ERIC Number: EJ918067
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Perspectives: The Continuous Improvement Trap
Arnold, David L.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v43 n2 p16-20 2011
Accrediting agencies, legislators, pundits, and even higher educational professionals have become enamored with applying the language of continuous improvement to learning outcomes. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges specifically uses the term "continuing improvement" in Core Standard 2.5, one of its non-negotiable markers of institutional effectiveness. Yet for all the effort, many people, particularly faculty, still aren't convinced that they are getting what advocates of continuous improvement seem to have promised. The standard response to doubt is to be urged to do more: collect more data, act more frequently, document more thoroughly--this "has" to work. But the problem may not be insufficient effort. It may lie instead in disconnects between the continuous improvement model as operationalized in business and industry and the attempt to apply it in an unexamined fashion to educational environments. This article presents the author's discussion on these disconnects and Ted Marchese's response.
Descriptors: Institutional Evaluation, Quality Control, Alignment (Education), Adoption (Ideas), Theory Practice Relationship, Technology Transfer, Total Quality Management, Educational Improvement, Improvement Programs, Barriers, Performance Factors, Benchmarking, Policy Analysis, Audits (Verification), Educational Quality
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A