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
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