How-To

Process vs. Product

Process Vs. ProductWe are a product-driven society. If you ask someone how they are, they’ll likely begin listing all of the things they have been doing.

In the field of education, the preferred model is outcome-based — product comes first.

The focus is on getting the products through the system — not crafting the products in keeping with their designed future use.

An industrial model is always concerned about producing uniform products – any concern for the process focuses on “efficiencies.”

But, as we know, there is nothing uniform about education — because humans are not uniform.  We have different gifts, talents, needs, personalities, and purposes.  We are not all hands, nor feet, nor eyes, nor ears.  And each part is important in his own way.  No, uniformity will not do.

We, sometimes unknowingly, carry this “efficiency” model with us into many areas of life.

  • We tend to prefer e-mail/texting to face-to-face contact — it is quicker.
  • We would prefer a do-this-don’t-do-that type of Christianity rather than consistently walking in the Spirit — it is easier.
  • And we’d rather follow someone else’s pre-designed homeschool plan — it is much less labor intensive than discerning and meeting the needs of our individual children.

We must hurry to get our children into preschool, so that they will thrive in kindergarten, so that they won’t be behind in elementary school, so that they will keep up in middle school, so that they will be ready for high school, so that they are prepared for college.  Efficiency in action — at the expense of the child.

The children of Israel wandered in the desert for forty years — certainly not an efficient product.  But that wasn’t the point, was it?  It was ALL about process.

There seems to be a very big rush to get our children through to the end of their education; and yet, as in most things, the process IS the education. It is in the process of discipling our children that they really learn. And discipling takes time — small, consistent steps each day that eventually lead to the whole.

In short, there is no scientific explanation of learning. Many people have argued that it’s a fallacy to call education and psychology sciences. They are not sciences in the sense that physics is. And when they do behave like sciences, they leave out heart and soul, the most important ingredients.

Ruth Beechick, Heart and Mind: What the Bible Says About Learning

Education always comes back to heart.

Focus more on the process. The product will follow.

God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process – that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.

My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers