Education 'Product' and 'Process' Are Linked, Yet Separate

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

Often concepts come as complements to each other, where the word is defined as "something that completes or makes perfect." The classic example are the concepts "being" and "becoming." The educational philosopher Maxine Greene once told me: "I am what I not yet am," and I think this is as good an explanation of complements as we could wish for.

Marc Prensky's Commentary "The Goal of Education Is Becoming," brought this to mind again. For the child, education is a huge part of her or his "becoming." It struck me that when thinking about education, or cooking, or many other things, the process has a complement: the product. The delight of complements is that they offer two ways of describing the same thing, two different lenses, so to speak. It makes good sense to use both.

Mr. Prensky imagines how many different personas a child can "become" besides ready for college or career; I imagine how many processes schools might employ to achieve the products that match those becomings. I think both he and I are equally discouraged to find that policy is so fixated on the products, rather than the process, that students are simply numbers related to tests that may be related only to academic capacity. We can only understand education when we broaden our conceptual structures to include becomings and processes.

George Stranahan
Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Manaus Fund
Senior Adviser, Valley Settlement Project
Carbondale, Colo.

Vol. 33, Issue 33, Page 24

Published in Print: June 4, 2014, as Education 'Product' and 'Process' Are Linked, Yet Separate
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories