From Where I Sit…The Enterprise of Learning

Nov 13th, 2018 | Category: Columns, Here I sit
By Shirley Morgenthaler

Welcome to the Enterprise! Otherwise known as the Lutheran Education Journal. With this issue we are beginning our one-hundred-fifty-fifth year of continuous publication.  This is something to celebrate! One-hundred-fifty-five years of educating teachers for Lutheran schools. One-hundred-fifty-five years of writing about education and about teacher education, all from a Lutheran perspective. Something more to celebrate. And, comparing ourselves to other academic-education publications across the country, we are the oldest and longest continuously-published education journal of them all. That is truly something to celebrate! And, as this Enterprise of Learning, we continue our mission of bringing you intelligent and knowledgeable articles, thoughtful columns, and timely book reviews written, for the most part, by our very own faculty. Now that’s an enterprise!

With this opening issue of the 155th volume of the Lutheran Education Journal, we are pleased to present a new look. Our own Tracy Vasquez, Senior Graphic Designer, has designed this cover to communicate who we are and where this Enterprise of Learning is going.

Thinking about learning as an enterprise puts most of us into thinking about all of the for-profit ventures springing up in the field of education. There have always been educational entities that have served children and adults through a process of tuition. These include colleges, universities, preschools, childcare centers, as well as parochial and private schools serving elementary- and secondary-school students. In the past quarter-century, there have also been ventures such as school vouchers and charter schools that have challenged the concept of schooling as not-for-profit. In addition, there are tutoring centers and a variety of college-level courses and whole degree programs that are clearly for-profit ventures.

All of the above forms and practices in education are of interest to and the concern of the faculty of Concordia University Chicago. Some of them are our direct competitors. Others serve the children for whom our students are preparing their vocations.

The authors of the articles, book reviews and columns found in this issue are all concerned with the enterprise of learning. How is it best fostered? What do schools need in order to thrive? What do students, especially young students, need in order to learn and to thrive?

Both Annette VanAken and Marlene Meisels study novel ways to help young children learn to read and to, in the process, to become consumers of learning. Joy Mullaney and her colleagues have analyzed the factors that must be present for Lutheran schools to be able to survive and thrive. I am coming to believe that those same factors must be present for congregations to survive and thrive. Andrea Dinero and Carolyn Theard-Griggs propose strategies that will support the education of the whole child and of all children in all of our classrooms. Columnists Michele Gnan, Bogusia Ryndak-Mazur, Samantha Lazich, and Jamie Kowalczyk all discuss issues of learning in and around the classroom. Peter Pohlhammer’s Words for Thought discuss learning from yet another lens.

Elizabeth Owolabi presents evidence of the strategies that will positively affect student retention at Concordia University Chicago. It is critical that we study her findings carefully with an eye toward adoption and implementation.  These strategies should also be carefully studied by our sister institutions for adoption and implementation. In the same way, Lutheran high schools may find these proposed strategies useful and successful.

Youngmei Song and Margaret Trybus give us a picture of yet a different learner, the Chinese professor studying at Concordia University Chicago. The perceptions of these university graduate students are useful for our continuing work with international students in China and across the globe.

And, if this were not enough, we also have two book reviews for your consideration. Kurt Stadtwald and Ardelle Pate have given us a taste of each of the books they reviewed for our consideration. Don’t miss their recommendations.

We are all in the learning business. From the literacy learning of early learners to graduate students/professors from China studying with us, we are focused on learning and on teaching. On education. This is, after all, the Lutheran Education Journal. As we begin the 155th year of continuous publication, we celebrate our focus on learning and on our support of Lutheran schools across the world. LEJ