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Interview with Carl Haywood

Audio (first part)

Molly Dohrmann: This is Molly Dohrmann for the Peabody Oral History Project concerning the merger with Vanderbilt in 1979. Today's date is Friday, January 27, 2006, and the interview today in the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, is with Dr. Carl Haywood, Professor of Psychology and Human Development Emeritus, and former director of the Kennedy Center. To begin, please talk about your connection with Peabody, and the capacity in which you served at the time of the merger, an overview of the Vanderbilt Peabody situation at that time, and the importance of the Kennedy Center for the merger.

Carl Haywood: Yes. I came to Peabody in June, 1962 as a faculty member in psychology. It was not yet Psychology and Human Development. And, as the supervising psychologist in the Peabody Child Study Center. As soon as I got here, I started to hear from Nick Hobbs, and Sue Gray, and Lloyd Dunn, about exciting developments on the national scene in mental retardation and related aspects of human development.

So, as a very, very junior faculty member, I was brought in to help the giant with their development of what would become the Kennedy Center. My research had been, up until that time, in psychopathology and schizophrenia particularly. Rue Cromwell, who was already on the faculty here, was one of two psychology faculty members in the area of mental retardation and Rue wanted to move to psychopathology. So, he moved essentially across the street to psychiatry at Vanderbilt, and Nick Hobbs and Lloyd Dunn asked me to think about entering the field of mental retardation and taking over Rue's position in the psychology faculty. So, in the summer and fall of '63, I did that, and then immediately as the result became more involved with preparations for what would become the Kennedy Center. What was going on at the time that made us a very good candidate for one of these national research centers were several things.

First, Sue Gray's work in the early training project, which seemed then to have the seeds of what might be required to prevent mild and even moderate mental retardation that might be related to poverty and social disadvantage growing up poor and black in the rural south. So, I'm sure you've heard 1,000 times by now that her work very much impressed Sergeant Shriver, who credits it to this day with being the intellectual impetus for Head Start. So, Sue's work was important. Nick Hobbs had already started together with Bill Rhodes and some others here, Project Re-Ed, the re-education of emotionally disturbed children. While not directly related to mental retardation, the emphasis on social and cultural events that might be related to psychology, but whether good or bad already had a good beginning. Lloyd Dunn had come to head the department of special education, in fact, to start one and to share it, and within special ed, we had a stronger emphasis on mental retardation than on any of the other areas of exceptionality, although we had some strength in education of people with visual and hearing impairments as well. Then, both Nick Hobbs and Lloyd Dunn had served on President Kennedy's Panel--President's Panel on Mental Retardation.

Probably the most important factor, though, was the prior existence, since 1954, of the doctoral program in mental retardation research. It was into that program that they put me as a young faculty member, one of two in psychology. Norman Ellis was the other one. So, graduate students who wanted to emphasize mental retardation research, but from the standpoint of clinical psychology, worked with me. Those who wanted to do the same thing, but with an emphasis in experimental psychology worked with Dr. Ellis. When you put all of that together, we had about as strong a case as anybody in the country to become a research center in this field. Peabody was a natural home. It had distinguished faculty members who did research and published scholarly work on individually differences, the assessment of intelligence, the effects of social community, cultural variables on learning, and by this time we had some core of faculty members who were doing quite basic laboratory research on the processes of learning.

Then, in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development was created, as a result partly of the recommendations of the president's panel on mental retardation, but really very largely through the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Part of, they call it the report language, the legislation that created an ICHD, said that it should be two things besides the looking after the health of mother's and children. It should be the home within the National Institutes of Health of the Behavioral Sciences. So, psychology was to have a home, the developmental psychology, and the other one was it was to be the home of mental retardation research, which what little of it there had been, had been housed in the National Institute of Mental Health.

I have to say that at that time in the very early 1960s, the distinction between mental illness and mental retardation was not universally appreciated. And, I remember appearing as an expert witness a couple of years later in a Federal District Court, and the federal district judge had to ask me what was the difference between the two. And he had actually thought that mental retardation is a condition that children have. And that when they grow up, they become mentally ill. So, they might move from a mental retardation facility to a psychiatric hospital. I can't count the number of times I've had to go into those distinctions for the judiciary. But I have to say, for that judge, Frank Johnson, a very distinguished federal district judge in Alabama in Montgomery that he learned very, very quickly. (laughter) If I had had graduate students who learned that quickly, I would have been very happy. OK, so those were the conditions.

Dohrmann: Yeah, to the forming of the Kennedy Center?

Haywood: Right.

Dohrmann: Right. And so, can you go ahead and talk some more about that, about the gift from the Kennedys, how it happened -- you've already talked about how it happened to come to Nashville, but the other centers that were founded around the country also, too?

Haywood: One of the recommendations of the president's panel was that a series of research centers, centers for research and research training, to quote the language, "In mental retardation and related aspects of human development, public law 88 164." (laughter) I remember so well. It was to create this series of centers across the country. There were originally 12 centers. They were to be housed in universities, and it further provided for construction funds, and the formula was three to one, three federal dollars to one matching dollar, and they didn't much care where the matching dollars came from.

So, Peabody applied for the construction grant, and was successful. If you can believe it today, these two buildings, this building, MRL, and the Hobbs building, the original buildings of the Kennedy Center were built for $4 million, and 120,000 net square feet for $4 million in the mid '60s. Well, Peabody really didn't have a million dollars to match the fed's $3 million, and Peabody had always had a very limited endowment, and spending money out of the endowment did not seem to be a wonderful thing to do. But Peabody did, much to the credit of the Peabody board, come up with half a million dollars, I think largely from the sale of the hill camp, which was -- you know about that, was outside of town, and lovely rustic setting where we like to have picnics, and where Project Re-Ed children worked a lot.

And, so we needed another half million dollars, and Nick Hobbs and Lloyd Dunn already had very good relations with the Kennedy Foundation as members of the president's panel. And, Mrs. Shriver had indicated the foundation's willingness to help with the matching funds of the centers that needed it. So, they gave us half a million dollars for matching funds, which enabled us to apply for the grant, and we got it: construction grant. They then gave us another million dollars for $100,000 a year for ten years in operating funds, without which the buildings would not have been maximally useful. The NICHD also gave us an implementation grant that we used to begin the operations of the Kennedy Center, to get us up to the point at which individual investigators were strong enough to apply for their own research grants, which happened very quickly.

So, we began construction in 1965 and moved into these two buildings in the spring of '68. The public law 88-164 that provided those funds required that the facilities built with the construction grants be used for research and research training on mental retardation and related aspects of human development for a period of not less than 20 years. So, the clock started running in the Spring of '68 when we moved into the buildings.

And, we enjoyed these buildings almost exclusive use for 20 years. Ah-ha, the training grant continued and provided us with the end research training component that we needed to do. It had begun in '54, and last year, year and a half ago, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of continuous funding of that doctoral training grant in mental retardation research. So, that gave us a core of faculty members who were already well-occupied in mental retardation research and a group of very talented graduate students, whose main job was mental retardation research. So, we had a leg up in the beginning.

