Moving TTA to be a Quality School
The Quality School movement was developed by psychiatrist and noted educator Dr. William Glasser and is built upon the work of Dr. W. Edward Deming. Deming was a noted industrialist who proposed 14 principles needed to operate in the workplace if quality is to be achieved. Glasser streamlined Deming's principles and applied them to schools.
At their heart, Quality Schools represent the application of Choice Theory, Reality Therapy, and Lead Management together with the following three elements drawn from Deming’s principles:
- Eliminate coercion,
- Focus on quality,
- Institute a system of self evaluation.
At TTA, we believe that this theoretical and philosophical framework will lead to the achievement of quality learning outcomes and quality relationships in our school.
At the core of a Quality School is a concerted attempt to eliminate or minimize coercion and to drive-out fear. We recognize that we cannot control others but can only influence them. When relationships are strong and work is purposeful, then quality learning can take place. As teachers, we need to be persistent and creative in the way we ‘invite’ students to learn. Once we coerce through either threats or rewards, intrinsic motivation is unlikely and true, quality work will not be achieved.
Focus On Quality:
Quality is hard to define accurately but we all seem to be able to recognize it fairly easily. Dr. Al Mamary defined quality work as “… the best that a student can do at this time”. This is a useful definition as it suggests there are a number of variables involved and that the pursuit of quality is an ongoing journey. Glasser suggested that there are six conditions of quality schoolwork. At TTA we work individually and collectively to ensure these conditions are in place for students.
- The classroom environment must be warm and supportive.
- Students should be asked to do only meaningful work.
- Students are always asked to do the best they can do.
- Students are asked to evaluate their own work and to continuously improve it.
- Quality work always feels good (It is needs-satisfying)
- Quality work is never destructive (We cannot satisfy our needs at the expense of another)
Noted educator, Peter Senge, stated that “…evaluation should always be in the hands of the learner.” The more we can move from a ‘top down’ or external mode of evaluation with students and members of staff, the more likely we are to achieve quality learning outcomes. Such self-evaluation should be based on shared standards or models of quality. Glasser states in his book The Quality School Teacher that, “If we are to persuade all students to do quality work, we must involve them deeply in the process of evaluating their own work as they do it! This is concurrent evaluation.”
He proposes the SESIR process to achieve quality work:
S Show the teacher what you are doing. Do this carefully and completely
E Explain how you achieved what you are showing and answer any questions
S Self-evaluate to see if it can be improved
I Improve on what you have done
R Repeat the evaluation and improvement process until further attempts of improvement are not worth the effort
At TTA, we are on a journey towards becoming a Quality School characterized by a lack of coercion and the achievement of quality work and quality relationships.