Model of improvement, anyone? -By- Kavita Sanghvi

model of improvement anyone-min educaiton magazine

Schools can opt for Dr. Robert Lloyd’s model of improvement in preparing for

the unexpected while establishing systems and processes in their bid to

provide quality education.

Managing schools is a complex affair in India. Establishing systems and

processes to provide quality education to students is even more complex. What

is more baffling is that the outcomes of teaching and learning are not only

way off the mark, but also at times contradictory to the desired visions of

the institutions. For instance, the question of discipline in executing the

learning process in schools. Every school has a policy on school discipline,

especially with reference to teachers, non-teaching staff and students.

To deal with disciplinary issues, systems and processes are also in place in

most school. However, some schools fail to execute the policy in its spirit.

For such schools, it is not only time to introspect, but also to look at new

ways to curb disciplinary issues in order to make rapid strides in the

direction of improving the teachinglearning environment. Performance

improvement Dr. Robert Lloyd, PhD Executive Director of Performance

Improvement, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, gives us a peek into areas

like performance improvement strategies, statistical process control (SPC)

methods, development of strategic dashboards, and quality improvement

training. In his introduction to the Model for Improvement, he focuses on how

three questions could help drive the quality improvement work in educational

institutions also.

The questions are:
1. What are we trying to accomplish?
2. How will we know that a change is an improvement?
3. What change can we make that will result in improvement?

These three questions, combined with the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle, will

help in achieving meaningful results. Model of improvement Educational

institutions can use this model to question the disciplinary issues in their


For instance, they can pose the following question to themselves: How does

one resolve the issue of discipline in a school? Using the 5 Why’s template,

schools can address the issue with three separate compartments.

1. Students – At times disrespect teachers
2. Parents – Few non-supportive of all consequences given
3. Teachers – Disparity in implementation of the policy by few teachers Once

schools gather the root cause, they can question the discipline policy of the

school to look out for the lacunae.

Through rigorous brainstorming and using the data from the 5 Why’s, regular

inspection and number of remarks given over time, the schools can create an

improvement plan to address the root causes. They can then take one aspect at

a time to monitor the changes over a period of time.

Plan – Schools can then decide to empower the student leadership body by

getting them involved in rebuilding the discipline policy. They can have

regular meetings with the house teachers to create strategies to ensure

discipline in schools.

Schools can create a theory of action to support their planning: Schools can

create checklists to record regular defaulters and consequences meted out.

Students can also collaboratively divide the work among themselves.

DO – Every morning, the student council can take up their duties responsibly

and monitor the students. They can conduct surprise checks and ensure

students carry only essential items and no banned items like smoke bombs or

sharp objects. The house teachers should regularly hold meetings with the

council to receive updates.

STUDY – Students and House Teachers should study the checklists over a period

of time to see if the regular defaulters have started showing more restraint.

Also, indirectly, teachers can study if the disciplinary issues impact a

class. Observations of both students and teachers can be analysed along with

records and the statistics.

ACT – If statistics show there is a drop in disciplinary issues over a period

of time, then it can be considered a success. Having a strategic planning

module helps schools to reflect on their own processes, because it helps them

to gauge whether they are improving or defaulting on the plan. This enables

schools to address their problems at hand with clarity, precision and set of

concrete evidences. The PDSA cycle expects schools to gather data and analyse

hard data like a set of sales figures, or to test assertions, such as “the

student motivation will go up by 30% in 2 months”. Finally, the PDSA cycle

can be applied to any number of situations, issues and problems

By- Kavita Sanghvi