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ESE502: The Class: Balance: Content: Content


Seeing the interdependence among content, teacher and student is important. As we see how enmeshed they are, we better understand that any change in one initiates a change in the others.That is one of the reasons that asking teachers to change the way content is delivered gets a response from some teachers about testing: “If I don’t lecture, I won’t get enough information across. The students won’t pass the tests.I’ll be ranked down for not teaching, and the students won’t know what they’re supposed to have learned.” The validity of assessments and the value of the grades and scores teachers get from using the tests is a part of looking at content.

Most of our current achievement tests actually test verbal intelligence rather than achievement or knowledge

Most testing is based on a construct of “who will do well in school” rather than “who will do well in life.”

Grading mechanisms tend to rank students competitively with a small and unrepresentative pool of learners rather than determining what an individual student really learned, mastered, or still knows.

Testing cannot determine what students truly know, how they feel about a subject, if they feel they grasp the content, or indicate the strength or length of recall -- how compartmentalized it is, if the ideas are valued, and if and how the ideas might be used in the future.

My “A” in Advanced French actually meant that there were only four of us in the college program and that I had made more progress than the rest in completing assignments and attending class. I stumbled through Camus’ “L’Etrange” and actually found a copy in English so that I could talk intelligently about the work with the teacher. My French was halting and spotty, certainly not good enough to get me from the airport to the bakery, but my energy and effort was far superior to the worst student in the class. I did learn the National Anthem and completed every exercise in the book. Still, I get queasy just hearing French spoken and I know in my heart that I was a dismal failure. I kept my 4.0 and met the University requirements, but I didn’t really learn French, in fact, I learned to hate it.

 One other concern tends to surface when discussions about changing content take place. Many educators decry the immense responsibility and plethora of materials to be covered already. In the situation illustrated next it is possible to see that more curriculum may literally be less burdensome.

 Using the full container analogy, we nest the things to be learned and the way that the learning might occur. Thus, a container which is full of rocks can still be filled. This time we fill it with beans. Is there room for more content? There is if we use salt and pour it into the container, closing in the space among the rocks and the beans. Now it appears that there is no more space. We can continue to fill the container, and this time we use water.

The curriculum, content and process as well as the shared responsibility for learning and evaluation can be nestled together in a similar fashion. The journey to self realization presses the student, but it need not be all absorbing. The journey to relationship and interpersonal expertise, maintaining a healthy family, learning to interact socially, developing intimate relationships, learning to be a team player, need not detract from self-fulfillment, but can be a form of self expression and self fulfillment. Knowledge, content as fact, as discreet observable and measurable, can nest in the need to know which pervades the healthy student and it can become a dynamic community search rather than an isolated, competitive or authority driven set of tasks. Content as process, as reflection, intuition, creation is a dynamic part of education which is less measurable, but which energizes the gaining of knowledge and embodies the use, the extension, the true meaning of curriculum.

The energy which emerges from this nesting of purpose, life force, personal motivation and growth surprises educators when it is first encountered. It helps to explain the intensity of feelings which often flow from those who talk of person centered education. It allows the most recalcitrant student to emerge from a sense of despair into a sense of excitement. It transform the troubled learners into questing and engaged community members rather than unwilling by-standers and disrupters. It even improves over-all student performance on measures of achievement.

To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society - Teddy Roosevelt

Our children are the future. The education of our youngsters can nurture lifelong community building and self development if it is person building and community building. As youngsters work in our schools and then go out to greet the world, it can be with excitement and energy, with a will to continue to grow and a desire to share their idiosyncratic preciousness with the world.

I am holding a small bag of jewels. It contains thirty two stones, each distinctive, dazzling and worth untold money. Each jewel is splendid, an unbelievable emerald, a fiery opal, a brilliant diamond, an unbelievable ruby. What a treasure! Not one gem is like any other. As I take one and turn it in my hands, I look at the radiance. As the facets catch the light I thrill with the individual color and brilliance in each. These jewels are mine for one year. Will I keep them to my bosom? Will I run tests on them to see if they are genuine? Will I scatter them around? Place them in special settings? At the end of the year, when they are passed to another, will I have a sense of loss or relief? Will I feel that I enhanced the richness and beauty of the light that glistens from each? Will I have taken the edges off inadvertently? Will some be scratched, dulled?

Will I value these precious artifacts less if those around me do not recognize their value?

Will I have less to do if those around me treat these youth as costume quality or paste?