I'll tell you one other quick thing that was very important, a gift from the Kennedy Foundation. Nick Hobbs somehow talked Mr. Shriver into the idea of funding a series of visiting professorships in mental retardation research. And these were to be people who did not come from the field of mental retardation, who were maybe five years beyond their doctorates, and had time to explore the parameters of their dissertation research, and maybe to get tired of that for a while, who might be looking for new challenges. But we required that they be expert at what they did. So, we might have somebody who was in basic learning research or another person who was expert in teaching in Special Ed. We had one person who was a pediatric neurologist, another one who was much into vision, and so on.

So, we had this series for several years, and were really quite successful at it. The first three -- yes, the first three visiting Kennedy Foundation visiting professors came to us in '63, and were here for a year. Two of those subsequently devoted the rest of their careers to research in mental retardation. One of them was director of a mental retardation research center in Canada. And, so they were really quite -- and subsequent ones were similarly strong contributors to the field. Well, that strengthened our faculties, and one thing that all of us who had been directors of the Kennedy Center insisted on every step of the way was everybody teaches. Nobody can just do research, which was not to minimize the importance of the research, but to say that we want immediate benefits for our students of your expertise. So, that meant that everybody had to have an academic appointment.

So, the directors of the Kennedy Centers always worked very closely with chairs of the academic departments. So, a research center cannot award academic rank. It takes a department of faculty to do that. And so, the faculties in psychology and special education in particular at Peabody were enormously strengthened by that. I remember that when I became -- or shortly after I became director of the Kennedy Center in 1971, we had a psychology faculty of 28 full time faculty members, all with PhDs, and four were paid for on hard money.

Dohrmann: (inaudible) on grants.

Haywood: And the rest of them on grants, that's right. So, you can imagine what an enormous expansion of psychology and special education occurred as a result of having a research center that could attract grants. That made successive presidents of Peabody a bit nervous about awarding tenure to people taking upon themselves the responsibility to pay those faculty members should the grants run out, and I can see them sitting up nights worrying about that. But, to their great credit, they did it. And, we never had to argue terribly strongly with Peabody presidents about tenure, and we were afraid that they might want two sets of criteria for tenure, those who were on hard money and those who were not, and the faculty said, "You can't have two standards." If somebody is here in the seventh year, and has not been awarded tenure, it has to go. And, so we had the same standards for everybody no matter where their money came from. Now, I do not recall ever having to let anybody go because the funding ran out. We found some way.

Dohrmann: Do you want to talk some more about your time as director of the Kennedy Center, and what that meant in terms of what happened in 1979 and the events leading up to that, and especially as it relates to the Kennedy Center?

Haywood: OK. I was the third director of the Kennedy Center serving from '71 to '83, still the longest tenure. The first was Nick Hobbs, of course, the founder. And, Nick was the focal point of a head to head clash with the Peabody board. He and Alex Heard were very much in favor of much closer relations between these two institutions, Peabody and Vanderbilt. We already had had the joint university libraries since the late 1930s, and we had academic arrangements such that students in both could take courses at the other, and for a while that worked better than it did for a year or two after merger. But, some very close -- and lots of faculty collaborations. I remember that I had at least three members of Vanderbilt faculty with whom I collaborated in research over the years, and it worked fine. And then, as part of the effort of Heard and Hobbs to bring these two institutions closer together, Nick was appointed Provost of Vanderbilt.

The board had some pretty reactionary members on it who said you're selling out to Vanderbilt: selling what? I don't know. (laughter) But that was the attitude. And so they said, "Mr. Hobbs, you cannot be both director of the Kennedy Center at Peabody and Provost of Vanderbilt." So, Nick said, "OK, I'll be Provost of Vanderbilt." And they then appointed his associate director, Don Stedman, who was director for one year. During that time -- sorry -- Nick had some research going on, and so (inaudible) shortly after I became director. So I assigned him some space in what is now the Hobbs building. President of Peabody called me up and said, "Get him out of there. You cannot do that." And I really thought I could because as director of the Kennedy Center, I had to control the space. The law said that it had to be used for these purposes and it didn't say under the exclusive control of the center director, but it was to my advantage to shepherd it that way.

So, I thought this was a fight I could not win. It would involve the whole Peabody board, and so Nick Hobbs stopped having an office on the Peabody campus even. Then, I was appointed. I had been already director of the research training program, and subsequently director of one of the Kennedy Center components, what we used to call IMRID, the Institute on Mental Retardation and Intellectual Development. It was the primary research group that focused on mental retardation.

So, I think that I was appointed director of the Kennedy Center, because I was about the only one left at that time who had any strength of credentials in mental retardation research. And that wasn't all that much, or as I was, in 1971, I was ten years out of graduate school. And, only recently, well, I had been for three or four years a full professor. But, hardly to be considered a senior citizen... So, I think that they looked around and say, "It's Haywood or nothing," (laughter) so I took it on.

And, what started then was a series of love-hate relationships with the presidents of Peabody. We got president Claunch, who really knew very little about research of any kind, but knew enough to know that it was important. Yeah. He didn't know exactly why, but he knew it was important. So, he and I got along rather well considering the differences in personality, in goals, and everything except for one area, and that was he looked lustfully at this space (laughter) at these two buildings.

Nick had built a little play yard adjacent to the other building, the Hobbs building, surrounded with a brick wall and with sophisticated television equipment built in for observational research, and he hoped that people would study children in their natural activities, and but it had a little house as part of it. And, one morning I came to work and found that the Peabody security force had occupied that little facility, in what came to be known locally as the pigs in the play yard,caper.(laughter) So, I had to go marching over to the president's office and say, "You've got to get these people out of there. It's a violation of the law." You cannot by any stretch of the imagination pretend that they are doing research or research training in mental retardation.

We had a big blow up about that. And yet, every time, I was able to show him the law, and Peabody's commitment to it, and Peabody president's signatures on the agreements.

So, he thought, and I thought as well that the director of the Kennedy Center could be the principal research administrator of Peabody College. And so, in every respect except title, he regarded the director of the Kennedy Center as a Vice President for Research. For example, every time there was a social affair that required the president and the two vice presidents, academic and administrative affairs, he also included the director of the Kennedy Center.

We got another, the next president was John Dunworth, and so it's after Mr. Claunch was essentially retired by the board. I don't know all the ins and outs of that, but they brought John Dunworth in from Ball State, and this began. This heightened the conflict event. The sudden appearance of the Kennedy Center on the Peabody campus had some effect beyond the Kennedy Center and beyond the president's office. It created a haves versus have-not's situation. Faculty members in departments in disciplines that didn't have access to research grants and perfectly good, strong, faculty members but English professors don't get many research grants, and others, so there were people who lived in these beautiful quarters that we're sitting in right now, and people whose offices were in corners of old buildings built in 1914 across the Peabody campus. We could afford to do things that the rest of the campus could not afford to do.

And, because of some private funding, I was able to do some things that with discretionary funds, that even the presidents of Peabody couldn't do, because they didn't have any discretionary money. The other directors and I always try to be discreet and not to make a big display of our wealth as it were. But, you simply can't hide it. There are things you need to do.

There may be things that maybe I didn't need to do in quite such a manner, but we had a national advisory committee from the Kennedy Center, very distinguished people from across the country, and we had an annual meeting. And, at the first annual meeting of the national advisory committee, after I became center director, we had a black tie dinner at Cheekwood, to which we invited the administrators, department chairs, and some faculty members from the rest of the campus as well.

