Research & Development in Education & Training

Research and Development in
Education and Training


The Nation is experiencing a scientific and technological revolution of unprecedented proportions. Its benefits depend upon our capacity to meet the education and training challenges it presents.


Fortunately, this revolution also provides the means to meet these challenges. New research in the areas of learning and teaching point to ways to improve curriculum and pedagogy.

The Vision

Ensuring all Americans access to quality education and training tailored to their individual learning and workplace needs.

This vision sees new environments for lifelong learning that use technology to support new models of learning and teaching for learners of all ages and conditions. These learning environments extend beyond the confines of classroom walls to include the home, the community (e.g., museums, libraries, community centers), and the workplace. They reach beyond the traditional school-age population. They will aggressively support learning of complex content and complex approaches to problem solving.

As a Nation, we are devoting limited resources to achieve this learning productivity vision. Funding for research and development in education and training comprises only 0.025% of education and training activity. While workplaces and workers are taking advantage of our latest technological advances, education and training lag farther and farther behind. We believe that a significant increase in our current level of Federal investment in education and training research and development is required.


  1. Provide National leadership in guiding education and training in its evolution toward the 21st century;

  2. Develop a research and development agenda for achieving the National Education Goals by the end of the decade;

  3. Promote increased resources for research and development in education and training; and

  4. Promote partnerships for demonstrating and deploying cost-effective learning technologies and techniques.


Focus Areas in Priority Order

Demonstrations of how hardware, software, and the National Information Infrastructure can be used for advanced instructional systems.

Research and technology that lead to a richer set of assessment tools to measure learning productivity.

Development of tools that make use of technology to increase the productivity of learning in all fields, by all people. These tools may be used in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and homes.

Research that can improve understanding of the learning process and how technology can best support the learning process.

International Dimension

It is our intention to initiate, maintain, and increase contacts with the international community to coordinate distance learning and technology-based instructional activities leading to technical standards for increasing the availability and portability of education and training materials.


Ongoing Efforts

The Research and Development Subcommittee has coordinated a budget cross-cut across Federal agencies to determine the relative distribution of resources by Focus Area. The results of the budget assessment indicate that while the Federal Government has made substantial investments in learning research and tool development, programs to transition the products of research and development to the public and private sector have been underfunded. As a result, the CET has placed a high priority on facilitating national demonstrations and evaluations of learning technologies and the development of better evaluative tools and techniques. Research on learning and cognition and development of new learning tools and environments will be focused on the support of technology demonstrations and other technology transfer.

New Efforts

Most of the work in the area of research and development in education and training falls within the scope of new efforts. The NSTC has dramatically expanded the scope and emphasis of this area, and as a result, the majority of work being done is in programmatic planning, definition and development.

Specific milestones and performance measures will depend upon the completion of the planning phases for each initiative. All planning is aimed at implementing operational phases by the end of the First Quarter of FY 1998.

The Research and Development Subcommittee will work closely with industry to improve communication and cooperation and to rapidly commercialize research and development products wherever possible. In general, the Federal agencies will focus on areas which are high risk or require complex experimental design and independent evaluation. The National Coordinating Council for Technology in Education and Training will serve as a key industry interface for the CET.

The Research and Development Subcommittee will also coordinate plans and initiatives with State and local communities. These projects will be designed with the input and participation of teachers, parents, workers, and business and community leaders in order to ensure that their needs and concerns are addressed.

The CET has created an interagency technology initiative to ensure that the goals and objectives of the Plan are fully coordinated across Federal agencies and to serve as a focal point for communication with State and local governments and industry. The initiative will:

Focus Area Sub Elements


1.1 Education and training for disadvantaged youth and youth with disabilities
Demonstrations of new approaches for young people with disabilities, academic or economic disadvantages, or limited English language proficiency to improve their access to education and training and the effectiveness of the education and training they receive.

1.2 Promotion of effective school-to-work transitions
Demonstrations of new approaches that ease the transition of students from school to the workplace and that decrease the time it takes for them to fully participate as effective members of the work force.

1.3 Models and road maps for technology use to ensure that learners and instructors are capable of using educational technology
Demonstrations of (a) new approaches that increase the efficiency and effectiveness with which technology is transferred to instructional institutions, (b) procedures that help prepare learners and instructors use instructional technology effectively, or (c) changes within institutions that help ensure effective use of instructional technology.

1.4 Professional development of teachers and instructors
Demonstrations of programs of instruction that increase the ability of teachers and instructors to prepare and provide effective instruction.