We do gain unbelievable treasure in working with children. We do not own the students, but the treasure of their presence, their personalities, thoughts, ideas and essence is ours for a time each day. Many students lose sight of their own value. So many have no one but a peer to tell them how special they are. We can recognize and share the knowledge with them, even, at times, act as the intermediary who brings their merit to attention.

When they come into my classroom, will I become lost in teaching English or Geometry? It is easy to become involved in the daily routine of teaching content, running tests. During the day, will I remember the breathless beauty, or will I be too busy sorting and moving bags around to open myself to the treasure of individual jewels? Will I blame others for how I behave? “The principal expects me to do these tests!” “I don’t own these jewels and others before me treated them carelessly.” “This one is rough and uncut and this one has been faceted incorrectly. “ “I have never seen one like this so it may not be precious.” “There is a huge flaw in this one.”

We express recognition of the need to educate and prepare children to take the reins of democracy. We cherish our belief statements that each person deserves an equitable opportunity to have a great educational experience. This philosophy stands as a beacon which spans the world. It is the single most vital keystone to maintaining democracy. Do our inner feeling about students resonate the idea of the great value of education and the pricelessness of our students? Now that we have struck the pose, we must make it so! The promise is indeed great, the current concerns regarding our youth, onerous!

The dual nature of the human journey became defined earlier in this material, the autonomous and heteronomous push and pull, the tandem peddling from self as focus to acceptance of self by others. Recognizing, understanding and addressing what it means to be a human being, and in particular each special and gifted student becomes the foundation of education. And as a dual thrust, we then turn our understanding to the knowledge that each unique and wonderful child’s journey is taken in the midst of people. Hopefully it is with companions and in the company of outstanding models, but often life is lived in a milieu of detractors and distractions; the helpless or weak, the courageous loving builder and visionary, the bully, the uncertain, lonely, the ill defined, power hungry, the taker, the sharing giver.

Thus each journey for self fulfillment is taken in concert with humanity, surrounded by and in the midst of others. And, like all successful life travelers, our students must eventually realize that the most profound understanding of self comes through interaction with others. As Plato noted, to be fully human, one must accept the social nature of being.

Year by year we move around the spiral of personal definition, at times more involved in autonomous perspective, self absorbed, demanding, reclaiming the importance of individuality. At other times, we seem propelled by the angst of caring, giving, apparent selflessness, and thus at a more heteronomous stage. Both parts of the journey are vital, and both ways of being need to be valued. Though the autonomous (sometimes selfish and self involved) stages appear more isolated, they too occur in the purview of others and the struggles with self is defined by others’ level of tolerance and needs.

As educators become more adept at recognizing the dual nature of the human journey, we can build on the power and strength of that dynamic set of forces. Like a generator, the interplay between organizing selfhood and the building of a personal community are functions of the inherent driving life force. By understanding and then using the power inherent in these basic drives, these normal functions in each person’s development we maximize effective learning. We gain responsiveness and trust from students which enhances involvement in learning. Rather than plodding through the twelve years as so many say they do now, students may be assisted to catapult themselves through learning situations. The educator who is responsive to the internalized drives and inherent pursuits in the development cycle, assists each student to recognize and capitalize on the natural energy of growth. Through effective enhancement of developmental pressures students are assisted in constructive personal and social gains.

A free-flowing, stimulating and friendly classroom is a wonderful byproduct of establishing such an educational environment. It naturally occurs when a master teacher matches the nature and development of the students with the content and expectations. It is further enhanced through valuing the individuality of each person and establishing and teaching healthy community and group process. Teachers who have found the match exult in the time spent teaching and express a great sense of fulfillment and pleasure. Students look forward to school and see learning as a normal extension of every life experience. Parents are gratified and delighted. Each parent sees the student as a gifted, challenging, unique treasure. With the school mirroring that vision in the way the parent and community members are treated the parents becomes great advocates!

The new frontier may not be outer space, or sea exploration, but rather evolving, articulating and developing the inner space of human understanding. creating an educational and human systems program that has the capacity to serve as a true personal development and society building system. Our understanding of astronomy and physical science has changed dramatically from the view proposed by Socrates. Much less progress has been made in furthering our understanding of human nature from what he understood and posited of human kind.

