Opinion
Curriculum Letter to the Editor

Finding the ‘Price Point’ by Learning Together

May 11, 2010 1 min read

To the Editor:

As a person who left education almost 20 years ago, after having worked in areas such as critical-thinking skills, content knowledge, outcomes-based education, and quality schools, I had mixed feelings as I read Paul E. Peterson’s “Finding the Student’s ‘Price Point’” (Commentary, April 21, 2010).

Although there may be some promise, as he indicated, in innovations such as 3-D biology, I have become leery of seeing education through the lens of Mr. Peterson’s proposed instructional formula: “[Q]uickly identify a student’s reading, math, and science skills, and the curriculum can then be adapted.”

Recently, I experienced a webinar with Peter Senge, of The Fifth Discipline fame. I recall his phrase “we all went to the same schools,” implying that it’s hard for people to envision schooling beyond the conventions of disciplines and skill sequences. One big idea I took from Mr. Senge’s talk was that, in education, it’s all about teams learning together. I’m fearful that the current “school of one” thinking will reduce this possibility.

Mr. Senge and his colleagues at the Society for Organizational Learning have been doing eye-opening work that shows us how humans can work together in generative, life-affirming ways. Though there may be irony in the fact that my ideas on this subject were stimulated by a virtual class, I believe that to imagine a future different from what we have now, we must learn more about group learning for teachers, administrators, and the community at large.

This kind of learning needs to become the basis for our efforts in student development. It includes recognizing our own assumptions and understanding those of others, seeing systems, reflecting on learning cycles, and fully using the creative and generative capacities of all.

Randy Schenkat

Winona, Minn.

A version of this article appeared in the May 12, 2010 edition of Education Week as Finding the ‘Price Point’ by Learning Together

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela
Teaching Live Online Discussion How to Develop Powerful Project-Based Learning
How do you prepare students to be engaged, active, and empowered young adults? Creating a classroom atmosphere that encourages students to pursue critical inquiry and the many skills it requires demands artful planning on the

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Whitepaper
The Digital Transformation in Elementary Education
This white paper reports on the impact of this digital transformation, highlighting the resources educators are most likely to use, their...
Content provided by Capstone
Curriculum School Halts Use of Fictional Book in Which Officer Kills a Black Child
Fifth graders in at least one Broward County school were assigned to read a book that critics say casts police officers as racist liars.
Rafael Olmeda, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
5 min read
Broward County School Board member Lori Alhadeff listens during a meeting of the Broward County School Board, Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Broward County School Board member Lori Alhadeff listens during a meeting of the Broward County School Board in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Alhadeff told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that she does not feel like the book "Ghost Boys" is appropriate for 5th graders.
Lynne Sladky/AP
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Whitepaper
Empowering Teachers for Student Success
In this white paper, we highlight 6 best practices for using educational databases and highlight how teachers are effectively using these...
Content provided by Gale
Curriculum Opinion Introducing Primary Sources to Students
Five educators share strategies for introducing primary sources to students, including English-language learners.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty