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Scott County Schools Trying Out the Toyota Way

By Jon Miller Updated on September 23rd, 2022

Today’s article in the Lexington Herald-Leader made my day a little bit better. The Scott County Way: Educators take a page from ‘The Toyota Way’ to boost curriculums:

It seemed only natural that Toyota’s corporate culture would influence the local schools, said Superintendent Dallas Blankenship. He estimated that one in three students in the school district have one or more parents that work for either Toyota or a Toyota supplier. The school district has had several partnership programs with Toyota in Georgetown.

The Center for Quality People and Organizations (great name) is a nonprofit formed through the joint efforts of the Scott County School System and Toyota that is working on bringing Toyota Way thinking to schools.

“We don’t necessarily make cars, but we make kids the best way they can be,” said Ken Wright, director of instruction in the Scott County Schools.

The Toyota Way in Schools

Examples of Toyota Way thinking applied to education include seeing the process of educating as a “pull” in helping students learn, rather than “pushing” them through the program, the “go see” attitude of investigation needs and requests, and visual management.
Most meaningful perhaps is the use of visual controls, charting the math test scores of the students in a second grade class to raise awareness, build a sense of teamwork and need for improvement among the kids. They’re building good habits early.

“Toyota’s ideas have helped us think through better ways for us,”

Wrap Up

I’ve heard that the word “education” comes from the Latin verb “educere” meaning “to lead out” or “to lead forth” or “to draw out.” If this is so, by definition, true education must be a pull.

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