Like this illustration of a duck, there is a representational or Gestalt effect in education. For many years the focus in teaching and learning targeted observable, linear, cognitive outcomes. These outcomes typically measured the success of the school system, rather than the well being of the recipient, the student. As with the duck drawing, these are prominent features things we use to recognize, name and measure the duck. There are also a number of things that lead us to see and name a representation "duck" that are more elusive, often unrecognized, named or quantified yet crucial to "duckness."

Process and relationship are only now being revisited and valued. As in the representation of the duck, these essential components are typically unnamed, unmeasured, unstudied. Perhaps educators have them until recently because they have just been the background in our dealings. Our focus on quality educational systems may have blunted our vigilance with respect to the development and education of each person.

Though the process functions of education have not received much attention, they continue to be the primary interstices that hold the teaching/learning relationship together. As we return to acknowledgment of the importance of each learner and the power and impact of teaching and honoring? relationship, we will also see profound personal and societal amelioration.

We Begin

Resources already exist to make an important paradigm shift in education. With little more than additional training and a change in what we believe students need to know, we could prepare our youth for the future that businesses predict. We could fulfill the visions and hopes of great educational philosophers who foresaw education as the portals of the future. We certainly can intensify the quality of time spent on interactional critical thinking, more clearly develop the student perception that learning is a life long joyous pursuit. We can offer assistance with self control and teach responsibility more fully. We can simultaneously develop human sensitivity to fully authenticate self and share self with society.

This new focus will allow us to keep all of the effective practices we currently use, to sharpen the tools we have already developed and to gain impetus and excitement for the tasks ahead by realizing how much of current best practice is suited to developmental and human needs of individuals and society.

A Change - Introducing the new "R"
It is time to introduce education to the fourth “R” - relationship. The system is already set up for this "R" and in fact, it is currently an underdeveloped part of most learning situations. The current paradigms in psychology and education do not favor the study of relationship, therefore there is little material written about it as a function of education and little research showing its impact in classrooms.

Flanders' (1970) and Galloway's (1970) research are two notable exceptions. They established the importance of a teacher's quality of interaction skills. We have not written much about educational relationship and process (Bruner, 1962; Maslow, 1971) so we have not hypothesized and extensively researched its importance. Until cooperative learning research we had not rigorously tested for community building in the educational setting, not actively recognized its presence or the magnitude of its impact. Nevertheless, it is an omnipresent part of each classroom setting. It is important to note that early teachers and philosophers who wrote about education frequently highlighted the social arenas and relationships inherent in education. Cooperative Learning (Slavin, 1991; Johnson & Johnson, 1987), Community of Learners (Brown, 1988) and Megaskills (Rich, 1988) are examples of the resurgence of interest in teaching the substance and skills of human process and relationship.

There is no attribute of the superior man greater than his helping men to practice virtue. - Mencius

It may be an unwritten presumption that people are "born" with a social sense and social settings are an automatic part of the child's growing experiences, hence relationship need not be taught, or presumed to be unteachable. Certainly in the recent past, social events and opportunities were more present than they appear to be today.

In the past fifty years many factors decreased the number of natural social interactions present as learning opportunities in a child's day. Some of these factors include smaller families with less physical attachment to extended family, the move away from a small interdependent community into a more insulated city atmosphere, a larger percentage of free time spent watching rather than actively participating or being entertained rather than engaging in entertainment.

Given these facts, and assuming that relationship is a vital part of being human, of being educated, how would this emphasis on relationship and process best be integrated into the existing framework of schools? First, it would be important for educators to recognize just how much of the educational day is spent in interaction and thus to develop a more stereoscopic vision of education, by looking at the teaching day from this and several other perspectives.

Gathering Speed

The following are some discussion topics or mental exercises to highlight the importance of relationship in schools:

1. Amount of time during the educational day that the teacher is alone
Amount of time students are in an individual setting
- by student choice or teacher direction?
- when do the students seem most motivated?
Is excitement about school partially due to interactions? Is some of the motivation coming from the student feeling free? empowered?

2. Percentage of the day spent on outcome - product
Amount of the day spent on &";how-to&"; and practice of &";how-to&"; - process
Amount spent serving students and meeting needs
Amount spent serving others in the system, i.e. parents and community

3. What number of lesson objectives cover outcome - product?
How much of written lesson plans cover the steps in teaching, the
interactional, the person to person - process
Is it a viable percentage or are we leaving process to chance?

4. Percentage of the day's activities which are not lecture style
How much of that time revolved around relationship skills?
How much of that time was devoted to product?

5. Which personal school experiences and activities provided lasting expertise? - How many of the truly important skills did you learn on your own?

