Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Checklist Manifesto

The Checklist Manifesto.jpg

This quarter Wolf Canyon teachers developed checklists for their students to utilize when they engage in math writing tasks.  First, teachers identified key steps that students can follow to successfully complete math problem-solving tasks that require writing, then they captured these steps in a checklist.  The goal is for students to intentionally practice the steps in their checklist until they are internalized.

The rationale for using checklists to accomplish complex tasks is expertly documented in the book The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.  Here's an exerpt about his compelling work on the topic of professional checklists:

The modern world has given us stupendous know-how. Yet avoidable failures continue to plague us in health care, government, the law, the financial industry—in almost every realm of organized activity. And the reason is simple: the volume and complexity of knowledge today has exceeded our ability as individuals to properly deliver it to people—consistently, correctly, safely. We train longer, specialize more, use ever-advancing technologies, and still we fail. Atul Gawande makes a compelling argument that we can do better, using the simplest of methods: the checklist. In riveting stories, he reveals what checklists can do, what they can’t, and how they could bring about striking improvements in a variety of fields, from medicine and disaster recovery to professions and businesses of all kinds. And the insights are making a difference. Already, a simple surgical checklist from the World Health Organization designed by following the ideas described here has been adopted in more than twenty countries as a standard for care and has been heralded as “the biggest clinical invention in thirty years” (The Independent).