National Defense Education Act (NDEA) 1965


NDEA, as originally passed in 1958 included Title VI, which supported research on methods and materials for language teaching and area studies centers at universities. It also provided stipends to teachers to attend summer institutes on methods and materials for teaching. The original act dealt only with content areas seen as immediately critical for the national defense—science, languages, and area studies. Once the precedent was established, momentum built to expand the act to include study in other subjects.

Decision to Act 

When Congress summoned the political will to pass President Lyndon Johnson’s massive Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 it also took the opportunity to expand the National Defense Education Act by adding Title XI, which added history, geography, reading, English, school libraries, and educational media to the list of subjects that qualified for special summer institutes. 

Contribution of Title XI: Summer Media Institutes 

In the summers of 1965 and 1966, seventy-two institutes were held for educational media specialists, attended by over 2700 participants (that is, about 38 participants per institute). Of the 72 institutes, 50 were "basic,” that is, they provided entry level skills in preparation and use of media. The participants typically had had only one prior course in educational media. 

Of the 72 institutes, 22 were "advanced,” that is, they provided more advanced skills to school personnel who already had basic media skills. For example, the institute held at Indiana University in the summer of 1966 enrolled 30 carefully screened participants, all of whom were graduates of other media institutes the previous summer. Similar advanced institutes were held at Syracuse University, Penn State University, Arizona State University, University of Michigan, University of Hawaii, Southern Cal, Michigan State University, and University of Illinois, among others.


The advanced institutes were coordinated through a federal contract, National Summer Media Institutes (NSMI) based at DAVI and led by Syracuse and Michigan State. The NSMI organization later expanded to include several other universities with major educational media programs and morphed into the University Consortium for Instructional Design and Technology (UCIDT). This consortium in the 1970s received another major federal grant, to develop and conduct a week-long training institute on instructional development. The Instructional Development Institute (IDI) eventually was offered to thousands of teachers in hundreds of school districts in the United States and several other countries. It was one of the catalysts for the dissemination of the concept of systematic instructional design. The ID model created for use in the IDI became an early "standard” ID model.

Impact on DAVI 

The most direct impact of the summer media institutes was on the membership pool for DAVI. Surveys conducted in 1966 indicated that many participants joined DAVI in conjunction with their institute training, in some cases 75 percent of participants were members after the institute, whereas only 20 percent were members prior to their participation. This translates into a membership increase of some 1500 members, contributing greatly to the exceptional growth spurt enjoyed by DAVI between 1965 and 1970. 
The UCIDT organization that grew out of the summer institute effort became a vehicle for inter-institutional cooperation among some of the major university educational media faculties. It not only created the IDI, but also supported research and curricular improvement. It became another bond between university programs and DAVI.
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