It was probably not the thing to do. That was probably showing off a bit, and we might have gotten a long a bit better playing a quieter role. In fact, I told the Kennedy Center investigators, when we were going to have site visit on a grant application look honest but poor, wear old clothes that are immaculately clean pressed. (laughter) Don't look too affluent. I think Peabody was beginning to have serious financial problems. Do you have to go soon?

Dohrmann: No, no, I just was worried about you.

Haywood: Serious financial problems... The biggest the endowment had ever been during my time at Peabody was $13 million. This is nothing compared to today's standards when we have $2 billion, $3 billion, and the Vanderbilt -- but certainly not enough money to see you through a lean period. And, Peabody had never had a very aggressive fundraising campaign or system. We had a -- I'm not even sure we had a director of development. It was generally thought to be the president's job, and most of the presidents simply didn't do it. So, we were dependent upon tuition income. Peabody had, in the past, had a few profitable enterprises such as a wonderful resource center for materials in education called Free and Inexpensive Educational Materials. And they published a list of those and they kept a repository here.

They did a lot of consulting with school systems, but it had moved from the Peabody of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century a long way. The genius of the establishment of George Peabody College for Teachers was first the emphasis on advanced education, so there were practically no undergraduate students here. It was mostly graduate students, and as evidence of that, the population would double or triple in the summer. When teachers and superintendents, and people could come in from all over and take advanced work.

So, the other was the insistence from the very outset on the closest possible intellectual and scholarly relationship between education and psychology, just as physiology and anatomy for example might be seen as the basic science that underlie the practice of medicine, psychology was seen as the basic science that should underlie the practice of education. So, Peabody had psychological laboratories at least as early as the 1890s, which was long before -- almost 50 years before -- Vanderbilt did.

And the Jessup Psychological Laboratory Building that is still the psychology building here, built in 1914, was the first building to be built in the in the United States for the purpose of housing psychology.

Dohrmann: 1914?

Haywood: Yeah. The great historian of psychology, E. G. Boring, unfortunate name, told us that when he came in 1964 for a 50th anniversary of Peabody on this campus -- so, this historical relationship met that like Teachers College, Columbia, like the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Education, and Harvard's Graduate School of Education, which is where we are now ranked with those, and while we were in the early part of the last century as well, like those institutions, there was a very strong emphasis on the academic disciplines of education and psychology. And their close relationship, rather than exclusively on the practice of education or the preparation of practitioners.

So, leaders, they were supposed to produce leaders in the field. In fact, when I became director of the Kennedy Center, what I told the investigators in the Kennedy Center was we are not General Motors. We cannot put a Chevrolet in everybody's garage. We cannot run mental retardation in the country and provide services. We are Dupont, in the sense that we develop new ways of doing things, and export them to other people to do. Well, that was also the early vision of Peabody. In the 1970s, that vision had begun to fade with an increasing growth in the emphasis on preparation of classroom teachers, which would have been fine except they were doing it in a way that was essentially the same as it was being done in public universities down the street. You could go to Middle Tennessee, you could go to Memphis State and get the same thing.

So, why should people pay private school prices to get the same thing they could get at public institutions? So what I was saying was that a primary cause of Peabody's crisis that led to the necessity for merger in the 1970s was a series of presidents who did not appreciate the difference between public and private higher education, who were trying to do a public education job but entirely on tuition incomes. Can't do it... the Middle Tennessee could go crying to the legislature if it needed somebody. And so, the enrollment decline kept falling, and there was nothing to cushion that blow to the financial structure that then they sold the Demonstration School, ate into the endowment until after several years of budget deficits that the board finally got its backup and said, "You can't keep spending money you don't have, and so alternatives began to be explored."

Dohrmann: Was the Kennedy Center, or you at the Kennedy Center, were you all feeling the same kind of crunch, or were you different enough to feel --

Haywood: We were in our golden age in many ways. The grant funds kept coming. Our faculty members were highly successful at obtaining research grants and training grants. And, we had, by that time, a number of us established ourselves in Washington and across the country as leaders in the field, so it became even a little easier to get. I mean, you're not supposed to give grant money to the person. You're supposed to give it to a project, but still, it doesn't hurt to be a well-recognized leader in the field. People had begun to expect that students who came out of Peabody with doctorates in mental retardation knew more about mental retardation than anybody else. So, and we often got that comment. So, we were in better shape. But, you can't have a highly successful research center attached to a dying college.

I mean, there were other reasons why Peabody was a good place to put us in the first place. And one of them was the existence of the Peabody Library, and our access to the joint university libraries, but even just the Peabody Library, I discovered soon after I came here, had a fantastic collection in the developmental sciences in psychology as well as in education back to the 1870s or so. I started, for example, to do a new translation of the complete works of Alfred Binet, the father of intelligence testing, and I found that everything he had ever written in French as well as in English, was in the Peabody Library. I didn't have to go to Paris to get it. It was right here. The same was true of many other distinguished works and authors. In early psychology, most of the basic work was published in German or French. It was here in the Peabody Library.

So, just an example of how you need a healthy institution surrounding the research center, and then of course there was the matter of academic appointments, and I could not hire people who had any strength at all without their being able to have professorial ranks in academic departments. The departments got to be less and less eager to offer rank and because they were afraid of the fiscal situation -- so the last two presidents of Peabody greatly emphasized undergraduate education and the preparation of elementary school teachers, which most of us had looked at that at the time thought it could not succeed because the public universities could not do it as well we were doing it. That's about it, yeah.

Dohrmann: Well, do you need to leave?

Haywood: No, no.

Dohrmann: OK. When the merger was right upon everyone in the early part of 1979, what happened with the Kennedy Center, and what was going on at Vanderbilt and Peabody?

Haywood: We knew nothing about a merger talk until one morning, I had a call at home from the president's office asking me into an early meeting, and the fact that the board was seeking alternatives to our independent status was revealed. It was very secret up until then. Then John Siegenthaler got all excited about this social revolution idea of his, that we ought to merge with Tennessee State. Well, that would have had many advantages for Tennessee State. It would have given them a doctorate in education, which they didn't have. It would have given them a distinguished library, and some pretty good faculty members and so forth. But, I couldn't see any advantage for Peabody, especially for the Kennedy Center. From an academic standpoint, Tennessee State was not a first rate institution.

I guess I'll probably be crucified for that, but almost was, in fact, Sergeant Shriver was a member of Peabody Board at that time. And I called Mr. Shriver for that and said, "Look, there is this wild idea of merger with Tennessee State, which doesn't even have the library that could support a research center like the Kennedy Center, and no tradition of distinguished research and scholarship," and as good an idea from a social progress standpoint as that might be, it would be disaster for the Kennedy Center. And, he said that in the board meeting, and the next day, the Tennessean came out with a cartoon on the editorial page showing a photograph of this head of John Kennedy that we have, the Berks had a Kennedy (inaudible) with a giant tear rolling down its face at, I assume, Haywood's and Shriver's racism, which of course it wasn't.

