World Council for Curriculum and Instruction (WCCI)

History

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Alice Miel

To understand the origins of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction it is necessary to go back to events in the early history of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), USA. Every year from 1950 to 1964 that organization had in operation a committee on international understanding. Successive chairs and members had worked valiantly to promote among fellow curriculum workers greater awareness of the world context of their educational problems.

Louise Berman, an associate secretary of ASCD at the time, saw to it that an ad hoc committee would meet in San Francisco at the annual conference of ASCD, spring 1966, to formulate recommendations to the Executive Committee on the future role ASCD should play in furthering international understanding.

International Understanding Broadened to International Cooperation.

The ad hoc committee early in its deliberations agreed that a fresh approach might help to ensure an international dimension in the program of ASCD. It was decided, then, to recommend an ASCD commission on international cooperation in education. Such a commission was to have a longer term and a broader charge than previous committees on international understanding appointed on a one-year basis.

Let’s Have a World Conference

It happened that Alice Miel, chair of the ad hoc committee formed by Berman, had attended a ten-day international conference in Askov, Denmark, just the year before. Sponsored by the World Education Fellowship, the conference was held at a folk high school far from any large city. Conference participants from many countries at their meals together in a large dining hall, heard speakers of different nationalities, held group meetings all over the grounds, and socialized till late hours in the evenings. Miel coveted such experiences for fellow educators in her own country and began to dream of a similar conference in the U.S.A. The invitation to serve on the ad hoc committee provided a chance to test this idea for use by ASCD.

The chair’s proposal of a conference with participants from around the globe appealed to the committee as a dramatic first step in developing world cooperation in education. The committee decided to include the prospect of such a conference in its recommendations to the Executive Committee and even went so far as to suggest that the conference site be Asilomar, a rustic conference center on the Pacific Ocean near Carmel, California, some distance from a large city. The committee also indicated the need for a working conference of ten days to lay the groundwork for future cooperation among world educators.

The Executive Committee approved the recommendations and appointed a Commission on International Cooperation in Education for a three-year term, 1966-69. The names of those originally appointed and of additions to the commission during the six years of its existence are shown in the following chart.

Members of ASCD Commission on International Cooperation in Education, 1966-72¹

Arthur Adkins *

1966-71

Joseph Alessandro

1966-68

Kenneth A. Bateman* A

1966-71

Louise M. Berman   C.A

1967-71

Ira B. Bryant  A

1970-72

Delmo Della-Dora

1967-68

George Dickson * A

1966-71

Prudence Dyer  A

1971-72

D. Edward Fleming

1968-70

Leonard A. Herbst  A

1968-71

Gertrude M. Lewis

1966-68

Willard Leeds  A

1966-68

Alice Miel * C. A.

1966-71

Raymond Muessig

1971-72

Norman V. Overly  A

1941-72

Vincent Rogers  C. A.

1968-72

Harry V. Scott

1966-67

Charles M. Shapp * A

1966-71

Robert Smith  A

1967-71

Robert W. Wagner

1968-71

Pearl N. Yamashita

1971-72

1 Members of the ad hoc committee are indicated with *, chairs with C, participants in Asilomar conference with A