Re: Intro-David Marsters

John Gould (
12 Dec 1994 21:57:44 -0500

Reply to: RE>Intro-David Marsters

Hi David:
In response to your inquiry about the fifth discipline for educational
applications, they are great tools in understanding how to start reform
efforts. I work with 21 school districts in PA using systems thinking as a
way to rethink what we are doing in public education. I am conducting
workshops at all levels in the school systems, particularly focusing on
surfacing the mental models that effect our thinking about learning,
curriculum design, and organizational structures. Within the organization
that I work for, an Intermediate Unit (education service organization), we
are exploring the concepts of a Learning Organization. The management team
has developed its vision of how to enhance our individual learning. We are
becoming what we hope the entire organization will become.
Hope this gives you a glimpse of what we are attempting to do with schools.
Also, you might what to get intouch with the Creative Learning Exchange in
Acton, MA (508)287-0070. There are very active with the use of systems
thinking with kids and within the curriculum.
Live long and prosper!

"John Gould" <>

John M. Gould
Dir. Center for Systemic School Reform
Norristown, PA (voice) (610) 539-8550 x 198

Date: 12/9/94 8:10 PM
To: John Gould
I am the Business/Community Specialist (horrible title) for the Vermont
Institute for Science, Math and Technology. This is one of the 26 I
believe statewide systemic initiatives funded by the NSF to the tune of
$10 million with a match of almost the same over five years. In VT (and
most places therse days) that is a big chunk of cash and a big job-to
bring about systemic change in the ways that teaching and learning are
happening for k-16. My little piece of the action was originally seen as
the same old go out and hit up businesses for money, pencils, paper, a
field trip, a class visit, etc. which-most unfortunately-much of the
nation still seems to be doing.
Instead we took a look at the state of the art-which thinks about
these relationships in a very linear, one-or-the-other way (you are
either a business person, a school person, a community member) and the
same with your organizations and said this makes no sense. They are all
part of a community and the web of complex relationships that this
implies are what schools need to recognize and be active in.
Anyways (I could go on and on....I am a teacher by training) we
started talking about learning communities in our mission and so my
interest here. I am fascinated by these notions of learning and
transformation and the implications for restructuring schools. What are
the ed applications of the fifth discipline? What are the impacts of it
on curriculum and what kids should be learning (and how)?

David A. Marsters

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