- How much was gained from a colleague?
- How much came from college instruction:

  % methods
  % lecture
  % hands-on
  % modeled example
  % factual

A mental rehearsal focuses awareness on how much of the educational day is spent in relationship, in the process of working toward product. Indeed, for many, this review of daily educational practice provides insight that process and relationship are more than the background of education and are inherently valued.
Teachers expend energy in preparing, evaluating and recording a linear facsimile of knowledge. Thus it appears that content is the substance of education. In reality, there is a rich educational milieu in place, but very little of the time and energy expended in the educational day is used to measure or report the occurrences. Very little of the process or teaching/learning relationship in education is evaluated or valued or brought to the attention of consumers, and thus it follows that little attention is directed to the quality of those relationships or the training of participants in ways to provide quality educational processes and interactions.

We know a great deal about relationship
If process skills and relationships/interrelationships are a large part of teaching and educating, then it becomes important to assess the depth of current practice and understanding of relationship in current education. The following address some of those concerns.

1) Does a body of information address relationships and process?
Yes. Educational philosophy, Social systems, humanistic psychology, educational and business leadership, counseling and social psychology provide a wealth of knowledge and research about these areas.

2) Is the material accessible to educators?
Much of it is written in the language of philosophy, psychology and sociology but some of the information is already utilized in branches of education and some school districts have introduced these materials as electives or adjuncts. Educators who have a liberal education or a business degree are often conversant in various practices, and theories which have become entrenched in current practice.

3) Could it be learned by or taught to current educators?
It would be relatively simple to present these concepts and practices through in-service workshops, and in fact, most of the material has appeal to teachers and administrators.

4) How hard would it be to get it in place in today's schools?
Since the material would explicate current practices and provide a sense of joy in the classroom, most educators would be excited about these concepts. It might work to the advantage of the schools to set up a team learning - teaching approach with video instruction to enhance team training. Many models exist for educational training.
Any change has a tendency to generate resistance . It will be important to approach educators and parents with as much expertise and concern for their rights and abilities as it will be to ask them to do so with children.

5) What knowledge base would we have to sacrifice if we include process and
relationship in an educational day?

The cognitive knowledge base would remain substantially unchanged. The major areas of change would come in more effectively teaching what is currently valued, recognizing flaws in presentation of developmentally inappropriate tasks, and retooling the processes for presenting vital knowledge and concepts. Frequently suggestions that we address the needs of the child are met with suspicions that building esteem and building knowledge may be antithetical. That has not been true of these initial field studies.

Relationship goes hand in hand with responsibility. The student is reassured from the beginning that education will be a challenge and will call forth great effort and dedication. The child is taught responsibility for self and action in the same sentence with personal freedom. Teachers stress to young people that they have a right to be educated, a right to be called upon to push their own limits, and that they have a responsibility to learn above and beyond limits set by educators. Students who are taught in this manner excel; push beyond the boundaries normally expected, rise to the call to give their best.

6) Would curriculum and instruction change radically?

Current curriculum offerings in many instances could stay much the same. Instruction would change dramatically, although many educators welcome the changes and many of the cutting edge best practices are in line with process education.

7) Could we measure process and relationship?
This is one of the challenges. Literature on the affective domain suggests options as does case study research. This is an exciting opening for future study and development. It is also an area which will take the greatest adjustment. At the present time we tend to mistrust self report and ideogram data. We overrate tests which are norm-referenced, and hold suspect any measure which has not been validated statistically. Many researchers believe that this protects from a personal bias. Instead, it may be an overgeneralized belief. One cannot help but recall the number of scientists who held that the earth could not be round, who had data to support their contentions, and who were willing to put voices to death who would suggest otherwise. Measuring process may be difficult, especially given the prevailing energy focused on the Gaussian principles, but surely there are bright social scientists and educators who will bridge this chasm.

8) Could we evaluate and report student abilities in process?
In one sense we always have. It is usually printed on the left hand side of the report card. It has not typically been standardized or defined. It certainly is something we could do as an effective beginning. If we determine that systematic teaching of process and relationship are crucial, tracking student progress and expertise in relationship will be vital. We all know that what we choose to measure and what we report about takes on greater importance to others and to ourselves.

