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Topic Title: W. Bryan Dockrell 1929-2010
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Created On: 08/03/2010 11:37 AM
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 08/03/2010 11:37 AM
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W. Bryan Dockrell-1929-2010

Always keen to be at the frontiers of research, Bryan took wry pleasure in being diagnosed with a condition that had first appeared in the literature only two years before. With degrees from Manchester, Edinburgh, Trinity Dublin and his PhD from New York and Chicago, he headed literally to the frontiers of educational research first to Northwest Canada and much later to Sri Lanka, Jordan, Pakistan and finally Nepal. His love of frontiers is illustrated by tales of taking his family riding elephants to chase tigers in the Himalayas and, with his guide and friend Rajesh building an igloo to survive a snow storm.

This pioneer's appetite for adversity, while getting on with what called out to be done, seems somehow characteristic. Bryan was, from 1971 to 1986, Director of the Scottish Council for Research in Education. But that bald statement reveals little. Set up by the Scottish teachers union (the EIS), SCRE was just one year older than Bryan. At first teachers did most of the research including a remarkable survey of Scottish intelligence, which is now approaching its 80th birthday and currently yielding a stream of publications from Ian Deary and his colleagues. By the 1970's, in the face of the surge in government control of research, SCRE received a block grant, its own building and a new Director with a mission. Unfortunately, the Council's control of its research programme was soon eroded by the emerging "customer-contractor" principle.

Managing a research institute is always a difficult enterprise. Researchers must feel free to explore questions, as yet unclear while Directors give sponsors the impression all is tightly controlled. What Bryan did was let the bureaucrats have their say but take little notice. He got money for one purpose and used it for another. Naturally, this infuriated some of the bureaucrats. In the end, they found a way to get rid of him. But not before he had kept alive work on the, by now unfashionable, topic of "intelligence" and simultaneously promoted work on the assessment of wider aspects of competence.

His pursuit of the unconventional but important went with him to Newcastle . With his son and daughter he raised funds for an inventive evaluation of an educational programme designed to reduce the risks of HIV infection. I vividly recall him summarising the results by saying that he had never before given an attainment test in which 95% of those tested knew the correct answers. They knew what they should do - use condoms etc. - but just didn't do it! Once more, it was the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

So now you have the picture ... Bryan was someone who, under adverse conditions, found ways of facilitating the important. His mark is left through On Intelligence, Parlett and Hamilton's Beyond the Numbers Game, Dockrell and Broadfoot's Pupils in Profile, Dockrell & Hamilton's Rethinking Educational Research, Hope's As Others See Us and my own Managing Education for Effective Schooling. More than this, he leaves a devoted wife and family and many, many, friends.

