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ED 040 926 


SP 003 963 





Duncan, Glenn E. ; Bauch, Jerold P. 

The Use of Computers and Simulation in the 
Development and Management of GEM. 

Georgia Univ. , Athens. Coll, of Education. 

Office of Education (DHEW) , Washington, D. C. Bureau 
of Research. 




0 EC-0- 8- 089024-311 (010) 

8p. ; Phase 1 , Elementary Teacher Education Model 

EDRS PRICE EDRS Price M?-$0.25 HC-S0. 50 

DESCRIPTORS ^Computer Oriented Programs, ^Models, ^Simulation 

IDENTIFIERS Comprehensive Elementary Teacher Education Models 


Georgia Educational Models (GEM) will proceed to 
utilize computers and simulation to their fullest cost effectiveness 
potential simultaneously in operation and in research, while avoiding 
both the restrictions and duplications which come from doctrinaire 
insistence on maintaining an artificial separation between management 
and research uses of computer simulation models and the omissions and 
"illusions of adequacy” which coma from too little interaction with 
empirical facts and goals. The fundamental scientific paradigm which 
has guided development and management of GEM thus far has proven 
itself practical, effective, and economical and has demonstrated 
itself to be feasible for carrying forth the further development, the 
implementation, and the sustained operation of the GEM system through 
creation and use of a computerized overall system simulation model. 
(Author/J S) 



0 s 


The University of Georgia 
College of Education 
Athens , Georgia 30601 


GEM Bulletin 69-14 

Glenn E. Duncan, B.S. 
Jerold P. Bauch, Ed.D. 

* Lninijjiuii i u ntrnuuuLt i nib 1 











Note: This bulletin reports one of a series of investigations 

designed to develop, evaluate and implement a model 
teacher education program for the preparation of ele- 
mentary teachers . This report was prepared pursuant 
to a contract with the Office of Education, U.S. Depart- 
ment of Health, Education and Welfare. Contractors 
undertaking such projects under Government sponsorship 
are encouraged to express freely their professional 
j'udgment in the conduct of the proj'ect. Points of view 
or opinions stated do not, therefore, necessarily repre- 
sent official Office of Education position or policy. 
This bulletin may not be reproduced without permission. 


There has been little concensus in the literature to 
date as to Just what the boundaries and interactions may be 
between such frequently mentioned fields as systems analysis, 
operations- research, management science, simulation, auto- 
mation, etc. After mentioning the physical models used in 
engineering, those who consider simulation alone usually re- 
strict their definitions to the conducting of experiments 
with a mathematical, statistical, and/or logical representa- 
tion of an idealized simplification of some portion of an 
existing or hypothetical system — usually on a large, fast 
digital computer. 

At what might be called the other extreme of a continu- 
um, those who consider management alone define computerized 
accounting and data processing to be automation of processes 
within a system, even though these processes may be carried 
out on the s am e sort of computer and may utilize programs and 
subroutines logically identical to those used in simulation. 

A clear separation between these two extremes is not main- 
tained in the discussions following such definitions, nor 
can it be maintained by consideration of purpose alone. It 
is more profitable to ask when, why, and how to use computers 

in a project. 

Building a mathematical model, validating and optimi- 
zing the model on a computer, and finally implementing and 

putting it into practice is a valid engineering strategy in 
a well -developed field. However, any approximation to this 


strategy is hazardous in a complex and partially-developed 
field such as education. Recent literature contains many 
discussions of specific results of doing this, such as over- 
fascination with computer gadgetry, attempts to predict the 
future in great detail from the past, ignoring of factors 
which can T t be quantified, creation of procedures which "blow 
up” after great checkout expense when tried out for the first 
time on real data, etc. Perhaps all these ills and more are 
best summed up by Hartley* s phrase "illusions of adequacy." 

Many other difficulties are evident from the literature 
(Forrester, 1961; Hartley, 1969; Oettinger, 1969; Silvern, 

1965) . 

The use of such an engineering strategy in an area where 
there is no well -understood underlying science is hardly con- 
sistent with the simplified scientific paradigm from which 
systems analysis, operations research, and management science 
supposedly are derived -- repeatable real data first, then 
tentative mathematical models of the known real phenomena, then 
analytical experiments with these models, then real experi- 
ments with selected cases, then continual improvement through 
continual interaction of all the four previous steps and in- 
finitum or until a satisfactory steady state or an insurmount- 

able obstacle is encountered. 


The study of feasibility and the planning for future de- 
velopment of GEM have been closely guided by this paradigm. 

As the first step of the paradigm reaches a certain stage of 
completeness, the first mathematically trivial models become 
useful for studies of allocation, utilization, and scheduling, 
for the optimazation of cost-effectiveness, and for the de- 
termination of critical areas of timing and resource compe- 
tition. Here a computer becomes useful not because of 
complexity of the simulation model, but because of the large 
amount of data, the large number of cases which must be ex- 
amined, and the number of times the calculations must be re- 
peated as conditions change and data becomes more precise. 

