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THE QUALITIES OF TRUE EDUCATION – PART 4 – WALKING THE TALK

In this series, we have explored the qualities of true education, exposing that we have settled for something far less than this in what we classify as education at present. Hence there is much work to be done.


We have looked at professionalism, service and integrity.

It is all well and good to say these things, and to even say that what a school, college or higher education institute offers represents all of these. But is it true?


Anyone can come up with great and impressive words that sound good. But the proof of actual professionalism, integrity and a dedication to true purpose is in the actual, lived way of the educational facility and its team, and the quality that its students and graduates receive and in turn represent.


Articles and other publications that talk about what is truly required, can be and are copied across the industry. Thus it is not uncommon to see the same words touted around elsewhere. The general public’s role, as consumers of whatever it is we consume / purchase / partake in, is to discern the actual quality of what is offered – by feeling what is underneath the words.

The real deal says words that are backed by a solidness in the movements of the organisation or person. In other words, the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

Therefore:

  • In a teaching situation, a trainer and assessor cannot teach about professionalism if they do not act that way themselves.

  • An organisation cannot train others in integrity if it does not base everything it does on integrity.

  • A student will not receive anything more than a ‘piece of paper’ and a stack of ‘tick boxes’ if all the college/training institution is doing is receiving their money (e.g. at the census date) and just pumping them through.

  • A student will not receive quality education if the training organisation is focused on what is easiest, most cost efficient and time saving for the training organisation, instead of what the student needs.

In order to represent true quality in education, a training organisation (of whatever level or type) must:

  • Honour and highly value its staff and all of its students. An organisation’s staff are its gateway and face to its clients/customers. Therefore they need to be looked after and treated as what they truly are – the organisation’s most important asset.

  • Treat each and every student as absolutely important. No question is too small, and everyone deserves and should receive all the support they need all the way through. This is not to say that sometimes the study to be performed may not be hard – as it sometimes may be and students may be challenged, including when changes are introduced by regulators or industry that change goalposts of what is being studied. However, throughout it all, the educational facility should be steadily focused on and committed to its students. Every student has the right to this – irrespective of where they are studying and what they are studying.

  • Make sure its systems and processes support the above. In other words, systems and processes are never to satisfy regulatory requirements and ‘comply’. They are far more than this. Systems and processes must have the objective of supporting the organisation’s purpose – which is to support and develop students. Hence a system or process is of no use and should be revised, discarded or replaced if it is aimed at some other objective, e.g. making a profit at the expense of students’ wellbeing, making things easier for the training organisation at the expense of what students truly need to learn, or just putting in place a mechanism that ticks off the components required under regulatory standards. In other words, every system and every process should be about people, first.

Likewise, a training organisation cannot offer students true education unless its staff (both trainers and administrative/support staff) actually walk the talk that the organisation represents.


Too big an ask?


Our Team says no, it is not. All it takes is to put quality first, which comes as a natural consequence of being very firmly aligned with, and operating for the purpose of true education.

In the final part of this series, we look as a wrap up at quality education and what this means and offers.

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