Lutheran Education Journal History

May 3rd, 2019 | Category: Columns, Here I sit, Words for Thought
By Shirley K. Morgenthaler

The Enterprise of Learning

I have always been interested in the history of things. Where did things originate? How did something get started? When I wrote about the history of the Lutheran Education Journal as we introduced a new cover in the last issue, I began to wonder about those earlier issues. I have been assured by Dr. John Zillman, the immediately-past LEJ Editor, that all of the issues, beginning with Volume 1 in 1864-1865, are housed in Klinck Memorial Library.

I recently sent my new Assistant Editor, Dr. Kimberly Lavato, on an expedition to the basement archives of Klinck to see for ourselves. There they all were! A gracious librarian allowed her to take one year of journal articles to her office. Wow!! History in her hands!!! (But not for long. We were in trouble by the following morning!)

After a little deep breathing, Kim settled in to some archival reading. The entirety of Volume 65 measured 400 pages. Another wow!!! Kim called to propose the article that follows here as the one that would fit our Enterprise-of-Learning theme for this issue. Between us, we decided that it would be a good article with which to begin our occasional publication of historical pieces from past volumes of LEJ.

We have a rich history of education-journal publishing. One hundred fifty-five years. More than any other education journal in America. Beginning with German and transitioning to English. Moving from personal publication to professional publication to online publication. With a beginning and continuing emphasis on Lutheran Schools and their position in schooling in America.

Beginning as the Das Schulblatt, moving to the Lutheran School Journal, and currently published as the Lutheran Education Journal, the name may have morphed, the language may have changed, but the message is still the same. We are serving our students as well as teachers in Lutheran Schools across the country. Today our online journal is available, and read, around the globe. Praise the Lord for that!

The article we have selected for our introduction of this occasional feature is “The Learning Process” by J.E. Potzger. It is nine pages of discussion of how children learn that includes a discussion of motivation, the role of the brain in learning, and other almost-contemporary topics. I know nothing of J.E. Potzger except that he was a part of the Concordia Teachers College faculty in 1929-1930.

At that time, the campus was right where we are today, bordered by Augusta, Monroe, Bonnie Brae, and Division Streets. Fewer buildings, but the same beautiful streets and trees. Faculty living in housing along Monroe and Bonnie Brae, provided by Concordia at below-market rent. Three of those formerly faculty houses still stand along Monroe Street near Thomas Street.

And now it’s your turn. Take a breath and begin your exploration of the Lutheran School Journal in 1929-1930. And while you are doing that, appreciate the fact that in 1929-1930 the LSJ was published in both German and English. Stay tuned to find out exactly how that language transition was negotiated over the early decades of the 1900s. Right now, just enjoy the work of J.E. Potzger and “The Learning Process.”