Human Education
There is a miracle in being human. We are a species unique and special beyond reckoning. It is the taking for granted of that miracle which allows some to take a nonchalant approach to the undertaking of education. It is a part of overlooking that perspective of how extraordinary people are which allows us to focus on education as a set of methods, teaching as an argument of art or science, the evaluation of the educational process as a quantification. It is within the essence of the cognitive prowess of children, who have not yet entered school, not received any formalized training, to development and formulate a set of rules for a language and actively speak it - to walk, run, skip, - pose and explore scientific questions, actively solve algebraic concepts (four pieces of candy, two kids, how many do I get?), reach out to form relationships, to care for others, to give solace to any who appear to be in distress.

It is important that we relish the miracle of being human. The future of humanity counts upon that recognition. It is also important to give new credence to the student as learner, as self educator, and as being already in possession of crucial tools for learning which teacher and parents will hone rather than ignore, discount or override. Children possess a fundamental humanity which deserves to be recognized and educated further. That manifestation of human nature is something many have been unable to address in education. As pointed out earlier, it consists of the "process", the relationships, those things which science has not yet learned to measure, and we have thus chosen to ignore.

Unlike many of those creatures in the animal kingdom which we have studied, we choose to feel as others feel, intend to treat others as we wish to be treated, work to mature beyond simple physical development, wish to develop morally, strive for a relationship of peace and joy in the company of others. We are a species with “will” and that sets us apart.

Children as Natural Learners
It is valuable to momentarily revisit a sense of awe in little human things, in whistling a tune, doing somersaults, laughter. There is an extravagance in skipping, in friendship, in 96 Crayon colors, in finger painting and cutting paper dolls. There is a joyous excess in having the time in childhood for playing tag, swinging, writing a poem for the first time. There is magic in standing in the dusk and reciting, "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight." Even the student as disruptive agent and social leader in the classroom is an incredulous notion. Certainly the child as responsible initiator of learning could spark a sense of wonder if we would allow ourselves the time to revisit our own childhood and recall the thrill of discovery, the delight in new understanding.

From this moment of recalling the marvel of human learning, we rekindle a recognition of how important it is to educate rather than train the human being. In recognizing the status of the child comes a desire to dedicate our educational lives beyond "do no harm". It is a request that we reevaluate current practice. Teachers know what kinds of things are exciting for students. We know what activities are so meaningful that our class doesn’t know the bell is about to ring, doesn't want to stop the learning of the moment, calls out for repetition of an activity and permission to continue. We know well the frustration and ultimate futility of trying to teach something beyond a student's developmental ability.

We can discover, if unsure, that students have a work ethic, though it may not have the same dimensions as the adult ability to maintain task commitment. We know that youth need a sense of accomplishment, that they revel in a job well done and that they will stick relentlessly to those things which are developmentally appropriate; taking first steps, riding a bicycle, shooting hoops, practicing cheers, pumping iron. These are examples of developmentally appropriate tasks in the physical domain. They are ways students push themselves to the edge of endurance.

We seldom address these particular areas of expertise in the educational system. The physical domain is not often attended to beyond kindergarten or outside of Physical Education, though it is a useful vehicle for learning especially for those with kinesthetic learning styles and psychomotor intelligence. The important point here is the willingness of youth to push and be pushed when the internal timing and task orientation coincide.

It also presses for recognition of the other domains in the PEPSI model as areas for teaching, perhaps areas which are more valuable for preparing students to be educated than some of the tasks we are currently demanding; tasks which youth love to do, fleeting information which teens acquire, but with no recognition of a measured change in the education of the person.

This next illustration shows a Picasso called First Steps

. Something about this representation distills the notion of child as capable and responsible learner. At the same time the role of the teacher, a nanny in this particular case, is also aptly shown.

The child -
* all angles and lines pulling toward the child - egocentric, self focused child
* the child, not aware of egocentrism, focused on an unseen outward point
* holding on, without thinking about the need for comfort, just expecting it
* foot poised, unaware or unconcerned about the floor, the future, the risks
* on a path to adulthood, trusting others to protect and guide

The adult -
* protective yet open stance, literally &";wrapped around&"; the child
* the gaze - intent on the child and the child's task
* the hands - present and supportive, yet open to allow progress
* the position in the portrayal - ground rather than figure, present, almost like the air, the floor, or the future, structures which the child can takes for granted
* the countenance - the emotions are there to see
* on a path of nurturing, depending on an internal sense to make good choices

We can develop secondary education with the same excitement, joy, uncertainty, tenderness as a mother faces those first steps, cherishes those first words. -- protection and exhilaration, --- mother protects, smoothes the way, but celebrates each progression -- good mother continues to pave a safe path, to cringe at the bumps and bruises, but to also press for challenges, for getting beyond the hard times. The press or motivation is internalized for the child and the reasonable parent does not interfere. Even when we cheer, it does not significantly change the child's push.

