Introduction 17 49
Th e reason why new concepts in any branch of science are hard to grasp is always the same; contemporary scientists try to picture the new concept in terms of ideas which existed before.
—(Freeman Dyson, 1958)
Th e Changing World of Instructional Design
In 1953, James D. Finn, a leading fi gure in the fi eld of audio-visual instruction (AVI), issued a worried assessment of the profession. According to Finn, “the most fundamental . . . characteristic of a profession is that the skills involved are founded upon a body of intellectual theory and research” (Finn, 1953, p. 8). Finn was concerned with what he considered to be the lack of an adequate theory base in AVI. Finn was also concerned about the research and theory that AVI “adapts from other academic areas of study” (Januszewski, 1994, p. 310). Finn lamented that
the audio-visual fi eld is in the peculiar position of having much of its research carried on by workers in other disciplines using hypotheses unknown to many audio-visual workers, and representing results in journals that audio-visual people do not read and at meetings that audio-visual people do not attend.