1.5 Manufacturing education and training
Demonstrations of new approaches that increase the efficiency and effectiveness with which students can be prepared to enter the manufacturing work force and the efficiency and effectiveness with which they can maintain their skills or acquire new skills to continue participating in the manufacturing sector.

1.6 Linkages among all levels of education, the private sector, and local communities
Demonstrations of new approaches that integrate all public and private instructional resources available within local communities, increase their accessibility to all members of the community, focus them on providing local solutions to local problems, and increase the viability of the communities.

1.7 Systemic education reform, institutional change, and overcoming barriers to the use of technologies for advanced modes of education and training
Demonstrations of new approaches that enhance the cost-effectiveness of instructional institutions, help integrate and encourage effective use of technology in their activities, and help them devise new organizational forms that enhance their productivity.


2.1 Learning productivity
Research, development, and assessment of models and measures that establish relationships between the effective accomplishment of instructional objectives and useful descriptions and measures of the productivity of schools and other instructional programs and institutions. This category relates the effectiveness of instruction to definitions of the productivity of schools and training institutions.

2.2 Impact of learning productivity on institutional viability
Research, development, and assessment to determine how improvements in the effectiveness of education, such as school restructuring and the effectiveness of training, affect the viability, productivity, or well-being of the institutions (e.g., organizations, businesses, communities, countries) that provide them. This category includes school and organizational structuring and restructuring.

2.3 New assessment tools
Research, development, and assessment to design, implement, and use technology-based capabilities, such as those found in computer-based instruction, interactive videodisk instruction, and instructional simulation, to assess learning progress, simultaneous learner assessment and instruction, instruction based on simulation, learner self-assessment tools, learning tailored to individual needs, and standards-based learning.


3.1 Materials development
Research, development, and assessment to determine how best to design and implement tools for producing or "authoring" technology-based instructional materials, reusing and modifying existing technology-based materials when they conform with national standards, developing "just-in-time, just-enough" instruction, developing instruction embedded in operational equipment, developing interactive multimedia instruction, and constructing simulated environments for instruction. This element also includes development of technical standards for the production of all technology-based materials.

3.2 Personalized teaching and learning capabilities
Research, development, and assessment of technology-based capabilities that learners need to manage their instructional progress in school and lifelong learning settings. These capabilities range from technology-based learner's advisors through instructional management capabilities, to intelligent technology-based tutors.

3.3 Collaborative problem solving
Research, development, and assessment to design and implement learning environments that focus on collaborative efforts among students or workers and stimulate teamwork to solve problems posed in a learning environment. This category includes uses of technology to facilitate collaborative learning.

3.4 Access to shared or distributed resources and expertise
Research, development, and assessment to guide learners to sources of information they need and to make these sources of information accessible to all learners. These sources include digital libraries, human subject matter experts, and mentors.

3.5 Integration of technology-based instruction
Research, development, and assessment to help ensure that teachers and instructors can successfully incorporate technology into their existing instruction, that technology-based learning tools meet both local and national standards, and that today's instructional institutions and workplaces realize the benefits of new instructional technology as quickly as possible.


4.1 New learning paradigms
Research and development to improve our understanding of how people learn and of the mechanisms and processes through which instruction can and does affect learning. This category includes basic research on cognition, learning, and memory and on how they are affected by instruction.

4.2 Effecting change in teaching and training
Research and development on ways to effect change in our current institutions for teaching, training, and lifelong learning. This category includes efforts to determine (a) the roles that teachers, students, and lifelong learners should play to increase the effectiveness of learning and (b) ways to incorporate these roles in instructional institutions and workplaces.

4.3 Curriculum structuring and restructuring
Research and development on the design of a standards-based curriculum and programs of instruction. This category of research and development includes efforts to design and structure a curriculum so that it takes advantage of technology-based capabilities for administrative management, information handling, and the tailoring of instruction to each individual's needs, interests, abilities, and learning style.

4.4 Special needs
Research and development to identify the unique instructional challenges faced by learners in special populations, to assess their ability to respond to these challenges, and to exploit the capabilities offered by technology-based instruction. These populations include learners who must overcome disabilities, academic or economic disadvantages, limited English language proficiency, or other difficulties to take advantage of instructional opportunities and participate fully in the work force.

4.5 Cognitive task analysis
Research and development to determine the cognitive processes that underlie the skill and knowledge requirements needed to accomplish real-world tasks. This activity includes research to better understand the evolving content needs of growth-oriented knowledge industries and the cognitive tasks that individuals must possess to meet these needs.

Education & Training - Table of Contents




Committee on Education & Training

Executive Summary

Goals' Footer

Research & Development in Education & Training

Excellence in Science, Math & Engineering Education

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