QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN EDUCATIONAL CONTEXTS: A LITERATURE REVIEW
Universidad de Santiago de Chile (CHILE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Due to an expanding global market and increased customer expectations, many businesses, organizations, and institutions have begun to utilize quality management systems (QMSs). Whether viewed as a positive or negative adaption, educational institutions are no exception to total quality management. In this day and age, universities and vocational schools must compete in order to attract as well as keep students. In this competitive, commoditized system, students, parents and even teachers and administrators can be considered end users or clients of the institution. Hence the case can be made that QMSs are necessary to measure the effectiveness of the institution, especially for the continued improvement of teaching and learning processes. Educational institutions must ensure a certain level of quality in the learning outcome of their students to keep up in a competitive global environment that demands trained professionals. Currently, there is a large gap in the literature regarding the topic of both vocational and secondary education implementing QMSs. Institutions of higher education have been the central focus of many studies previously conducted, leaving both vocational and secondary education to the side. In Chile, vocational education is especially important as the country’s GDP has been on the rise for many years, and vocational training is an important factor. The latter is because not only is there a socioeconomic need for the existence of vocational schools, but also because a saturated and highly privatized university system creates a notable instance for the importance of technical professionals. We hope to contribute to the current lack of literature by evaluating quality management systems and their application in both vocational and secondary education. We apply our review of QMSs in secondary and vocational institutions to a Chilean context. This should be seen as something vital in the current day and age as Chile is experiencing an oversaturated market for many university careers and a lack of qualified workers to enter into technical positions. To be able to create a constant supply for these technical positions, a quality management system is fundamental to ensure that student learning is on par with labor market expectations. Here we review current literature on QMSs in secondary education, with a special focus on vocational institutions. We make the case for Chile as a system that could benefit from the use of QMSs in its vocational education system, given the socioeconomic need and future benefit of technical education. Finally we present our inclusive methodology for implementing a QMS in four large vocational high schools in Chile.
Keywords: Vocational education, quality management systems, continuous improvement, education administration.