GEM has now reached this stage of development and has a PERT/ 
COST model operating on the University of Georgia IBM 360/65 
computer for investigation and management of costs and activity 
scheduling. Many of the results of this feasibility study have 
been obtained through use of this model and it will be used 

in the future on a continuing basis • 

In general the creation of simulation models and computer 
programs in GEM will be for coordinated use both in management 
and in continuing research and development. It will be car- 
ried through three further stages: development of mathemati- 

cally sophisticated dynamic models of processes and subsystems; 




interrelating of these processes and subsystems to form a 
computerized, adaptive, self -improving overall system simu- 
lation model; and continuing operational use of this overall 
system model, both as a management information, data processing, 
and control system and as a tool in research for continually 
improving the system itself and all its processes, components, 
and subsystems. 

In addition, the creation and operation of the overall 
system model will aid cone eptualizat ion, help to assure con- 
sistency and completeness of design and smoothness of oper- 
ation, enable immediate transferrability to other institutions, 
and facilitate rapid investigation of consequences and imple- 
mentation of changes due to revised goals, technological 
breakthroughs, changes in community environment, etc. Some 
modeling of the environment and some forecasting will also be 
done, but with emphasis on such practical factors as being pre- 
pared to handle children already born or exploring advantages 
of possible cooperative arrangements rather than on such highly 
speculative factors as attempting to detail the course of the 
future or being prepared to utilize likely technolom>:r1 
breakthroughs . 

The guiding philosophy in these developments will be to 
increase the power, the flexibility, the rate of improvement 


and the stability of operation of the GEM system as rapidly 
as possible. This will be accomplished by gaining and utili- 
zing new knowledge and understaning while simultaneously stri- 
ving to lower costs through more effective techniques, better 
organization and management, and increasing use of cooperative 
arrangements and automation. Such an operation will be con- 
sistently guided by ultimate human and social goals, cost- 
effectiveness considerations, and a meticulous insistence on 
an empirical basis for every feature of the system model and 
a feature of the system model for every important empirical, 

As the second stage of model design begins to provide 
viable models of individual processes, new studies will be 
added to the present cost, allocation, and scheduling investi- 
gations . These investigations themselves will be directed 
toward the outlining of cost-effectiveness tradeoffs and the 
formulation of policies. For instance, new studies can be- 
gin on the concurrence of the empirically -based portions of 
various models of the teaching -learning process for design 
purposes while areas of conflict and omission in these models 
can be documented for research purposes. Meanwhile, use of 
the first -stage models can be directed toward outlining cost- 
effectiveness tradeoffs for such alternate processes as paper- 
and-pencil vs computer -console evaluation of student performance 


to aid in formulating policies for the implementation of auto 
mat ion. 

As the overall system model becomes operational, studies 
of interaction effects and system dynamics can begin, both on 
interactions among components within the system and on inter- 
action of the system with its environment. For instance, with- 
in the system there are obvious cost-effectiveness interactions 
between candidate recruiting procedures, candidate selection 
criteria, remedial PMs for entering candidates, number of path- 
ways and degree of development of each within the curriculum 
PMs, elaboration of facilities in remedial clinics, etc. In 
the environment there are obvious advantages to cooperative 
arrangements with other institutions in developing and test- 
ing PMs, both in combining expert knowledge and in sharing 
the cost of work or of engaging private contractors where con- 
tractors could work more efficiently • 

In summary, GEM will proceed to utilize computers and 
simulation to their fullest cost-effectiveness potential 
simultaneously in operation and in research while avoiding 
both the restrictions and dupliations which come from doctri- 
naire insistence on maintaining an artificial separation be- 
tween management and research uses of computer simulation 
models cand the omissions and ’’illusions of adequacy” which 
come from too little interaction with empirical facts and 


goals . The fundamental scientific paradigm which has guided 
development and management of GEM thus far has proven itself 
practical, effective, and economical and has demonstrated 
itself to be eminently feasible for carrying forth the further 
development, the implementation, and the sustained operation 
of the GEM system through creation and use of a computerized 
overall system simulation model . 


Forrester, Jay W. Industrial dynamics . New York: John 

Wiley & Sons, 1961. 

Hartley, H. J. Limitations of systems analysis. Phi Delta 
Kappan , 1969, 50, 515-519. 

Oettinger, A. G. & Marks, S. Run computer, run: The myth- 

ology of educational innovation — An essay . Cambridge, 
Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1969. 

Silvern, L. C. The evolution of systems thinking in edu- 
cation . Los Angeles: Educational Training Consul- 

tants, 1965.