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Standardization for the purpose of Customization

November 19, 2012

As an independent school we work hard to deliver a customized or personalized education for each of our students. It is an exciting venture. The concept of not every student completing the exact same progression of science courses or focusing their English classes on topics that interest them like: Paranormal Literature and American Literature and Baseball are just some of the ways we are trying to make students excited about learning. Dare I say passionate?

But in order to deliver this customized education, we must standardize certain things. We must ensure that every English class covers the same skills, no matter what texts are read. We must verify that whether students study American History through the perspective of women or African Americans that the same skills are mastered. How will we do this? Through standardizing the skills instead of the content.

Think of it like a great restaurant… they will allow you to order the steak at the temperature of your choice and substitute the broccolini for cauliflower mash but the service, quality of food, and experience must remain constant. Standardized in order to customize.


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One Comment
  1. tieandjeans permalink

    Let’s think about the different ways I might coax you into coming to lunch with me. They can all start with “I know this amazing restaurant!” but there’s a world of difference lurking behind amazing.

    “I know this amazing restaurant! It’s right behind the dentists office off 123. There’s only two tables…”

    “I know this amazing restaurant! There’s table service, but you need to ask for the laotian menu. There’s a translation in this forum…”

    “I know this amazing restaurant! They make 300 pies of one kind of pizza each day, so you have to go early and you don’t get a choice about what’s on top..”

    I’m going to stop there, because I’m now hungry for 5 different restaurants, most of which are in a different time zone. To be amazing, each restaurant much have some traits that are CONSISTENTLY excellent, but I don’t think there’s much that’s STANDARDIZED.

    If we’re going for a culinary model, I’d hope that a school could rise to the level of an amazing street market. Small vendors, hyper-focused amazing quality, in competition with every other vendor for customer’s attention, but still able to build networks of mutual support and cooperation. Minimal start up costs and minimal safety net.

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