Essential Value and Educational Quality

In a previous post it was deduced that in a Society(system) encountering energy and resource constraints the sole aim of the organisation of governance is to

“identify, maximise and defend the Essential Value to Society created and retained over time and to distribute it equitably at continually reducing Resource Intensity and Failure demand”

The question then arises “what is the role that education can and indeed must play in enabling this; through its output in terms of human resources, creativity and ingenuity; and its consumption of resources in the process?”

Clearly there is a conflict here as traditionally an education has been seen, at least since the Enlightenment, as enabling the liberation of the human spirit and the individual, without thought of constraints. That the individual and the collective could all attain their needs and wants, without constraint or considering the needs of the system, with the ‘right education’

This is an ideal that cannot be fully met when constraints exist, but its essence must be retained if the individual is thrive and create Essential Value in their own life and at the same time contribute to the enlarging of the pool of Essential Value available to Society.

The crucial question here is “what is Essential Value?” This will depend on the perceived needs of a society, its culture and the resources available to it. In general Essential Value is as outlined in this post.

In the pursuit and creation of identified Essential Value three issues arise

  • Creativity and Ingenuity are limited in any society.
  • There can only be a probability that an action can create the desired Essential Value.
  • Unconnected activity or research might produce the knowledge to, or actually generate the required Essential Value.

The Governance Sustainability flow diagram below attempts to illustrate this by placing Education outside the improvement loop and feeding into it and from it.

In the light of what has been stated above can we now extract a definition ofEducational Quality, at system level, under resource constraints?

Well, from the statement of the aim of organisational governance and the definition of Quality at system level from this post – as that which “Maximises the Essential Value added to and retained by society resulting  from the creation, use and disposal of products and services” at reducing Resource Intensity.” it is possible to say that the best Quality of Life available to citizens is that produced by the “Maximisation of the Essential Value available to society (resulting  from the creation, use and disposal of products and services” at reducing Resource Intensity.)

As the Educational System must enable this it follows that we can define Educational Quality as that which –

“Enables the liberation of the fulfillment, creativity and ingenuity in individuals and the collective that will lead to the maximisation and equitable distribution of their Quality of Life”


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