in scholarly standards," Scheffier said.
The Carnegie Foundation backed the early planning of the Academy and will support it in its initial stages.
The six Faculty members who have been given life memberships in the Academy are, in addition to Bruner and Scheffier: Bernard Bailyn, professor of History; Robert Ulrich, James Bryant Conant Professor of Education. Emeritus; David Riesman '31, Henry Ford 11 Professor of Social Sciences: and John B. Carroll, Roy Edward Larsen Professor of Educational Psychology.