So you see, there was lots of anxiety. I'm not sure that was ever seriously considered by the Peabody board, but Vanderbilt sure didn't want it. They did not want a third or a fourth rate institution across the street from them, and even then I don't think it was a race issue. I don't think they cared whether it was black or white. They just wanted quality. And, so that upset members of the Vanderbilt board, and they began to talk more and more seriously about merging the two institutions. And I cannot remember a time when a merger was not implicitly on the table.

Long before I ever got here, it had been brought up a number of times, and generally rejected. Both institutions wanted to be fiercely independent, and they were until the day came when Peabody couldn't afford fierce independence. From the Kennedy Center standpoint, merger with Vanderbilt was the only option we had that made any sense at all, given that Peabody could not survive as an independent institution. I had always looked across the street and lusted after the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members at the medical school and with departments, and we didn't have at Peabody. But we had been able to do that to some extent.

But given the situation we were in, it looked like a good alternative. I called in some members of the national advisory committee, ask their advice on what the Kennedy Center ought to do. We had a number of alternatives. We could have pulled out as a separate corporate entity. And, there was one proposal for the Kennedy Center to merge into Duke, and another one for us to merge into the University of Hawaii. Can you imagine? (laughter) They used to tease me about having a commuter ticket on American Airlines, but man I would have had to have a jet of my own.

I don't think those were very serious, but one member of our national advisory committee, Dick Shieflebusch from Kansas, when asked, "How do you see the possibility of Merger with Vanderbilt, and what will it do for the Kennedy Center?," he thought for a minute and he said, "It won't solve all your problems, but you will have a better class of problems." (laughter) I like that. And indeed, we had a better class of problems.

Dohrmann: Well, talk a little bit about how the merger changed the Kennedy Center, or how the Kennedy Center changed Vanderbilt or the merger.

Haywood: All right, we were in a favorable position, we being the Kennedy Center during these merger negotiations, because it was obvious that the Kennedy Center was a part of Peabody that Vanderbilt actually wanted, and so we were successful already. We were not going to cost them money. We were, in fact, going to bring in money as indirect costs on our grants. And, even at that time, Peabody, which is to say, mostly the Kennedy Center, had the largest grant income of any school except the Medical School within the Vanderbilt Peabody Complex, far more than (inaudible) science.

And so they could see us as an entity capable of sustaining itself, and that made us attractive. Also, we were doing, intellectually, respectable things. We were publishing in good journals and publishing books, and doing what scholars are supposed to do, and at the same time, we looked good doing it because we were helping to solve an important social problem. So, we were working on something important. So, we were in a pretty good position. As soon as merger (break in audio file).

Dohrmann: Sorry.

Haywood: We doing all right?

Dohrmann: Yes.

Haywood: As soon as merger was accomplished, my thought was we have to take advantage of this new corporate relationship, and especially with the medical school because everybody knows that a good share of the problems in mental retardation are in the biological realm. So, we needed collaboration, but we also needed some independent work on prevention, on genetics, on inborn errors of metabolism, the whole range of mental retardation problems. And so, one of the first things I did was to ask two members of the psychology faculty and ANS, who had been associated with the Kennedy Center loosely to that time, to begin to create a research group in cognitive science. So, cognitive neuroscience... They did, and they were Brad Howars (sp?), and what's the name of the woman who does such distinguished research, and has her primary appointment in anatomy but she's also in psychology? Oh well, it's a wonder I can think of my own name. I'll think of it eventually.

And they set about to put together a research group in neuroscience that would become part of the Kennedy Center, and now is a principal component of the Kennedy Center. I could also see that now that we were in and part of an institution that had a medical school, we were not going to be competitive with our center grant, our basic support applications unless we took advantage of that, and incorporated that. So, that got started. Well, I didn't last too much longer after that. This occurred in '79. I had been director of the Kennedy Center since '71, and in '82 I was pretty well worn out and convinced the then-dean of Peabody that I should have a sabbatical, and recharge some batteries and we had to get a research program reinvigorated. And so, I went off to France to have my sabbatical.

I hadn't been there two months before I had a letter from the president saying, "It's time for you to be replaced." And so it turned out that there had been a little conspiracy going on at the Kennedy Center. My successor, Baumeister had conspired with the Dean. I'd left him in charge. I was associate director. This turned out to be not a good thing. Anyway, there was nothing I could do about it. The Kennedy Center belonged to Peabody only at the time, and even though Peabody was now the School of Education of Vanderbilt, the Peabody Dean essentially owned the Kennedy Center. And, I suppose center directors can be replaced at the Dean's discretion. Well, this dean indeed decided to replace one. So, I was nominally director for the rest of that year until the summer of '83.

Dohrmann: Do you have a few more minutes to talk, or do you need to go?

Haywood: Yeah, yeah.

Dohrmann: I do want to ask you to trace, just an overview, of how the Kennedy Center has changed, but also, how the field that it serves and supports has changed, and the research that's been done, and what are some of the really great accomplishments and achievements of that research work over these years?

Haywood: Good. Well, the Kennedy Center has changed quite a lot. When it was permitted, our research (inaudible) program was almost exclusively behavioral, educational, social, although we had a little bit of bio behavioral research, but not much. That was one of our greatest traits at the beginning, because no other one of the national centers could be so sharply focused on behavioral research. But, we needed to broaden, and as time went on, and as I mentioned as the result of the merger and having access to the medical school in particular. We needed to take advantage of that, and to get into research that required collaborations across disciplines especially between behavioral and biological disciplines.

So, simultaneously the interdisciplinary field of neuroscience had begun to develop, and not only here but across the world. And that meant that we had to take a multiple-perspective on the problems of mental retardation in human development. You could no longer get away with just looking at behavior or just looking at genetics for example. It required a multiple perspective. So, the Kennedy Center changed in that way. Its strategy for researching mental retardation became a broader multiple one. So, it incorporated people from a greater number of disciplines, all very good.

We had always had strength in special education. But that underwent a huge increase. We got people like Ann Kaiser and Lynn and Doug Fuchs and just a bunch of people who brought greater strength to special ed to the point that they're now number one in the country. (laughter) So, I think I can say with some objectivity that special ed prospered greatly. And that strengthened the Kennedy Center. And so most of those people held research appointments in the Kennedy Center.

Let's see, the field had changed. The whole mental retardation field had changed. In the 1960s, we were primarily interested in mild or moderate mental retardation. In the '70s, the field developed a much more lively interest in severe and profound additions even though they represented a tiny percentage of the whole problem, maybe 90% of the people who have mental retardation, they have mild and moderate mental retardation. Still, we saw a growing interest in severe and profound levels and that was accompanied by this huge social movement to de-institutionalize.

 

Audio (second part)

Haywood: I was just saying that I've always been impressed with the ability of the people we've had here at the Kennedy Center we've had here to work a stride, the basic and the applied issues. They have a mission orientation, so it isn't just to finish a piece of research to get it published. It's to make a difference in the lives of people who have mental retardation and developmental disabilities even when what you're doing is basic developmental research that has no immediate application in mental retardation. We know that mental retardation needs to be studied as a subset of human development. People with mental retardation are human beings who develop mostly in the same ways that everybody else does. And so we need to know all we can know about how human beings develop in the first place, and then we're in a much better position to understand any deviations in that developmental pathway.

