Total Quality Management in Education

By Edward Sallis | Go to book overview
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7

Leadership

'Commitment means much more than giving an annual speech on how important quality is to our school. It requires unending enthusiasm and devotion to quality improvement. It calls for an almost fanatic promotion of and attention to new ways to do things. It requires constant review of each and every action.'

Stanley Spanbauer, A Quality System for Education

Total quality is a passion and a way of life for those organizations that live its message. The question is how to generate the passion and the pride required to generate quality in education. Peters and Austin researched the characteristics of excellence for their book A Passion for Excellence (1986). Their research led them to the belief that what makes the difference is leadership. They argue strongly for a particular style of leadership to lead the quality revolution-a style to which they have given the acronym MBWA or 'management by walking about'. A passion for excellence cannot be communicated from behind the office desk. MBWA emphasizes both the visibility of leaders and their understanding and feeling for the front-line and the processes of the institution. This style of leadership is about communicating the vision and the values of the institution to others, and getting out among the staff and the customers and experiencing the service for themselves.


The educational leader

Peters and Austin gave specific consideration to educational leadership in a chapter entitled 'Excellence in School Leadership'. They see the educational leader as needing the following attributes:

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