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Blue Ocean challenge for teachers

May 15, 2013 | Campus News

Although it is intrinsically a business concept for the marketplace, the Blue Ocean Strategy holds apt relevance for the education sector.

“The Blue Ocean Strategy advocates that companies will succeed not by battling competitors but creating ‘blue oceans’ of uncontested market space for growth by exploring value innovation that creates powerful leaps in value for both the company and its customers.

“It discourages head-on battling with rivals in a bloody ‘red ocean’ of competition over diminishing opportunities,” said DISTED College president Dr Koo Wee Kor.

Dr Koo was speaking at a workshop on the paradigm that he conducted for SMK Convent Lebuh Light teachers in Penang recently.

He encouraged the teachers to embrace strategic innovative thinking in school ecosystems and management by applying the logic of the strategy.

“A school is a ‘corporate entity’ in a ‘red ocean’ of imperatives that require solution-driven action such as demand exceeding supply leading to too many students in a class, real or imagined overwhelming workload encountered by teachers and pedagogical issues of learning and teaching mismatch.

“Teachers can address those issues from a ‘blue ocean’ perspective by initiating value innovations that offer new alternative approaches, practices or services to make their schools dynamic, vibrant and capable of seizing transformative opportunities in the ocean of society,” he suggested.

Dr Koo engaged the teachers in a brainstorming and presentation session on applying the core principles of the Blue Ocean Strategy to various facets of school operations such as pedagogy, student management, extracurricular activities and in-service training for teachers.

55 teachers of the school attended the workshop, including their principal Lee Chooi Sian, as part of their professional development training this year.

Participant Ong Lay Suat commented: “The workshop inspired us to take a fresh look at the complexities at the workplace.”

“It afforded a good opportunity to share thoughts and ideas with the aim of making our school’s environment more conducive, appealing and productive for teachers and students,” she said.

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