On July 31, longtime ISPI member Tony Moore alerted us to some sad news. As he put it, “One of the great geniuses and pioneers in our business, Dr. John M. McKee, died June 22, 2013.” He also shared with us the following story:
I was fortunate to get to know John in 1994, when I sat in on Danny Langdon’s Language of Work workshop, which Danny and Lee were presenting at John’s company, Pace Learning Systems, in Tuscaloosa. The workshop was highly interactive, which allowed us to get to know each other quite well in just a few days. In addition, John and Susan (his wife and business partner) invited us to their home after the workshop for dinner and entertainment. That evening became one of the highlights of my professional life. We talked about John’s work until late at night. When I left, John gave me a couple of books to read and a thick, spiral bound final report on the Draper Experiment, an experimental project in education and rehabilitation at Draper Correctional Center, a prison for youthful offenders in Alabama. John conceived and directed the experiment in the use of programmed instruction to address the educational, occupational, and social needs of the inmates. The results were astonishing with respect to inmate performance in prison and following release (some became accomplished developers of programmed instruction, themselves). I later ran into John and Susan at ISPI conferences. John was a Charter Lifetime Member (1970) of NSPI. I regret the general membership of ISPI never got to know this entertaining and brilliant luminary, although both Joe Harless and Tom Gilbert knew, worked with, and loved John.
You may follow this link to a tribute written by Dr. Carl Clements, a long-time collaborator and co-author with John.