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Chancellor Seeks New Vitality for Berkeley School

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The chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley last week announced his plan for radically reorganizing the university's much-criticized school of education.

Asserting that scholarship in education at Berkeley must be converted "into a major institutional effort," Chancellor I. Michael Heyman proposed in a letter to the academic senate a number of changes intended to involve more faculty members from other disciplines in the study of education and to narrow sharply the curriculum of the education school.

The chancellor decided against the dismantling of the school of education, as had been urged in a study completed last spring. Abolishing the school "would send the wrong message to the public and to the education community about our committment," he wrote.

Other proposals made by the chancellor call for a renewed emphasis on undergraduate teacher-training and an improved working relationship with practicing educators in elementary and secondary schools.

Follows Dean's Recommendations

These aspects of the chancellor's plan follow closely recommendations made by Stephen S. Weiner, acting dean of the school of education, in a report submitted several weeks ago.

However, the Weiner report, the result of a four-month study requested by the chancellor, also called for the shifting of educational-psychology studies to a new department in the university's college of letters and science. It also suggested replacing the school of education, which is organized into departments, with a "school and faculty of education," in which faculty members would not hold departmental affiliation. The chancellor did not adopt these proposals.

Among the other recommendations made in the chancellor's letter:

Creation of an "institute of education" to coordinate campuswide educational research and to increase Berkeley's contact with practicing educators by conducting national seminars on educational policy, developing a large-scale publications program, and establishing a "school-university network."

Appointment of a new dean, who would have substantially increased authority to direct the school's policy.

Organization of the educational-psychology faculty into a separate department within the school of education.

Redesign of the school's curriculum to emphasize "language and learning," mathematics, and science.

"Accommodation" of other university faculty members in the school of education, upon the dean's appointment. The school's permanent faculty would be consolidated in a single department.

Continued funding of the school at its current level of nearly $3 million per year.

Admission To Be Limited

Under the chancellor's plan, admission to the school of education would be substantially limited until the 1983-84 school year, when the new curriculum is to be in place.

A spokesman for Mr. Heyman said that although the university's academic senate must endorse the reorganization plan, he does not foresee any major objections to it. The proposed institute of education must be approved by the University of California Board of Regents, the spokesman said.

The search for a new dean will begin immediately, he added.--T.T.

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