We also, so that the scientists here do have this mission orientation, and it turns out that that has not cost them a thing in terms of the scientific scholarly validity of their work. They go and see how things work in the community. For 30 years, I went to Clover Bottom every week including the 12 years that I directed the Kennedy Center and didn't have time to go. But, I was able, then to help a little bit with that transition from emphasis on institutionalization to emphasis on community, care, and alternative placement to help to reduce the population out there to maybe a fifth of what it was when I came here. The many faculty members, in special ed in particular, helped with that transition to community oriented system of care and education.

So, we were not merely observers of the social changes that were taking place. We were participants. That's one thing that I think it's been important to observe. But, the field has changed so much. I've just been part of a project of the American Association on Mental Retardation to try to define mental retardation, redefine mental retardation, and in my chapter in this upcoming book, what I have proposed is that the diagnosis be limited to those who have severe and profound retardation arguing that people with moderate and mild retardation are more like non-retarded people than they are like people with severe and profound retardation. So, why put those two together when they're not really alike? And, we also used to define mental retardation mostly in terms of deficits of what people could not do. So, you give an intelligence test and you fail a number of items and so you flunk the test, and you get diagnosis: mentally retarded.

Now, the trend is to diagnose need that is not, "What can you not do?" but, "What do you need?" A person may need special tutoring in activities of daily living, help with shoe tying and shirt buttoning, and so forth, or the person may need help in learning to read. And, the diagnosis saying this person is moderately mentally retarded doesn't help you to know that. So, the whole concept of what is mental retardation has been shifting steadily. Then, of course, there's been the social movement, the whole de-institutionalization movement was not so much the results of new insight, but of simply social movement, a sociopolitical philosophy that said, one that I have to say I resisted part of for a long time, and still do to one extent because what they, adherents, wanted to do was to do away with some of our options and to say, "Nobody should reside in a facility that has more than this number of people," and I've certainly agreed that there were a whole lot of people who never should have been in institutional care in the first place who could have done better in an alternative setting, and they have done better now that they are in community settings. But there's a whole bunch of people that don't get thought about very much who are profoundly retarded who are medically fragile.

A study in California showed a quite significant rise in the death rate of people who were profoundly retarded -- medically fragile -- when they were moved from the institution to community settings. And so, I argue that the aggregation of services is important to a significant number of people who need to have immediate access to medical specialties to -- I mean, if you get below a certain level of severity in the retardation population, the percentage of people with convulsive disorders goes way, way, way up until if you get far enough down on the severity scale, everybody has convulsive disorders, and require medication for it. Way back in the 1960s, George Paulson, a neurologist who was a Kennedy visiting professor and I did a study at Clover Bottom and found that only about 28% of the residents out there who had seizures were actually getting exactly what the neurologist prescribed. They were either not taking it, or the staff were not sophisticated enough to see to it that they got it.

And then we found another group, for example, who were still on anticonvulsive medication but nobody had observed a seizure in 5-10 years. So, we felt they could be tried off or on reduced medication. I'm just trying to illustrate that there are some people who still require a sophisticated medical setting, and I think that's a very small number. But we can't dismiss them and fail to provide for them. And if you put them in community settings, they tend to die.

So, I think that if you care more about the individuals than you do about the social philosophy, you'll provide for everybody, those who do well in community settings and those who don't. Well you got a lot of my preaching in there. Sorry about that.

Dohrmann: OK, well thank you very much.

 

The Experimental School

Audio (third part)

Dohrmann: This is Molly Dohrmann for the Peabody Oral History Project. Today's date is Tuesday, March 14, 2006, and we continue the interview with Dr. Carl Haywood, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Human Development and former director of the Kennedy Center. He began his career at Peabody in 1962. Please talk about the beginnings of the experimental school at Peabody.

Haywood: There are two ways to characterize the beginnings. One is in terms of the history of work on the education of young children at Peabody, and the experimental school was, in many ways, simply a continuation of that tradition. We had very distinguished professors of early education: for example, Macy Southall who is remembered annually with a series of lectures at Peabody, and we had had the Child Study Center since 1916 or so, and many efforts in that direction made fertile ground for the growth of a new emphasis in early education. Then with the beginning of the Kennedy Center, we have the opportunity to provide for the housing of an experimental school, and in that grant application for the research fund -- I'm sorry, the construction funds -- to build the Kennedy Center buildings, we had specifically discussed the importance of an on-campus lab school where we could do new things, try out new things where we could do research ranging all the way from basic research on the development of children and their learning abilities to field testing of new programs and that sort of thing, but in the context of doing that, had insisted on continuing Peabody's long time tradition of saying, essentially, as soon as I open the door to the first child for research purposes, I incur the obligation to provide the best quality service possible.

So, it was a heavy burden, and a tall expectation. We then opened the buildings in the spring of 1968, and as soon as we opened the buildings, we started the school. We had a Professor Glenn van Etten (sp?) in special education who became the first director of the Kennedy Center experimental school, and he was determined that it would be a research facility, a service facility, and a training facility. So, one of the first things we did after advertising for and admitting a few children was to arrange to have students in early education and special education courses at Peabody do practicum work in the experimental school.

The other way to approach the beginning is from the intellectual standpoint of what provided the intellectual impetus and that's where Sue Gray's work comes in so strongly, in that she had demonstrated through her early training project that early preschool education systematically applied can make a difference in the further development of the children, especially children whose preschool lives were not rich with the kinds of experiences one would hope for, very cultural experiences and being read through a lot, and those things that we now just take for granted, so Sue Gray had specialized in the early education of children from very poor families. At the time, our emphasis in research on mental retardation was heavily on mildly to moderately retarded children because we were essentially a bunch of psychologists and special educators, not physicians and not physiologists or geneticists, so we sort of defined our legitimate field as mild and moderate mental retardation.

It turned out that 90% of children with mild retardation come from poor families, and so the overlap with Sue Gray's work was so obvious and so great, that it gave us the courage to strike out in the new direction in the Experimental School.

Dohrmann: In 1986, the name of the experimental school was changed to the Susan Gray School. So, you have already talked about her contribution.

Haywood: Yes.

Dohrmann: And, any other work or other important contributors to the work of the school?

Haywood: Yes. Very early in the development of the experimental school, we had the advantage of having a professor, William Bricker with us and Dianne Bricker, who was Bill Bricker's wife, and at the same time a graduate student in special education. They established their infant and toddler project in the experimental school, and were the first, I think, in the country to emphasize the importance of integrated early education, meaning that we had children with handicaps, and children without handicaps getting educated in the same classrooms by the same teachers at the same time. So, that was an extremely important development, and it's one that we follow to this day. And we are still firmly convinced that it's good for both groups of children.

Dohrmann: OK. What about the strengths and innovation of the programs at the school over the years?

Haywood: Being an experimental school, even after the name change, it's inevitable that you're going to change things every now and then. So, early on, there was a behavioral emphasis with people doing research on schedules of reinforcement and the effectiveness of rewards being given or withheld contingent on children's performing desired behavior. It was a heavy emphasis. Even though Bill Bricker was a convinced behavioralist when he came here, he had a close association with a graduate student and an associate of ours from Geneva. He's (inaudible) whose husband was doing a residency at Vanderbilt, and she had worked with Piaget, and so (inaudible) had a good strong influence on Bricker's conceptual development, and we began to look at, contrary to the advice of the oddly radical behaviorists, we began to look at things that you cannot see, to us, questions about what goes on between a stimulus and a response, what is happening inside the mind of the child, and those were absolutely forbidden questions in the '50s and most of the 60s, but they began to be more and more respectable.