If a parent tries to stop the child's explorations, it is usually met with renewed efforts to succeed and an unstoppable press forward. If the parent tries to pattern the child's moves, the child resists inherently, through some internalized message, seeming to know the next steps and to work incessantly at the drill and practice of perfecting the moves necessary to move from crawler to toddler, to walker, and then to the joy of mastery of our body as runner.

In the Classroom
So it could be in the classroom. To draw a parallel from this Picasso, the teacher provides the basic needs, envelopes the student, almost unaware, with the safety and structure necessary for purposeful learning. The teacher attends to the path ahead, smoothing it as necessary, warning as needed, yet allows, no, facilitates each step forward. The teacher senses students' abilities, gives a hand where needed, yet the hand is open. The loving, dedicated teacher does not pull back to prevent progress, is not jealous of the student who goes beyond reach, who asks questions beyond the teacher’s knowing, does not imprint personal fears or anxieties.

This teaching role calls for a belief in the inherent right to push forward. It also calls forth self discipline to stand by, excitement about new and dangerous challenges, and ultimately asks for the wisdom to trust and believe in each student, in the unlimited potential of each human being. Some of these perspectives about education are new. The role of filling and shaping a student's mind has always been accorded to educators. Recognition that the mind is already primed, already brimming with notions, concepts, ideas, has been stated as early as Socrates’ era, but it has not been appreciated in today’s educational perspectives if it has been given credence. In fact there are many cartoons showing the teacher as frustrated and angry because the student focused attention in other places than what the teacher has decided are the matters at hand.

The role of seeing the child as a person in his/her own right and dealing with the child as an empowered personality has frequently been discounted. As uncomfortable as is may be to recognize:

1) Youngsters do have definite ideas and attitudes, some of which are solely reflections of their own thinking and individual personalities.

2) Youth have become enfranchised and they know that they have rights -- in fact many need to be taught the responsibilities which go with those rights so they can develop in socially appropriate ways and make choices which will not hamper their entire future.

3) Ignoring the student or discounting his or her ideas or feelings is unethical.

4) Empowering the student as learner, teaching the roles, rights and responsibilities of education and the role of an educated person with respect to ideas and feelings is functional, appropriate and necessary.

5) Each person in the classroom is entitled to learn - and in an unfortunate sense, is a possible threat to the educational environment if the ability to control and manipulate is not focused productively, if control issues and self gratification are allowed to give license. Therefore the learning community setting teaches students a sense of responsibility to self and others to be self disciplined and socially responsible.

So we come full circle to a recognition that this desire to take the best of all possible roles is the right of a dedicated educator and a necessity for education and for society. This brings us to the importance of refocusing on the illustration of the "duck" in education. As we look at the strands that have been presented in this material, the process skills, the reworking of structure, the valuing of the child as inherently impelled to learn, the role of the teacher as multifaceted, and the value of a process/relationship curriculum they begin to take shape as a strong cord.

This cord is the one which will hold up the weighty obligations involved in preparing the nation's youth to be good citizens, to be educated, to move civilization forward, yet at the same time it is gentle enough to pull out the individual and distinctive best in each youth, to allow each student to take on the role of society and maintain the joyousness of individuality. Thus the students and teacher are enabled to live life intertwining the gift of self and selflessness.

Process education
Process education has been separated into seven building skills for the purposes of this presentation. The most vital process and relationship content areas and skills have been subsumed into manageable and distinct areas of focus. This next representation of building blocks summarizes these seven process and relationship content areas at the four levels of development.

The categories are

becoming learning behaviors
communications self control
cooperation respect and esteem
leadership social responsibility

These eight areas are developed in some detail, and are represented as a series of practices and abilities which are developmental and incremental. The process skills are not taught as a separate set of competencies which take up new curriculum time, but instead are integrated into thematic units which are already being taught or as part of the substance of a lesson in math, English, science, etc.

Steps for Integrating Process
The major changes between current practice and suggested practice would be:

a) lessons would be planned and executed combining specific content and specific process skills

b) process would be systematized and taught using goals and objectives

c) the student learning of the process skills would be tied to appropriate evaluation

d) the process portion of the curriculum would be reported to parents and be a requisite portion of the school's scope and sequence

e) classroom, group and individualized goals would be used to facilitate the teaching of process proficiencies.

