Juhani Anttila

Academician, M.Sc. (Electrical Engineering)

Mr. Anttila has an expertise of 50 years in the field of quality including 35 years at different quality related positions at Telecom Finland and Sonera Corporation. He has involved several decades with international and national standardization of quality, reliability, information security and telecommunications. Many years he was as an Assembly Representative and Vice President of the European Organization for Quality (EOQ). Mr. Anttila is an International Academician for Quality (Member of the International Academy for Quality, IAQ) and also Honorary Member of the Finnish Society for Quality. Mr. Anttila is the co-founder and developer of the Finnish National Quality Award, a developer and assessor of the European Quality Award. Mr. Anttila has been a board member or chairman in some companies. He has been senior adviser for several organizations in quality management, dependability management, information security management, crisis management and social media, a lecturer in universities and educational institutes, and expert in projects in some developing countries. He has contributed by writings, lectures, and speeches globally on five continents.

Abstract

Striving for the “Quality society” through high quality education and lifelong

The professional quality approach has proven beneficial in all areas of our societies. Education should not be any exception. However, many cases demonstrate that performed quality measures do not deliver promises or are unsatisfactory, or even lead to criticism or skepticism. An additional challenge is that globally the overall picture of education is fragmented and comprises contradicting the views of professionals, researchers, administrative authorities, professional organizations, business companies, and consultants. In order to avoid ambiguity, we refer to the sound professional basics of quality in theory and practice in this research of education, learning, and society.

Learning individual, learning organization, and learning society are very different learning domains. An individual learns through experience, practice, study, or being taught. Lifelong learning during the person’s entire existence, as an individual and as a member of different organizations and societies, takes place through formal and informal educational and learning processes. Learning is a transformation that leads to the change of knowledge, conceptions, skills, attitudes, and behavior. As a result, the person gets along better and his/her quality of life improves. In particular, human learning is also at the core of learning organizations and learning societies.

Organizations and societies learn through their individual members’ learning and collaborating. Learning has crucial influence on the development of organizational and societal quality. Organizational learning promotes the purpose and strategies of the organization, and is managed by the top management. Quality of society develops through the activities and interactions of people directly or via different organizations and institutions. We call this quality diffusion. Our expression “Quality society” refers to a society with high quality, i.e. a good, well-functioning, or excellent society for all its members.

Our paper presents a universal and professional quality perspective on the inclusive lifelong learning of people and the organizational learning, and considers their influence on the quality of society. We conceptualize the quality approach to the education discipline and apply it for better understanding and promoting learning of individual people, organizations and societies at large. A number of practical national and international examples are adduced to illustrate the issue. Our approach provides ideas for comprehensive and detailed empirical studies, and address views for understanding practical challenges better when implementing solutions to evaluating the performance of education and learning. Our research aims at building a bridge between education and quality discipline for multidisciplinary professionalism and mutual learning.

 

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