So, the Kennedy Center took on a more cognitive appearance. The research began to be focused on what happens inside the child instead of simply on what happens between what you manipulate over here and what you observe on the other side. Sorry, I guess you can't hear my emotions. (laughter) It's kind of like the kid answering grandma's questions who (inaudible) on the telephone. OK, that then began a series of programmed development projects. So, we had the DARCEE project, which was Dr. Gray's work, demonstration and research center for early education. And, the DARCEE Model was disseminated across the country. There were Native American schools in North Dakota, and in Minnesota that were using our program and there were schools in California in North Carolina all around. So, that was one product.

The second was the Bricker's program, which I'm not sure ever got a name. That's unfortunate, because we always have to refer to it as, "Just the Bricker's program," but it was essentially integrated early education. It was focused on the notion of not only does thought determine behavior, but behavior frequently determines thought, so that if you can change the behavior of the child you may be able to change the development of more complicated, more adequate thinking processes. So, they were essentially bridging the gap between behaviorism and cognitivism.

I suppose the next one to come along was my and Penny Brooks' and Sue Burns' Bright Start Project, which was a program development for early education of poor disadvantaged children, developed in the Experimental School, and in the Heads Up child development center downtown. That program became much more cognitive and metacognitive. That is to say, we focus the children's attention sharply on developing their own thinking processes, thinking about their thinking, "What do I have to think about in order to solve this problem?" that kind of emphasis, and that work is still going on around the world in 15 countries that I know of.

There are other projects that developed that I don't want to seem to say that these were the only ones because they weren't. There were projects constantly being developed and evaluated and then exported, which was precisely the model that we were pursuing in the whole Kennedy Center, developed new ways of doing things, and then let other people do them, and go back and develop some more, which I don't know whether I said this in the interview last time or not, but I've said at ad nauseum to members of the Kennedy Center that we are not General Motors. We are Dupont, and that our job is development, not manufacturing. So, we were constantly doing that.

Dohrmann: I think we've covered some of these other questions, but I was going to ask you to talk about the families and children who were served, and about how may that have changed over the years also.

Haywood: Yeah, as I'm sure you know by now, there is the most intimate relationship between philosophy and a program and funding. And so, it hadn't always been easy to get the right funding for what we wanted to do. But we insisted all on that the integrated model was essential. In fact, was essential to the education of both groups of children, and so that there was a time when every year I had to make the case to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, that they should pay for the normally developing children in our classrooms as well as those with disabilities, because their presence in the same classroom was essential to the model. For a number of years, they bought that, and then money got tighter and they wanted to pay only for the children with disabilities. So, Paula Goodroe became director of the (inaudible) Middle School. I had recruited her from Sue Gray's program, making yet another bridge from Sue Gray's early work to the Experimental School, and Paula was particularly good at finding bits of money here and there that could be consistent with our philosophy.

So, we were able to hang on to the notion of integrated classrooms. At the beginning, the typically developing children were mostly children or faculty members or graduate students. A program has to enjoy a certain word of mouth notoriety before people come beating down the doors, but really, after only the first year, the reluctance of parents of typically developing children to put their children in these integrated classrooms disappeared, and instead turned into a waiting list. We had a good relationship with the county pediatrics society, and with local pediatricians -- remember the wonderful Dr. Amos Christie, who was for so many years, head of pediatrics at Vanderbilt, worked closely with us, as did David Carzon (sp?) who followed him as head of pediatrics. And, they were essential components of the whole thing because through their influence, pediatricians began to pick up the presence of developmental disabilities at, or shortly after, birth. And, that not just to hold onto that information, but to let us know about it so that somebody could rather quickly get in touch with those families and say there are programs for you, and you're not by yourself.

That became a very important collaboration for us. We also worked closely with Dr. Jerry Fenichel who was chairman of neurology, and a specialist in child neurology who did the same thing. He would be called in to see children with questionable development often as (inaudible), and then he would let us know that there is somebody who needs our attention.

Dohrmann: I was going to ask, also, if you could talk about the ages of children who are served.

Haywood: Yes. We started out thinking that we could have a comprehensive school, and that was a little bit dreamy, I think. So, we decided that we had to specialize and it seemed to us that with limited resources, which will always be the case, we should put our resources where the need is the greatest, and it seemed to us that prevention pays more dividends than cure assuming that we could accomplish the latter, that we're more likely to have an effect preventing school failure than in dealing with it after it's occurred. So, our goal was to prevent school failure, and make it possible for children to enter first grade better prepared for the academic work of the early years than they would have been otherwise. And, so we decided to concentrate on preschool education. In the beginning, we included some primary grades as well, and we had some support from the metro schools in that who were beginning to recognize their responsibility for all children, and would subsidize Kennedy Center Experimental School class rules. Just turned out to be too much to handle, and we decided that it would be better to do a small job well, than to do a large one not so well. And so we concentrated on the infancy through kindergarten age.

We quickly developed an infant project in which your children could come quite early, as soon as it was medically safe for them to be in an alien setting, and participate in some educational programs. You might wonder what kind of education one's doing with infants, but it's a real thing. They are doing some motor development that turns out to be very important to later cognitive development, and varying and intensifying the experiences that the children have, the sensory experiences, and enriching their input. Their output isn't very great. At that point, the responsiveness, but enriching their input -- later, well, earlier than that, the Bricker's project was a toddler project essentially, but infants and toddlers, and when we got up, too, where you could really call what could be termed classrooms, we were into three, four, and five year olds, and with teachers and playing teacher roles and children doing group activities and that sort of thing, and so we have clung to that as our specialty, infancy through kindergarten. Sorry.

Dohrmann: No, go on. I was just going to ask you also about parents and their role with their children, and in the school.

Haywood: It's been one of the many things that Sue Gray taught us was that the participation of parents is essential if you want to maximize the effects of an early education program. She had home visitors in the early training project who would go to the children's homes and visit with the parents and talk about the children's development and try to answer any questions the parents might have about child development or immunizations or toys, or whatever, and trying to coordinate those visits with what was going on in the classrooms. That turned out in her research to have (inaudible) effects. So, we had thought as a matter of sort of social, moral principle that without any research data to back us up that the participation of parents was something we wanted very much in the experimental school programs. So, we went sort of boldly ahead where people had not gone before, and insisted on parent participation of several kinds, and this is a model that we've carried over into Bright Start.

There's a parent participation program that has three components. One of them is we invite parents to come in and observe in the classroom, and that frequently turns into more than observing, but actual participation with the teacher in carrying out some of the classroom activities, which has a very nice effect, that at home, then the parents are often observed doing with the children some of the things that they've done in the classroom when they visited. But at the very least, our goal was that the parents should know what's happening in the classrooms. Whether they do it or not, they should know, both from the standpoint of a sort of rights angle, and from the standpoint of the effectiveness of what you're doing in the classroom.

