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P1 Learning Culture

Page history last edited by Chris Jones 14 years, 4 months ago


P1 Learning Culture


Framing of this issue:

Insufficient priority has been placed on learning, having significant impact on our national education ecosystem.


Problem Dimensions (ecosystem domain & boundaries):

How and why has this happened? There are actually many vectors to this problem. We believe all of them are important to help us understand the problem, in order to drive change in this critical, foundational area.

(a.) Visioning: Horace Mann: "Goal of schools to create 'social harmony' and to be the 'great equalizer'". These goals no longer appear to be in effect today. Is there an updated vision that is shared by all? 

(b.) Too much structure: Factory Model (Christensen) aka Taylorism. The industrial revolution supplanted the intended course. 'Culture of Teaching' is very much focused on process and means of education, not the outcomes. 'Culture of learning' is very much blocked by a focus on students as "products" or "customers", not "people"

(c.) Struggle to Sustain Parent Engagement? (Vending Machine Mentality). Recent writing by Tim O'Reilly indicates society has outsourced education to government; money goes in, educated students come out. Do parents no longer have a role to make education a priority?  Model: meeting family needs.

(f.) Community Mandate (reflect Socio-Economic Factors). Schools don't act independently. They need community and voter support. But we believe strong local values and culture can overpower dysfunctional systemic ones. Model: community involvement.  

(g.) Need Diversity of Learning Environments.  Need for multiple models, to function in diverse communities, with diverse cultures and requirements.

(h.) Important to Model Success. Want to look at successful models: Finland, HCZ to understand why certain innovations are so effective over others

(i) Understanding Culture in Public Edu context. "Learning Culture" defines values. Values shape objectives. Objectives drive behavior. Behavior leads to outcomes.



Who Has the Problem (supervising jurisdictions):

State Departments of Education  


A. Problem Statement:



B. Process Description (if applicable):



C. Actors & Behaviors (desired, undesired):

  • Administration
  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Community
  • Students 


D. Process Model (picture(s) & flow(s) as needed):

  • diagrams of flow that may be relevant to understanding or solutions for this issue? 


E. Process Rules:

  • what are constraints, actual or implied? 


F. Outcomes (desired, undesired):

  • An evolutionary system for Education, geared toward diversity, not conformity; preparing children for productive engagement in the workforce so they might create the future and not be shaped by it; prepared to take on the cultural, social and economic challenges; with ability to make local impacts that have global implications. 


G. External Context: 

  • What are other family priorities that are competing with learning? 


Other sources or references relative to this topic



Comments (1)

Michael J said

at 5:43 am on Mar 31, 2010

"An evolutionary system for Education, geared toward diversity, "

The way I look at it is that education has until very recently lived in a context of moral hazard. The new stresses that come at the highest level of generality is that changing role of the USA and Europe in the Global Economy. That has lead to a new situation of serious capital resource constraint in the North. That plays out in different new stresses at every level of Western society.

It became visible first in the finanacial sector with the financial "meltdown" - more precisely the need to write off lots of bad debt. This is a normal cycle but this time it plays out on a global scale. The different responses from different countries has made visible the necessity of responding in a co-ordinated way. Luck was with us in that the Obama administration has come to power in the States. To me they are the visible manifestation of intelligence responding to proximate global threats.

The point re diversity is that the new financial constraints at the level of States and Cities combined with intelligence at the national level and co-ordination at the Global level are already creating diverse responses on the ground in the education system. There are many data points that I think support this hopeful view. It's one of things I add to my twitterstream, in between the convos and data points about the emerging capabilites of print which has been called the printernet.

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