Saturday, August 9, 2008

Quality Education .....

During the 1990s while I was teaching at NCA&T Quality of education became a focus of my thinking and has continued until today. The graphic here was created during the initial stages of this thinking. It depicts the quality of the education pipeline at various stages; the size of the "Q" is an indicator of the quality of education products flowing through the pipeline. Note the areas where there is low "q" on lower levels and where large "Q" are above. This shows that the education quality has been improved at a higher level when a low quality was flowing into the pipeline.

When I graduated from a small country school in South Carolina and entered the university; I had to take several non-credit courses to make up for courses not taught in the small country school where I received my High School Diploma. This demonstrates low quality due to lack of resources in the school to teach the necessary courses for university entry requirements.

Low quality can also occur from the dis-engagement of students in the learning process or poor quality teachers. I understand there is research that indicates that students start to dis-engage from the education process between the grades of third and sixth. From my experience with the IEEE Education Activities with local K-12 schools this appears to have some merit. Our Central NC Section IEEE Education Activities Team conducted a pilot session with a fifth AIG class in 2008 and from what I observed this class was still very much engaged. As you talk with students, you can get a sense if they are still engaged with school.

I read a recent article by the Herman Group, reporting on the percentage of employees that are dis-engaged with their work. There seems to be a universal problem of dis-engagement in our society. High dropout rates in schools, dis-interest in work, lack of spiritual development. "Quality comes from Ownership with Integrity and appropriate Resources in a healthy Paradigm - lhb" seems valid here. Some of the problems of dis-engagement may be due to the un-healthy paradigm in which people are found; be it schools, workplace or spiritual environments.

In education there has been a lot of emphasis on the "No Child Left Behind" for the lower bar achievers; but with less emphasis on the higher bar achievers. There needs to be a balance between the two. If we look at the chart on my April 18th blog we see there are various levels of skills that are required for a successful 21st century company. The lower level rountine skills are the ones that the lower bar achievers are going to find themselves in and the higher bar achievers are the ones that will be in the creative work diamond and will be making an impact on the 21st century economy. We need to encourage them all to find their place in the world where they can take ownership and make a difference!