Once process skills are incorporated into a large number of teaching settings it will be possible to assess which developmental progression will be most beneficial and which will work well for classrooms at differing grade levels. It will also become easier to see ways in which teachers have combined skills and concepts most effectively and creatively with specific subject matter. It may also become clear that some of these process skills, such as learning to be a learner, acquiring the skills for decision making, for leadership, for self control, are continuous elements.

We frequently believed that essential learning behaviors and skills were being acquired systematically. Unfortunately much have been left to chance, presented in a cursory fashion, not recognized as valuable by some youngsters. For some students, there are many more missing skills than we expected.

Gathering Speed

Beginning at the District Level
These are logical steps in a progression of implementing process education:

* Establish a philosophy of education consonant with relationship and process * Determine the components which will be used in classroom
* Develop support for the program and training in skills which will be necessary for implementation
* Include educating and training of the community
* Assist the school board to develop clear guidelines about the recommended changes
* Provide financial and emotional support for those involved in the change
* Establish methods for resolving conflicts which arise from implementing new concepts
* Link parents to the program and keep them involved and informed
* Provide a method for monitoring changes and ways to retrain when changes are not taking place as planned
* Assess product content to be certain that meaningful and necessary information is being taught and assessed
* Determine elements which will be included as part of the process domain and establish developmental guidelines for implementation
* Define the parameters for a teaching/learning relationship and provide training to those educators who are uncomfortable or lack knowledge about interaction with students and peers at the relationship level
* Set up means to facilitate change, including technological advances
* Develop a teacher professional peer review process as an internal method for increasing professionalism of teaching, internalized growth process, and to show understanding of the importance of empowering teachers and students, of moving from administration as controlling agent to administration as supporters and facilitators.

The changes suggested will not work as a Band-Aid or a small procedure with local anesthetic applied. To provide the type of education which will encourage the growth of responsible adults and assist in true human development, we will need to adjust our philosophy, reconstitute our discipline and classroom management, establish new guidelines for what constitutes valuable use of educational time. We will find ourselves revitalizing the reporting system to parents and the community and recognize the power of asking students to be involved in the monitoring and reporting of their own progress.

We will find that students are one of our most powerful assets in the classroom and become excited about the roles they take in accelerating the healthy development of relationship as a valued function of education. Certainly it will be a delight to have them realize their potential for loving education and looking forward to each school day unlike many of our consumers of the past.

The global overview or perspective of implementing a process / product curriculum which focuses on the teaching and learning relationships has been suggested. It requires the work of the entire learning community if implementation is to be complete and consistent. If, however, a teacher becomes interested in trying the ideas on a smaller more personal scale - implementation in one classroom - there are guides and steps which would allow this to occur. In those schools where this has been effected on a classroom by classroom basis, certain situational arrangements proved to be important.

Those other educators in the school with whom the teacher works need to be aware of the process curriculum.

Parents need to be told, usually by letter, that the students will be involved in a proactive classroom setting and that their child will be expected to take responsibility for learning, and then parents need to be encouraged to participate and stay abreast and involved with progress.

Grading philosophy needs to be altered at least to the extent that the students are involved in monitoring their own progress and the emphasis on mastery of skills and competencies becomes more important than competitive ranking.

Achievement tests can be given and students can be expected to outperform those of equal ability who are not involved in process education, but there needs to be a clarification that the achievement tests are not giving a valid, reliable or responsive measure of student achievement, teacher expertise or true educational competencies.

The following models provide a developmental sequence for the seven areas of process education. These charts have been organized to include a cluster of related skills and concepts. They are also meant to be developmental and "catch" a typical student's quest for initiating and working energetically toward acquisition of the skills as a set of personal abilities at the approximate grade levels listed. The charting is neither inclusive nor exhaustive. Instead, it is a beginning point to spark excitement and generate a more thorough scope and sequence in each set of skills. These can be adapted for each classroom and district setting.


If this is such a good idea, why didn't we do it before? This is an exciting part of the concept. We have been doing it, and in some cases we have been doing it very well. We have not been getting credit for teaching process and have not given students, past or present, name recognition of its presence or an understanding of its vital place in their lives. In fact many times students have seen it as a ";by the way" outcome and not given education full credit for the impact it has had in their lives.