The second part was we developed a series of home activities that were sent home with the children to be done by a parent and all children who are present in the home, not just the kid who's in our class. And these were correlated with classroom activities also. So, they provided a further opportunity to generalize material that was learned in the classroom. So, for example, if we're learning in the classroom to compare things on more than one dimension, you could send some activities home, and the mother or the father or the grandparent and the children would have these activities, requiring them to compare the clothing that comes out of the dryer. And, how could you compare it, and they would put it into children's and grownups.

 

Audio (fourth part)

Dohrmann: This is Molly Dohrmann for the Peabody Oral History Project. Today's date is Friday, March 24, 2006, and we continue the interview with Dr. Carl Haywood, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Human Development, and former director of the Kennedy Center. We continue talking about the parents' role in their children's education at the (inaudible) school.

Haywood: We got a very large impetus on the role of parents from the early training project of Sue Gray, and Rupert Klaus, and others, because a significant component of the early training project was home visiting, in which Dr. Gray sent home visitors into the homes of the children who were in the classes. And, they met with the parents -- usually the parent who (laughter) was there -- and discussed child development things, as well as what was going on in the classrooms. That turned out to be such a good idea, that we generalized that later in developing our Bright Start program, and so, maybe the best way to describe the different functions of parents in relation to early education is to talk about what we do in Bright Start.

We have a parent component that has three prongs to it. One of them is we invite the parents into the classroom, first to observe, and then to participate, and they often will perform such functions as taking care of the rest of the class by reading a story or something like that while the teacher is focusing on a small group who are having particular difficulty. Then, besides the in-classroom component, we have a home activities component. So, we've designed a group of learning exercises that are set home with the children, and carried out by a parent or whatever children happen to be in the home. The target child and the siblings and whatever neighborhood children have come into play, or whoever's there. And, these are closely coordinated with what's going on in the classroom, emphasizing the same sorts of things. So, if they are studying comparison in the class, then there's a lesson on comparing things in the home according to different criteria or classification, and then at home they talk about going to the supermarket or sorting the laundry, very homey everyday sorts of things. We think that does a good job of connecting the classroom with the home, so that the children gradually develop the understanding that what they learn in the classroom is not just for the classroom, and can be applied at home and in many other settings, and the other way around.

The third component is parent groups, organizations that belong to the parents that are organized by the parents, that meet regularly and our role as the project people in the parent groups is to assist to be available when they ask such questions as, "Do you know anybody who could come and speak on immunizations, or somebody who could come and talk about creative toys, or books, or reading to the child, or whatever, dramatic play?" We help them to find people, and also, those groups constitute a further way of understanding what's going on in the classroom. So, they often -- we always have somebody there at the meetings who can answer questions. Parents might ask, "Well, why do you spend time doing this and this?" and we can tell them. We can tell them our answer to that, which is one answer.

And I think as I mentioned the last time we talked that it's been very interesting to watch the different roles of mothers and fathers in the parents groups, that when we're lucky enough to have a significant number of fathers -- we once had a whole group of just fathers -- and it was a very active groups. Well, the mothers on the whole tend to want to focus on child development issues. They want to know about, "When do you normally expect the child to be able to do this, and this?" and the milestones in development, sitting, walking independently, and talking in whole sentences, and so on. And, the fathers on the other hand want to do something. They want to know things as well, but not just to know things. They want to do something. And so, this has often taken the form of political activism. It's like marching on town hall to get funding for the programs, and things of that nature. Well, certainly both kinds of activities are extremely important and to be encouraged.

Getting parent participation is in some settings next to impossible. We have been in some very difficult settings. For example, in one northeastern city, we were trying to do early education in a school that was part of a housing project, and the first day I was there, I had come the night before and stayed in the downtown hotel, and the taxi driver would not take me there, it was such a dangerous place in town. So, I had to call the principal and get him to come and get me. Well, we worked and worked and worked and worked, and just could not get any significant parent participation. Perhaps as a result of that, the results of the program were not as good as they were elsewhere. So, it's certainly my observation that wherever we've been able to get good parent participation, we get better outcomes from the program, higher scores from the children on all sorts of tests, and certainly more learning motivation. The children have a better attitude about going to school and about the activities that you get in school when the parents are doing it too. So there we go.

Dohrmann: OK, and then if you will also talk about highlights in the history of the school over these many years...?

Haywood: Let me say first on that score that the Susan Gray School is named the Susan Gray school as a means of honoring the work of Susan Gray, but she didn't create the school. But, it was a component of the Kennedy Center from its beginning in 1968 when we moved into these buildings. It's had a series of directors beginning with Professor Glenn van Etten of the special ed department, and then probably the longest term director was Paula Goodroe who I brought over when I was director of the Kennedy Center from Sue Gray's project DARCEE, the Demonstration Research Center for Early Education, creating a bridge between that project and the Kennedy Center Experimental School, as it was then called. Early on, we decided that the Experimental School would have to be integrated in the sense of having both typically developing children and children with special needs in the same classes at the same time with the same teachers. And this has been a very important part of our model from the beginning. So, I would call that a significant development. We were one of the first places in the country, if not the first, to insist on that. A significant development in that era was represented in the work of the Brickers, Professor William Bricker, who was a Kennedy Foundation Professor of Psychology, and Dianne Bricker, who was at that time a graduate student in special ed who later finished her work and became a professor of special ed.

They did some very innovative work in trying to marry, as it were, the behaviorist tradition with the Piagetian tradition of cognitive development. So, we had a young woman who came to us from the University of Geneva, Gisela Chatelanat, who was able to bring essentially Piaget into the Experimental School. And, Bill Bricker had been a 100% behaviorist, and when he started to work with children, he said one of the most insightful things I think I've ever learned about applied work and science, and that is, he said, "When I'm in my everyday work with the children in the school, I run into knowledge gaps, and that sends me shuttling back to the laboratory to develop new theory and to get new knowledge." So, he saw the work with the actual children in the Experimental School as a way to define the questions that he needed to answer in his basic research. The Brickers then devised a project that they called the Infant and Toddler project that had children coming in very early in the first months of their lives, and then continuing through ages two, three, and four.

They then developed a curriculum that was a scaffolded approach to learning and child development in which it was sequential and hierarchical in the sense that each step was built upon successful completion of the previous steps. And, they didn't make any assumptions about what the normal ages are. They just said, "You need to learn this first, and then this, and then this, and then this, not, learn this at one, this at 18 months, this at 24 months, and so on," which made all kinds of sense in our integrated setting.

And it was not always a question of the typically developing children learning fastest either. Both sets of children served as models in a way for the others. It was beneficial to both groups. Well that's probably the biggest, most significant set of events in the history of the school, a commitment to integrated, early education and the marriage of behaviorism, which was how to get acceptable behavior. With cognitive psychology, which is essentially, "Why do you want acceptable behavior?" and so you need effective thinking, which is another way to get good behavior too to do it, by thinking about it.

