Deming on Management: Education

Guest post by John Hunter, author of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog (since 2004).

This is the fifth post in our Deming on Management series. This series provides resources for those interested in learning more about particular topics related to W. Edwards Deming’s ideas. View our previous Deming on Management posts: appreciation for a system, the PDSA cycle, psychology and the red bead experiment.

quote image: "The aim of education should be to preserve and nurture the yearning for learning that a child is born with. Grades and gold stars destroy this yearning for learning."

Dr. Deming was an educator for many years. I think this quote provides excellent insight into Deming’s ideas on education (from What Ought a School of Business Teach?, included in The Essential Deming).

I read the papers that my students turn in. A whole stack of them. That’s 435 students at Columbia University last semester and 150 at NYU. A lot of papers to read. But I read them. Not to grade them. No, I read them to see how I am doing. Where am I failing? What don’t they understand? Why do they give wrong answers? Why do they have some point of view that I don’t think is right? Where am I failing?

As you explore the links here you will quickly find one name popping up over and over: David Langford. David worked with Dr. Deming and has worked to apply Dr. Deming’s ideas in education around the world for decades. David also serves on our advisory council. David’s initial efforts took place at Mount Edgecumbe High School, in Sitka, Alaska (see Deming’s Ideas Applied in High School Education).

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Quote image text: The greatest waste in America is failure to use the abilities of people.

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