A recent cooperative study uncovers the value and effectiveness of the Lean Fundamentals Program in a collaborative high school setting.

Lean Learning Center recently collaborated with Oakland University and the Clintondale Community School District to offer Clintondale High School students a six-week course on Lean methods which included an extensive project-based learning simulation. The goal of the program was to prove that Lean can provide high school students with application skills they need to succeed in the real world through a series of lessons based on collaboration and teamwork which promoted knowledge, dispositions and applications of the widely used Lean body of knowledge and practice.

The pilot study implemented a series of 30 lessons and incorporated a flipped pedagogy of online videos and animations, supported by in-class teacher-led sessions and student teamwork. Lean is a way to improve paradigms through critical thinking and reflection (habits of mind and heart) and to improve processes through piloting of ideas and solutions (habits of hand). It relies on everyone to respect individual and collective potential (respect for people) and to use continuous improvement as a committed way to create value (the pursuit of perfection). The study sought to answer a variety of questions regarding the effectiveness of learning Lean content through a flipped pedagogy and within a team-based simulation. It also sought to learn what the high school students’ and the teachers’ perceptions of the course would be.

Overall, there were many impressive outcomes and benefits associated with the implementation of the Lean Fundamentals program. The study concluded that the advantages to students exposed to the Lean Fundamentals program included important outcomes, such as:

  • A Lean credential that is valued in the workplace following high school or postsecondary training/education
  • Development of a rational and creative problem solving system with broad applications
  • An enhanced learning experience and development of 21st century competencies
  • An effective team-based discovery learning simulation replicating real world dynamics
  • Exposure to and interest in lifelong learning through the continuous learning cycle
  • Socio-behavioral development through Lean principles of respect

Overall, the study findings were very impressive, indicating both formative improvement from pre-test to post-test on all points and summative achievement on all points. Additionally, both students and teachers reported that they enjoyed the curriculum experience. Teachers also reported that they would choose to implement the program again in future settings

Consequently, as schools, programs and courses seek better ways to deliver instruction, it is believed that the Lean Fundamentals package adds value to educational delivery and student outcomes.

Lean Learning Center

The Lean Learning Center was founded in 2001 to address the gaps and barriers that are holding back companies from successful and sustainable lean transformation. In addition to the advanced curriculum, the Center has developed a learning environment designed specifically for adult learning utilizing techniques that include discovery simulations, case studies, personal planning, and reflection – ultimately engaging people at a deep and personal level. We bring our unique lean understanding in creative ways to executives, managers, supervisors, change agents and front-line employees.

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