Our lives are surounded and guided by measurements. What and how we measure drives our overall quality of life.

How can measurement help meta-education system thinking to prompt a new education renaissance?

You probably don’t think much about it, but measurement tools are interconnected with virtually every aspect of human life. We tend to overlook the importance of measurement because we are surrounded by it and have grown accustomed to it. It is only when our measurements begin to work in opposition to what we need from systems and system thinking, that we recognize their importance.

A good example of a predominantly bad measurement tool is the GDP or Gross Domestic Product . GDP measures the monetary value of all the goods and services produced in an economy over a set period of time, usually a year. The common goal for economies worldwide is to increase their GDP. But working to grow GDP does not ensure the well-being of a society. That’s because GDP doesn’t offer any measurement value for other critical aspects of life quality such as environmental degradation, health, or equity of opportunity for people. GDP was developed for an industrial-era world that relied on the unrealistic and misleading concept of never ending growth.

Measurement tools in Education systems have a similar history and challenge. Measurement in education continues to align with micro system thinking and longstanding industrial-era education structures. Standardized testing is a prime example of this. Testing is a measurement tool that is out of sync with post-industrial era educational system needs. That is why it is being met with increasing resistance.
The take away here is not about standardized testing specifically, but to demonstrate that measurement matters.

As we venture further into a world order that requires cooperative sustainability, what we measure and how we measure it will become increasingly important. The way that we use measurement can act as a prompt for education system meta-thinking; to engage a conversation about what education is and what education could be.

What could measurement look like to inform education system capacity, not for human capital, but for human potential? How could we initiate this type of dialogue from a community-wide perspective to promote meta-system thinking? Can we engage a discussion about measurement as an all-encompassing process of inquiry and mutual learning?

We need new and invigorating ways to measure. Can we engage a consideration of different measurements that truly matter from a meta education system perspective?

That is the opportunity that Edushift is promoting through projects related to measurement.