The objective of this site is twofold:
- To demonstrate the powerfull methodology Structured Information Modelling (SIM) by Dr Willem F. Roest (1942-2015);
a scientific methodology with an interdisciplinairy system of variants, for the development of consistent models;
- To make a plea for reconsidering education as we know it.
Why about education?
Where is my interest for education coming from? First of all, there is a lot of media coverage around this subject: youth having a low motivation for school, high dropout rates, high numbers of youth diagnosed with mental disorders. Why is that? Is it because of the children, how they are raised by their parents, or is it more complex than that.
Secondly, the school system hasn't been helpful to my own children, rather the opposite. How come that they became school dropouts, yet acquire so much knowledge and learn so easily outside of school, where formal methods and compulsory learning paths failed misserably. Is it their fault, are they to blame or are they so unique that they don't fit in the school system? Or is something more fundamental going on?
Fixed ideas obstruct the view on what education really is about, and obstruct innovation. Here SIM comes in. The underlying thinking method of SIM is very strong in focussing on concept (function, objects, workflow), and leaving out any physical factors (personel, business and learning means, ICT, locations, finance) used in the organisation of the business (assigning concept to factors / allocating factor to concept).
- Structured Information Modelling - Denkwijze
- Business modelling - Werkwijze
- All part of the framework: SIC - Structured Information Control
- Helpfull in overcoming dificulties in thinking about separating concept (function) from implementation (form) is the publication: Vorm en functie
- For further reading on business architecture: Modelleren van business architectuur
- Last but not least to be mentioned: Bestuurlijke InformatieVoorziening - de cyclus
Why do I feel education is such an excellent subject for demonstrating SIM?
What is the core of education? Most people have an opinion on education, because they attended school. But education and school are obviously not the same. I see a school as a way of organising facilities to offer 'education'. In other words: a school is a form of implementation of the educational function. Or at least parts of education, because after and outside of school 'education' is not over.
Considering the various propositions made by schools there seems to be a lot of choice and variation in the way schools are organised.
Is it possible to define education while abstracting from these implementations? Thinking about education and 'forget' the way it is implemented in methods, procedures, protocols, organisational departments and staffing, systems, locations etc.? In other words: is it possible to create a conceptual (business) model, a(n) (business) architecture if you like.
It is possible, not easy though. For any business it is hard to create a conceptual model and not be influenced by implementation solutions. For education it might even be harder, because most of us have experienced schooling and consequently have fixed ideas on the subject.
So, education is a subject where everybody is somehow familiar with and at the same time making it hard to let go of your own experiences and knowledge about the subject. The power of SIM is that it offers a method and techniques to focus on the subject, get to the core and helps in setting aside distractions, preoccupations and perceived limitations from the solution area for organisation and systems. Both SIM and education deserve their attention. The combination helps to get to the core of any educational model, and has helped me in finding answers on the stated questions.
This site (reading guide):
- drafts a conceptual model on education following SIM;
- outlines implementations and analysis of strength, weakness, opportunities, threats (SWOT), using a part of this conceptual model, namely the top-level process model:
- curriculum based education (currently the vast majority of educational systems are alligned to this model or variations of this model);
- self-directed education;
- contains a concluding article.