In addition, we have not been actively providing training or guidance in areas of process or relationship to educators. We have not been testing for its presence in the curriculum, so we have not been accurately reporting gains. Since it was not tested, many educators discounted or failed to recognize the inherent value. Nevertheless, relationship and process education have existed to some extent in every classroom.

Where we begin
We begin by recognizing and naming the existence and importance of process and relationship in education and in so doing, take ownership for what we have been doing and achieving in the past. Next we tackle the definition of what process and relationship can mean in education and how and when we will be teaching the concepts. It is crucial to establish methods for recognizing, defining, measuring and reporting process in education so others can value it as well. As we place emphasis on process and relationship it will be important to look for ways to refine the concept more fully for ourselves, to see the process as a process, a flux rather than an outcome, a way of becoming rather than a final destination. A set of beginning definitions of process education might be:

* The something inside which happens so that 2 + 2 = 4 is more than a rote statement
* A pyramid of skills, procedures, drills which ";ferment", then bubble up as ideas, insights, connections, thinking
* Structured situations which free themselves, because of the electricity of thinking and take on the "Gestalt" sense of being more than the sum of the parts or participants
* A door which somehow opens so that education goes from being a teacher directed, teacher instigated set of exercises to a headlong rush into taking responsibility for thinking, for knowing, for questioning and questing
* Perhaps it is the calling, naming and knowing of personal ownership for education

A starting place for defining relationship might be:
* Building an ability to see, pay attention to, and become personally involved in the perspectives of others
* Learning the skills to work in concert with others to accomplish a goal
*Becoming fully human by melding personal strengths and mission with an optimal group outcome
* Shifting in and out of personal need to develop outcomes which elevate all participants
* Acquiring and utilizing skills for social interaction which add a positive dimension to any cooperative situation

What this will mean for the Role of Teacher
The following are some of the issues which may be a vital part of articulating that building process. As we call upon teachers to individualize and personalize their approaches to learning, it is incumbent upon the system itself to revamp the way innovation is introduced. Thus, the tasks need to be shred in ways that empower teachers and fit their abilities to visualize, dream and change rather than compelling change from “above.”

Gathering Speed

The following may initiate excitement and energy for change.
1) Evaluate current and future roles and interplay of teacher, student and content
2) Consider ways that human nature and child development factors are crucial determinants in the educational process
3) Establish educational expectations, practices, and content on the basis of best outcome for student and society rather than on ease of measurement
4) Visualize roles of teachers as a dynamic continuum rather than static
5) Establish the value of learner as self directed and responsible
6) Determine the importance of individual satisfaction and mastery or competitive norms as the measure of schooling success [norm referenced or criterion referenced testing].
7) Recognize and value all stake holders and provide productive ways for interplay
8) Address the issues of process and product as outcomes of educational practice
9) Explore the value and importance of teaching people to be fully and clearly human and treated with the dignity that suggests as well as taking responsibility to provide that sense of dignity to others
10) Consider implications of viewing education as a service and profession
11) Recognize that emotional, social, philosophical development and human relationship skills are not automatically acquired in the same way that physical development occurs
12) Address ego development as part of education - i.e. the ability to see and give credence to others’ views, others’ needs, others’ cultural perspectives and to feel some sense of obligation to live life from the dual vantage point
13) More thoroughly explore what it means to be fully human and which of the factors are essential to the well being of the individual and society; consider which develop in spite of neglect or attention, which can be enhanced through education and then assume the mantle of that knowledge.

Determine how these things can be developed most effectivelyEncourage a home school partnership to tie community building to home and school
Include teaching and valuing of these concepts and practices in the curriculum
Establish procedures for measuring and evaluating their emergence and permanence


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Bruner, J. (1962). The process of education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Flanders, N. (1970). Analyzing teacher behavior. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

Galloway, C. (1970). Teaching as communicating: Nonverbal language in the classroom. Washington, D.C. National Education Bulletin No. 29.

Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. New York: Basic Books.

Guilford, J.P. (1988). Some changes in the Structure of Intellect model. Educational and Psychological Measurements, 48, 1-4.

Johnson, D.W. & Johnson, R. T. (1987). Learning together and alone (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.

Maslow, H. (1971). The farther reaches of human nature. New York: Viking Press.

Rich, D. (1988). Megaskills. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Slavin, R.E. (1991). Synthesis of research on cooperative learning. Educational Leadership, 48(5), 71-82.

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