State of General Educ LO6763

Terri Deems (
Wed, 17 Apr 1996 22:36:37 -0500 (CDT)

Replying to LO6728 --

Just a couple of random comments (short, I promise!) concerning the
general educ discussion:

I don't know if business influenced/drove educational systems, or vice
versa. I do know that especially following WWII, these two institutions
became driven by the need to mass produce and mass educate. Schools began
to look a great deal like many of our traditional work
organizations--hierarchical, content- rather than learner- (worker-)
centered, fixated on rules, etc. For many years, this seemed like a nice
set-up, making the transition from school to work more simple, more
"known" to those entering the workforce.

Makes me wonder, then, about the relationships between these two
institutions so central to our societies. Which drives the other? Should
one drive the other (I think especially of this when I see the growth of
the school-to-work efforts across the country; there's something a bit
scarey in it to me)?

Michael E. wrote: "We shift our burdon of responsibility away from the
parent and to some system that will act as a "magic bullet" and turn out
high performance kids."

It struck me while reading this that this is precisely what we are trying
to do within work restructuring; is this also embedded within our attempts
to cultivate learning organizations? Is it simply one more "magic bullet"
whose primary purpose is to turn out "high performance" workers?

Within the workplace, as well as within the schools, where does the burden
of responsibility rest? In our work with learning organizations, how do
we (or do we have any responsibility for this?) ensure a little wisdom
along with whatever knowledge/learning is gained? I agree with Michael,
when he said that wisdom is more critical than knowledge; does wisdom have
a place at work?

Terri Deems

-- (Terri Deems)

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