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the mental models that each of us carries in our
minds. They are our 'working models' of
the world. Joel Barker has written an easy-to-read
The benefits of
paradigms are that they filter our all the extra things that don't fit and
usually make it easier to deal with the world as we experience it. We do not
have to continually judge the 'validity' of every experience
The dangers are
exactly the same. Our own paradigms are so familiar and
'natural' that that they seem self-evident and take on a sense of being 'the
truth'. This blinds us to possible better understandings. History is greatly
enriched by the results of such blind spots.
The quality paradigm
The quality paradigm is different.
- Quality focuses on supporting people & making their actions
easier and more likely to be successful.
- Quality places a very high value on outcomes but assumes
that outcomes come from the processes within systems.
- Quality does not subscribe to the view that outcomes come
from people (in isolation) so bonuses and quotas are not highly
- Rather than using nouns* (eg, outcomes,
literacy, teaching...) the language of
quality is more focused on
- verbs that describe actions
& elements of processes and
- pronouns that indicate
relationships and time sequences
- In order the ensure that the outcomes are
achieved, quality focuses on how the
outcomes are achieved and obstructed.
- Using a systems approach quality attends to many aspects
Student-Teacher paradigms are
variations on the following themes: