The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog

Fixing Education: A Model That Works by Bette Moen

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Guest post by John Hunter.

This webcast shows Bette Moen’s presentation, Fixing Education: A Model That Works, at the 2012 Annual Deming Conference. Bette is the founder and director of Cedar Crest Academy.

Cedar Crest pays close personal attention to each student and adjusts the system to their needs and strengths. The system is adapted to maximize the education system results. How such a concept would be applied in a different system would be different. The level of individualization is not possible with the structure of many schools. But other schools could learn from the ideas and transform themselves to be more focused on providing students what they need instead of trying to figure out how to bend students to the requirements imposed by the school’s rigid structure.

Could your organization improve the performance of the organization by paying more attention to each person and adapting the system to maximize the performance based on the individual’s strengths? I know many organizations I have experience with are much more focused on bending individual’s to fit the rigid organization structure and could benefit from creating systems more able to take advantage of the abilities of their people.

It is wonderful to see the focus placed on creating systems to make learning happen – as described in this presentation. That same focus on creating systems that let kids learn is repeated over and over in the presentations by those applying Deming’s ideas to education. Each presentation shows how important it is to change the thinking from we have a very set system and need to fit students into it to a model of what type of system can we create in order to nurture student learning.

Organizations similarly need to learn how to focus on how to create management systems that allow people to flourish and achieve great things rather than the current model that far to often amounts to slotting people into their box on the organizational chart and having them optimize, to the extent possible, that box (with, sadly, whatever negative impacts that optimizing creates for the rest of the system).

If you found this presentation worthwhile remember to follow the links in this post for more on these ideas. You may also enjoy the other posts focused on education.

Related: Student Led ChangeInquiring Minds: Improving Elementary Science by Linda LippePrediction is the Problem by Ron MoenThe Neuroscience of DemingA Powerful Tool to Aid Learning: The Capacity Matrix


Categorised as: education, psychology, systems thinking, video


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