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2015 TOCICO International Conference

Transforming Education Track


Michael Round
MICHAEL ROUND
Founder
Center for autoSocratic Excellence

Business / Education Cooperation to Transform the Textbook
September 9, 2015

This presentation will discuss a "new kind of textbook”, replacing the thunderous volumes measuring a thousand pages in length and 5 pounds in weight with mini-textbooks affording quality learning and interdisciplinary engagement, where learning takes place in all aspects of life. The goal is to assist the learner in looking at the world from a rational perspective, by leveraging the knowledge of specialists in business, and integrating this knowledge into textbooks demonstrating the ease – and joy – which "difficult” subjects can be tackled with enthusiasm.

An airplane soars, a door opens automatically, my cell phone rings, the Panama Canal widens, the weld holds, and the immunization protects. The moon is full, the rain passes, a rainbow arcs, and the leaves color. From the "common” to the "uncommon” (Elon Musk’s Tesla, SpaceX, and hyperloop), everything is extraordinary – if given a chance.

The shortage of engineers, scientists, and mathematicians is often the impetus for educational initiatives, but the timeless nature of the "shortage gap” suggests a chronic problem is at work. Why is this gap timeless? Why does it take so long to close the gap – even if initiatives worked? Why does it take so long to determine the initiatives aren’t achieving the expected success in the first place?

Interested parties in the educational world – teachers, students, parents – all wish for curriculum "relevance”, while the "real world” clamors for better educated students. It makes sense, in theory, for these two worlds to come together, but why is there infrequent interaction – and ineffective results when interaction occurs – in practice?

Hoping for a good experience while ignoring the constraints of both parties – time and curriculum educationally, and time industrially – transforms good intentions into marginal outcomes. Fortunately, verbalizing this contradiction also suggests an injection: an interface allowing access to both parties at their convenience. Shared knowledge can bring the "real world” into education, while also bringing to light connections, principles, and concepts that are the hallmarks of a rational education. In the process, the time to master a subject can be shortened dramatically, as students explore at their own pace, using multiple entry points, an interdisciplinary approach, and uniting "A New Kind of Textbook” with simulations, games, and short videos. An integration of industrial knowledge, the natural world, and current events serves as the foundation for this initiative.

Quoting Dr. Goldratt from the 20th Anniversary Edition of "The Goal”:

"The jewel in the crown, at least in my eyes, is the usage of TOC in education. Yes, in kindergartens and elementary schools. Don't you agree that there is no need to wait until we are adults to learn how to effectively insert some common sense into our surrounding?"


MICHAEL ROUND is the former USA Director of TOCFE, owner of Rational Systems, Inc., and founder of the Center for autoSocratic Excellence. Mr. Round has spoken at – and written about – economic, education, and business issues at conferences sponsored by TOC, Deming Institute, General Semantics, A New Kind of Science, and many others. He also operates =EQUALS=, a math, science, programming, and critical thinking club that meets monthly. Mr. Round is also an actuarial / statistical consultant in the insurance field.

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