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Quality in Education According to the Teachings of Deming and Feuerstein

Quality in Education According to the Teachings of Deming and Feuerstein

December 09, 2016

While there have been many contributors to the theories of management and of education, two names stand out for both the boldness of their departures from past thinking and the comprehensiveness of their approaches.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993) and Dr. Reuven Feuerstein (1921-2014) have each pioneered new ways to think and to act, the one in management and the other in education. Together they provide a new way to approach teaching and learning.

Some educators may not see the connection between management and education. That is because the teachings of Deming and Fuerstein involve a drastic change in paradigm. One of the inescapable features of a paradigm shift is that in the beginning, those who are learning of the new paradigm interpret it in terms of the paradigm they are to leave. This difficulty is inevitable. My purpose in writing is to make the transitions at the personal level and organizational levels easier.

Dr. Feuerstein has concentrated his attention on how children learn. He builds on the work of Piaget, but goes much further. For about a half century he has developed his system for the improvement of learning and is guiding its adoption in many countries around the world. If teachers adopt the Feuerstein approach, they will change in dramatic ways the way schools operate. As a result, the way schools are managed will also change.

W. Edwards Deming, in over a half century of teaching and lecturing, has influenced managerial practices all over the World. His book, “Out of the Crisis” has been translated into many languages. The Deming Prize in Japan is given to companies which show excellence in the application of his ideas. Companies in Japan and elsewhere now compete for this prestigious prize. If the work of Feuerstein is to succeed, it is essential that educators also understand the work of Deming. What goes on in the classroom is constrained by what goes on in administration; and vice-versa.

By sampling educational and managerial practices in several countries, I have concluded that the ideas of W. Edwards Deming and Reuven Feuerstein are still unknown to most administrators and teachers. What these pioneers have to teach us is of the utmost importance. The growth of world populations, the depletion of natural resources, the degradation of the environment, the demands for a higher standard of living by an increasing number of people, the spread of information by satellites, the creation of a world wide economic system (in which money travels at the speed of light) and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction … these forces have produced an era of rapid change. The depth and complexity of this era of change have been described by Drucker in an insightful and thought provoking essay, “The Age of Social Transformation.” Drucker argues that we are in the midst of the most extreme societal changes in recorded history. These changes now challenge our abilities to manage our institutions and to learn, collectively. We need to learn how to adapt to new and ever changing conditions.

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