Optimizing Student Learning: A Lean Systems Approach to Improving K-12 Education
This book is a fictionalized account of how a licensed school teacher developed, implemented, and refined the application of Lean principles and applied them to her classroom instructional practice to complete the delivery of her assigned curriculum while at the same time ensuring her students achieved mastery learning of the material presented. While the first edition focused on instructional process improvement, this second edition expands on that foundation to include application of the Lean principles and strategies to enable students to improve their individual learning processes and thus become more successful learners.
This second edition lays out a blueprint for schools and teachers across the USA, and indeed around the world, who are struggling with how to use traditional education techniques to improve student learning outcomes. This elusive goal has been the number one focus of the American education industry and trillions of dollars of investment for the past 50 years. Up until the previous decade, educators refused to look outside their own industry for solutions. But financial challenges have forced them to look outside that box. Many schools and districts are now discovering the benefits of adopting Lean into their business model to achieve greater efficiency with taxpayer dollars on the administrative side. Some larger districts have established Lean offices or departments within their organization. This has helped with budgeting, but the model has not yet been used on a large scale to improve student learning performance - every school/district's primary mission. This book lays out the blueprint for teachers and administrators to use simple Lean strategies and tools to achieve that elusive goal. The application is no longer theoretical. It has been proven to be effective by those who have used it.
Lean principles and strategies, as applied to education through this real-life case study, are explained in easy-to-understand terms, not in manufacturing Lean jargon. Scenarios used are from real life events common to all educators. Examples of forms, tools adapted to the needs of educators, and results are included. The book is written in an easy to understand narrative style. Reviewers of the original version - educators who knew nothing about Lean - stated they could easily understand the concepts presented and implement the model using nothing more than the book as a guide. The book's presentation eliminates teacher procrastination resulting from having to figure something out and how to apply it to your work yourself when you have no extra time available for that purpose. It also eliminates the need to hire a Lean consultant - a plus for districts strapped for cash but desiring to implement an improvement solution.