Schools That Learn / Contributions from Students and Teachers LO22706

Art Kleiner (
Tue, 21 Sep 1999 19:07:23 -0400

<fontfamily><param>New_York</param>Dear members of the Learning
Organization list-serv:

This message is a request for contributions to a book in production
called Schools That Learn. As some of you know, we've been working on
this book for a while and it's entering its last stages -- and we're
discovering that we don't have everything we need.

I'm writing either because you may know (or be) someone who is the kind of
contributor we're looking for. We are looking, specifically, for informal
emails from two groups of people.


1. Students (junior high school, high school, or university) who have had
some experience trying to change their schools for the better.

(For example: A lot of students are feeling the pressure of overwhelming
amounts of homework, not necessarily with any increase in learning. Has
any student succeeded in raising this issue in a way that made a
difference for the better? Or in changing schools in some other way?)


2. Classroom teachers (K-12, or university) who have directly used the
"learning disciplines" popularized by Peter Senge in their work -- either
in the classroom, or in trying to change the school for the better. These
are Systems Thinking, Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Shared Vision and
Team Learning.


At this point, these are the only two groups of people we are looking for.
We are trying to give students and teachers a visible presence in the book
that would otherwise be missing.

We already have an oversupply of articles by administrators, consultants,
and people trying to change the schools from the outside. We think
students and teachers, in particular, need to be heard in a book like the
one we're trying to produce.


We're not looking for formal essays. We're looking for people who have
some authentic experience that they have thought about, and who are
willing to write me an informal letter about your experience (successful
or not) and what you made of it.

What did you do or try? What were you thinking when you started? What did
you learn in your effort (that isn't obvious)? What would work if you
tried to do it again? What would you avoid? Who are the most effective
allies? What unexpected challenges arose? What did you get out of it?

I'll reply, and out of the give-and-take between us, a short article will
hopefully emerge for Schools That Learn (by Peter Senge, Nelda
Cambron-McCabe, Tim Lucas, Janis Dutton, Art Kleiner and Bryan Smith). I
suspect that there are both students and teachers whose articles would
mean a great deal to other people, in other schools, trying to do similar

Schools That Learn is subtitled "The Fifth Discipline Education
Fieldbook." It is a follow-up to a prominent management book of ten years'
back, The Fifth Discipline. It will be published by Doubleday. The last
three books in this series were bestsellers, so this one may be as well.

Our premise is that schools and other institutions of learning can be more
like "learning organizations" - organizations that continually improve by
tapping into the hopes and dreams of everyone involved, and continually
helping people talk authentically, even in bureaucratic or rigidly
controlled situations. If you take the idea seriously, it's a lot of
difficult work -- but it means you're directly involved in the school
rather than a passive recipient.

We're interested in public and private schools, in junior high school,
high school and in universities -- anywhere in the world.


Our deadline is December 1. Material we don't use in the book will
still appear (if the writers so wish) in our website,
In either case, contributors retain final cut and copyright to their

I invite anyone interested to get in touch with me by email at:

For more information, see our previous books -- The Fifth Discipline
Fieldbook and The Dance of Change. Or check out the website.

Feel free to copy this message to anyone who might be interested.

Thank you for your consideration.


Art Kleiner </fontfamily>

-- Art Kleiner,,


Art Kleiner <>

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