So what is it?
Quality management is a way of organising people so that they approach tasks with enthusiasm and take part in improving the work that gets done. Once again collaboration is ranked highly and seen as vital if this type of management is going to succeed. Everything that is done links to the vision and mission of the organisation and the people employed are seen to be the ones who give the organisation its edge above everything else. Innovation and a futures perspective are important whilst the greater good and self-interest should be served simultaneously. Teams as well as individuals are recognised and everyone is given the capacity to manage their relationships and processes within the oragnisation. Managers are LEADERS and motivate others to make positive meaningful contributions because they believe what they are doing is important to society or the enterprise. Everyone feels like a winner.
This obviously transfers to the education system.
Quality in education is what makes learning so good. It makes it fun, enjoyable and ensures learning happens. Exams and competition may place pressure upon the individual to learn but this does not build a life long independent learner, it is the experience that counts. Quality at one age is different to that at another, therefore students need to be constantly and appropriately engaged if they are going to fall in love with learning. Quality is not about the fixtures and fittings, however nice or desirable they may be, but about the teaching and learning process and how it is carried forward. I therefore disagree with Stephen Heppell when he says a turned off device is a turned off child. Learning should be driving not the tools. I don’t discount that the tools are very motivating and that in itself is reason enough to have them, but however great the tools, if the teaching is poor and the learner disinterested then no learning other than damaging learning will occur.
Focus should be placed upon the learning and teaching process and not upon exams and the end product. Tests provide a brief pressure to learn but do not ensure independent life long learning. This had implications for assessment and the children’s/students role within it. How much should be negotiated or co-constructed? Do we need exams? What would we use instead?
The collaborative process is vital for learning. All students should be seen as teachers and learners. By taking part in collaborative experiences social skills are developed, knowledge is shared and the idea that team work is essential to success is developed.