Your comments about education hit home with me. While still nursing
somthing of a grudge towards what passed for my education, I've spent
years trying to fill the "holes" and step beyond them, only to discover
that I had the critical piece (by accident probably)-the orientation
toward quality and the like.
What hurts is the damage to ones self asteem, to be forced into a "scrap"
condition dispite the best effort. This gives the impression that life is
only a game, and then we wonder why so many kids go out and join gangs.
Survival of the fittest works under some circumstances, but it's very
disturbing to discover (as a student) that all the high ideas espoused by
education are brought to nothing by a system that pits you against others
so that no matter how well you perform, your still "dead". Someones
warped view of reality I imagine (mental models at work again folks).
It's another reason why I'm determined to home school my son. He's going
to have a fair chance to be the best he can be, not be ground into
dispondancy over things that don't really matter.
On Thu, 11 Jul 1996, Taylor Jenkins wrote:
> One of my teachers, a great man trying to invoke change, but bound
> by the system, said, "Education is the only industry that prides itself on
> scrap and rework."
> A profound statement! By use of the forced curve and the grading
> system, it is required that schools produce scrap and rework. In other
> words, noteveryone can get an 'A'. There can only be so many A's and so
> many F's. Well you might ask, "What if the class consists of the 50
> brightests students in the nation?" Yes, someone must fail, otherwise
> grade inflation will occur.
> When a student fails, he must retake the course and become rework,
> or he can drop out and become scrap.
> If anyone Knows of a case study, or incident where The Deming
> philosophy is being applied in education, please E-mail me. I am
> interested in where and how it is being applied, and what the effects are.
Sometime last year, Peter Senge, Rick Ross, Meg Roberts and others
participated in a series of nation wide video conferences where they
presented a number of the system thinking concepts and brought in
representatives from various organizations, companies and schools who had
been applying them. What struck me about these events were that children
from schools working with this stuff were included in the sessions and
participated on a more or less equal footing with the adults, and were
able to make a pretty good case for their usage of Learning Organization
[Host's note: Meg Roberts? Probably Charlotte Roberts. The efforts to
teach systems thinking to kids in middle school are fascinating to me.
If anyone remembers which schools it was that were represented (I'm afraid
I don't) you could contact them directly. I think they could provide some
very valuable insight and practical experience.
Michael Erickson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>