Then, we had a series of projects in the experimental school. I keep talking about Bright Start. It's one that we developed there, and in the community program, the heads up child development center in town. Throughout, it has been our goal to develop new ways of doing things that are educationally important, and then export those. So, Bright Start is an example. The Bricker Program is an example. The DARCEE program, Sue Gray's approach, is another example, and the regional intervention project of John Ora that's still running in not only national but in other places, is another project of a treatment program that was developed for oppositional children, the capital [no?] children, and getting more acceptable behavior so that they could be better learners, was developed here and exported. And there have been many such programs. We've always had a significant presence in the special ed faculty at Peabody of specialists in sensory impairment, in deaf and blind children, and visually and hearing limited children. And, there have always been some in the Experimental School who have problems with vision and with hearing, some with both at the same time.

And, those members of the special education faculty, Randall Harley, Sam Ashcroft who died recently this year, and others, their students, have worked in developing ways to train mobility in blind children. How do educators train them to get around? It's been one of the very successful programs, and Braille reading, and this many sorts of approaches have been developed and exported.

Let me mention, also, the work of another special education faculty member, Rebecca Fewell, who at the time was Rebecca Dubose, and she had been a graduate student in special ed here. She earned her doctorate and joined the faculty, and did a lot of work in the then-experimental school on motor development and on a behaviorist approach to learning. I recall with great pleasure a videotape that she made once in which she had taught a four year old child to be the reinforcer, the teacher, of his younger brother, and the younger brother was putting together a puzzle. And when he would do something inappropriate, the older brother would switch his head around and look away, withhold his attention. That's the worst thing he ever did, withhold his attention, nothing more punishing than that. When the child did something right, the older brother was a cheering section, and he would say, "Hooray, look, you did that right." Well, it was so beautiful to watch, the teacher brother had long blonde hair in a sort of Dutch boy -- and when he would switch his head around to turn away, his hair would switch around, and it was really neat. But Rebecca demonstrated that peer, the power of peers, to influence the behavior and the learning of their siblings.

It was just a dramatic demonstration. Twice, when Ms. Shriver, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who had been on our board would come to visit, she recalled that videotape and wanted to see it again (laughter). So, Rebecca developed the Peabody developmental model scales for assessing the development of motor skills in young children, and that's widely used today across the country. And she's recently revised that and come out with a new edition. And, she went away to the University of Washington, and then to the University of Miami, now is retired and back in Nashville, so we're delighted to have her back at the community. So, Rebecca was a significant event in the development of the school. I would say that under Paula Goodroe's direction, the resolution that she and I insisted on from the beginning got strengthened and got carried out, and that was the ethical question. That is, what is your responsibility when you bring children in, primarily for the purpose of doing research and training teachers. And, the answer was crystal clear. As soon as the first child comes in the door, you have incurred the responsibility for giving the best educational service you possibly can.

So, we have, then, the triple purpose of serving children in the best ways we possibly could of learning new knowledge about how children develop and learn, and are taught, and training teachers. We've had a steady stream of practice teachers and interns from early education and special education in particular to work in the classrooms in the schools, sometimes providing slave labor and sometimes requiring as much attention as the children. It's been an invaluable resource.

Dohrmann: Do you have any other stories about the Kennedy Center, personal things you want to share?

Haywood: Well, I might have mentioned before, I'm not sure, that Paula and I had a very difficult struggle trying to keep support going for the typically developing children, and so we made the case to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, which was our major source of support in those days, that we could not do -- we could not carry out -- our educational model without the presence of the typically developing children. Therefore, if they wanted us to educate the children with special needs, they had to pay for the typically developing children to be in the classrooms, and they bought it for a number of years.

Well, every year it was a fight to keep the funding going, and Paula was a genius at doing that. I remember she once got funding somehow to buy school buses, the vans that we use, and I don't know where she got the money, and I wasn't too interested in finding out, but Paula found the money and we went and bought the vans that have ever since -- with replacements every now and then -- gone to get the children in the morning, those whose parents could not bring them. And then, it was a question of what to paint on the busses. So, I wanted it to say Kennedy Center, experimental school, or later, Susan Gray school. But, the president of Peabody at the time wanted it to say Peabody College, and then in little letters Kennedy Center (inaudible) school (laughter). So, we went round and round about that for a while, and I think the busses finally said Peabody College Kennedy Center in equal letters. It's like splitting up a country or something.

There was always a kind of creative tension between the Kennedy Center, which was obviously a research entity, and the rest of the college, which was an educating entity, an academic enterprise, and the school became a focal point of that tension. Should the school, obviously an educational enterprise, be operated by the research arm of the college, or should it be operated by teaching and learning or special ed or early ed or whatever? Most of the time, that issue got resolved by who was providing the funding, and it generally was the Kennedy Center because in those years, Peabody was on pretty hard times fiscally. But, it called for some good compromises.

For example, one of my principles as director of the Kennedy Center, was everybody teaches. I don't care if you were brought in on 100% research funds, you teach, as I want Peabody students to have the freshest information right out of the laboratories, and so I also want the researchers to be challenged by students, and that meant that when somebody was hired, it had to be a negotiation between the director of the Kennedy Center, and the chairman of whatever department that person would hold his tenure in. And, that was always an interesting negotiation, even the tiniest little thing that reflected that. Throughout my tenure as director of the Kennedy Center, the word director did not appear beneath my signature until after professor of psychology, so the academic thing was primary, and a very minor point, but every now and then, somebody got the point.

Let's see, we have had, over the years, a constant stream of visitors who wanted to see what's going on. We have next week for example a group of 16 teachers from Japan coming, and they'll be looking in on the school, and seeing what's going on. This has been another major function. It's a demonstration and research center, as Sue Gray called her operation, and we tried to fulfill that function.

Dohrmann: Hey guys. Sorry.

Haywood: It's your house.

Dohrmann: (break in tape)

Haywood: Oh about the steady stream of visitors. So, this has been an important function of ours to share what we're doing with whoever wants to see it. We have, at the same time, a certain amount of protecting of the children to do. So, if we have everybody come, and everybody wants to, coming whenever they want to, it's Bedlam, and the children are not getting a fair shake.

Let me recall one quick incident that may have nothing to do with anything, but we had a famous visitor to the experimental school, which was by that time the Susan Gray -- no, it wasn't yet the Susan Gray school. And, this person was famous for his insistence on treating people with disabilities normally. That's to say, as much like other people as you possibly could. So, I didn't worry about his visiting. I thought he was knowledgeable. The next thing I knew, Paula called me from down in the school and said this man is taking pictures, and I can't get him to stop. And, so this was against all rules without the children's and their parent's permission, and so I went down and I said, "You must stop taking pictures, as we don't have anybody's permission to take pictures," and he said, "Well, that's last century behavior," and (laughter), "I'm taking this pictures to illustrate good and bad practices," and I wondered which he was going to illustrate with our pictures.

But anyway, I had to remove the camera physically, simply to take the camera away from him and say, "You will not take pictures of the children in the school without their and their parents' permission." And so, guarding the ethics of dealing with children, especially children with disabilities, has been in the forefront of our concerns as well. And, I think we've helped to develop ethical ways of interacting with children and families in that respect.

Dohrmann: Thank you very much.

 

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All photos courtesy of Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives.
Audio files processed by Brian Smokler of the Peabody Technology Support Center.

Questions? Comments? Please let us know.

Last updated April 9, 2007 by Chris Benda.