John Raven
J Raven

Dockrell Publications

Dockrell, W. B. (1960). The use of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children in the diagnosis of retarded readers. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 6, 86-91.
Dockrell, W. B. (1962). Preparing teachers of handicapped children in Canada. Journal of Teacher Education, 13(1), 110-111.
Bell, D.A., Taylor, W.C., & Dockrell, W. B. (1965). A ten-year follow-up of low birth weight infants: Intellectual functioning. Alberta Journal of Educational Research.
Conklin, R. C., & Dockrell, W. B. The predictive validity and stability of WISC scores over a four year period. Psychology in the Schools, 4(3), 263-266.
Dockrell. W. B. (Ed.). (1970). On Intelligence: The Toronto Symposium on Intelligence. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. (ED051340).
Dockrell, W. B., & Birzea, C. (1974). Education of handicapped children the social dimension. Journal International Review of Education/Internationale Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft/Revue internationale l'éducation, 20(3), 273-276.
Dockrell, W. B., & Hamilton, D. (Eds.). (1975). Rethinking Educational Research. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Dockrell, W. B. (1976). Educational Research in Scotland. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Dockrell, W. B., Broadfoot, P. M. et al. (1977). Pupils in Profile. Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education.
Dockerell, W. B. (1978). An Evaluation of the Reaction to the Munn and Dunning Programmes. London: Social Science Research Council.
Dockrell W. B. (1978). Research in the Service of Education. Paper presented at the SCRE 50th Anniversary Conference. London, December. (ED193245).
Dockrell, W. B. (1978). Are standards rising? Paper presented at the SCRE 50th Anniversary Conference, Research in the Service of Education. London, December. (ED193245).
Dockrell, W. B., Dunn, W. R., & Milne, A. (Eds.). (1978). Special Education in Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education.
Black, H.D., & Dockrell, W. B. (1980). Assessment in the affective domain: Do we, can we, should we? British Educational Research Journal, 6(2), 197-200.
Dockrell W. B. (1980). Educational research - crossnational, multinational, international. Scottish Educational Review, 12(1), 3-12. (EJ229300).
Dockrell, W. B. (1983).Assessment for all. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Association for Educational Assessment, 9th, Blantyre, Malawi, June 13-17. (ED240157).
Black H. D., & Dockrell W. B. (1984). Criterion Referenced Assessment in the Classroom. Edinburgh. Scottish Council for Research in Education.
Dockrell, W. B. (1984). Applicability of standards for evaluations of educational programs, projects and materials in an international setting: Qualitative research. Evaluation and Program Planning, 7(4), 347-354.
Dockrell, W.B. (1984). Applicability of Standards for Evaluation of Educational Programs Projects and Materials in an International Setting: Qualitative Research. Evaluation and Program Planning: An International Journal, 7(4), 347-354. (EJ316149).
Dockrell, W.B. (Ed.). (1984). An Attitude of Mind: Twenty-Five Years of Educational Research in Scotland. Edinburgh Scottish Council for Research in Education.
Dockrell, W. B. (1985). Assessment for all in Scotland. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 11,(3), 285-290. (EJ328979).
Dockrell, W. B. (1985). Recent developments in assessment and examination procedures: International Perspective - Change in Scotland. Paper presented at the Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Chicago, IL, April 1-4. (ED260119).
Dockrell, W. B. (1987). Recent developments in assessment and examination procedures in Scotland. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 13(1), 49-60. (EJ360175).
Dockrell, W. B. (1987). The Impact of Scottish National Surveys of achievement on policy and practice. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 9(3), 274-282. (EJ381157).
Black, H. D., & Dockrell, W. B. (Eds.). (1988). New Developments in Educational Assessment: British Journal of Educational Psychology, Monograph Series No.3, 98-126.
Dockrell, W. B. (1988). Achievement, Assessment and Reporting Selected Essays. Edinburgh: SCRE. (ED303470).
Dockrell, W. B. (1988). Achievement, Assessment and Reporting. Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education.
Dockrell, W. B. (1988). National quality indicators - Scotland. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 14(1), 47-53. (EJ372819).
Brand, C. R., Freshwater, S., & Dockrell, W. B. (1989). Has there been a "massive" rise in IQ levels in the West? Evidence from Scottish children. Irish Journal of Psychology, 10(3), 388-393.
Dockrell, W. B. (1989). Extreme scores on the WISC-R. Bulletin of the International Test Commission, 28, April, 1-7.
Dockrell, W. B. (1990). (Ed.). Evaluation procedures used to measure the efficiency of higher education systems and institutions. New Papers on Higher Education, 1, UNESCO/International Association for Educational Assessment.
Dockrell, W. B. (1991). The effects of system wide testing: Issues raised by a case study in a developing country. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 17, 41-49. (EJ430664).
Dockrell, J., Joffe, H., Blud, L., Dockrell, W. B., & Dockrell, M. (undated, probably 1992) HIV/AIDS: The Beliefs and Behaviours of Sexually Active Young Adults - Heterosexuals, Homosexuals, and Male Prostitutes. No source given: Researchers based at London School of Economics, University of Newcastle, and Barnet Health Authority.
Dockrell, W. B., & Dockrell, J. E. (Undated, probably 1992). A Report on a Study of Education for Personal Relations in Catholic Schools. No source given: Researchers based at London School of Economics and University of Newcastle.
Atkins, M. J., Beattie, J., & Dockrell, W. B. (1993). Assessment Issues in Higher Education. Newcastle upon Tyne: School of Education, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Dockrell, W. B. (1993) Making a difference: Does research contribute to policy or practice? Evaluation & Research in Education, 7(1), 1-2.
Dockrell, J., & Dockrell, W. B. (1995). An Evaluation of Teaching Fifteen Year Olds about HIV/AIDS. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 21, 43-56.
Dockrell, W. B. (2001). The problems posed for the assessment of competence by the espoused goals of higher education (Chapter 24). In J. Raven & J. Stephenson (Eds.), Competence in the Learning Society. New York: Peter Lang.

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