SQC: A gateway to Twenty First Century Learning Skills

Student Quality Circles are small voluntary group of students (Four to Ten) in number who under the facilitator voluntarily meet regularly for about an hour every week to identify, analyze and resolve problems related to their class or school by applying tools and techniques of Total Quality Management. Total Quality Person (TQP) is understood as a person with a leadership quality having mindset of inner-goodness who likes to serve the society as well as inner-smartness who always strives to excel in his profession. Students’ Quality Circles (SQC) is one of the innovative educational pedagogues which empower young students to be a total quality person. It is already proven and exercised in different parts of the world since more than two decades.

In this article we talk about how SQC will work as a gate way to 21st century learning skills. The science of learning can be distilled into nine points, all of which are about how students learn 21st century skills and how pedagogy can address new learning needs. Many of the lessons—particularly transfer, meta-cognition, teamwork, technology, and creativity—are also 21st century skills in themselves. SQC can complement the approach towards it. The need of SQC can be enumerated in following points:

  1. SQC as relevant Discipline: To be effective, any curriculum must be relevant to students’ lives. Transmission and rote memorization of factual knowledge can make any subject matter seem irrelevant. Irrelevance leads to lack of motivation, which in turn leads to decreased learning. As SQC talks about own problems and focuses on solving own problems by one, students take ownership of the process and approach used and they become committed to the process and approach.
  2. SQC as a Self Learning discipline: Learning through disciplines entails learning not only the knowledge of the discipline but also the skills associated with the production of knowledge within the discipline. SQC is what it believes where a learner becomes the learning facilitator of oneself. It focuses on continuous learning and self actualization. Continued learning through SQC makes the student become deeply familiar with a knowledge base, know how to use that knowledge base, articulate a problem, creatively address the problem, and communicate findings in systematic ways.
  3. SQC Simultaneously develop lower and higher order thinking skills: Lower-order exercises are fairly common in existing curricula, while higher-order thinking activities are much less common. Higher-level thinking tends to be difficult for students because it requires them not only to understand the relationship between different variables (lower-order thinking) but also how to apply or transfer that understanding to a new, uncharted context (higher-order thinking).Transfer tends to be very difficult for most people. However, applying SQC approach to a new, uncharted context is also exactly what students need to do to successfully negotiate the demands of the 21st century. Higher-level thinking skills take time to develop, and teaching them generally requires a trade off of breadth for depth. SQC believes in in-depth discussion analyse the problem, find the cause and suggest a definite approach to solve the problem. This helps to enhance cognitive, effective and psycho motor skills of students which range from lower and higher order thinking skills.
  4. SQC Encourage transfer of learning: Students must apply the skills and knowledge they gain in one discipline to another. They must also apply what they learn in school to other areas of their lives. This application or transfer can be challenging for students there are a number of specific ways that teachers can encourage low- and high-road transfer through SQC approach.
  1. SQC teaches students to learn how to learn: There is a limit to the skills, attitudes, and dispositions that students can learn through formal schooling. Therefore, educating them for the 21st century requires teaching them how to learn on their own. To do so, students need to be aware of how they learn. Teachers can develop students’ meta-cognitive capacity by encouraging them to explicitly examine how they think. The problem solving approach of SQC gives them definite pathway from identification of the problem, analysis of the problem and solving them. This in a sense converts goodness into smartness of the students. They in a sense start to believe that the cause of the problem is they and they are the sole authority to solve the problem.
  2. Address misunderstandings directly: Another well-documented science-of-learning theory is that learners have many misunderstandings about how the world really works, and they hold onto these misconceptions until they have the opportunity to build alternative explanations based on experience. To overcome misconceptions, learners of any age need to actively construct new understandings. SQC gives a profound technique to solve the misunderstandings. There are team leaders, and other authorities within the circles. They discuss the problem in cyclic ways. They respect the views of other and resolve the conflict, differences in the democratic way. Circle members are clear that all ideas, views and thoughts are appreciated but might not be accepted. Decisions are made by voting or unanimously. Through Deming cycle, popularly known as PDCA cycle they reflect back their activities and make necessary counters. So this helps to sort out any sorts of misunderstandings.
  3. Promote teamwork as a process and outcome: The major them of SQC is collaboration. Collaboration in problem solving. Collaboration in learning. For collaboration team building is very essential. A team without trust doesnot brings the stipulated result. Students can discuss concepts in pairs or groups and share what they understand with the rest of the class. They can develop arguments and debate them. They can role-play. They can divide up materials about a given topic and then teach others about their piece. Together, students and the teacher can use a studio format in which several students work through a given issue, talking through their thinking process while the others comment. These all approaches are being used by SQC during all the phases of problem solving.
  4. SQC Make full use of technology to support learning: The use of technology in SQC offers the potential to provide students with new ways to develop their problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills, transfer them to different contexts, reflect on their thinking and that of their peers, practice addressing their misunderstandings, and collaborate with peers all on topics relevant to their lives and using engaging tools. SQC merely does not believe use of virtual technology but it believes the perfect use of SQC tools in proper place; Right tools at right place. It helps to construct the statistical tools manually on in computer. Construction of Pareto Diagram, Pie chart line graphs, Histograms and bar diagrams develop the analytical skill as well as technological skill. Digital literacy is where an important skill of 21st
  5. SQC Foster students’ creativity: A common definition of creativity is “the cognitive ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.” Like intelligence and learning capacity, creativity is not a fixed characteristic that people either have or do not have. Rather, it is incremental, such that students can learn to be more creative. SQC helps to build up creativity through the innovative ideas of problem solving. Creative ideas to present the findings.

So in a nutshell what we can conclude that SQC is a approach towards total Quality personality with the blend of Goodness and Smartness. It can definitely complement the approach to impart 21st century learning skills.

References :

  1. Guide to Students’ Quality circles;Dinesh Chapagain
  2. schoolonline.org / An introduction to core skillsSQC: A gateway to Twenty First Century Learning SkillsNarayan Prasad SapkotaHub Coordinator, Deming Hub skill. Digital literacy is where an important skill of 21st
    1. SQC Foster students’ creativity: A common definition of creativity is “the cognitive ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.” Like intelligence and learning capacity, creativity is not a fixed characteristic that people either have or do not have. Rather, it is incremental, such that students can learn to be more creative. SQC helps to build up creativity through the innovative ideas of problem solving. Creative ideas to present the findings.

    So in a nutshell what we can conclude that SQC is a approach towards total Quality personality with the blend of Goodness and Smartness. It can definitely complement the approach to impart 21st century learning skills.

    References :

    1. Guide to Students’ Quality circles;Dinesh Chapagain
    2. schoolonline.org / An introduction to core skill

      Narayan Prasad Sapkota Hub Coordinator, Deming Hub

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One thought on "SQC: A gateway to Twenty First Century Learning Skills"

  1. gita sitaula says:

    Very helpful Guidelines for the SQCians !! Thank you for haring the article !

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