24 Mar 2010

The DELTA Principle (the EFL's Dilbert Principle)


This is Dilbert's variation on the Peter Principle which, if you didn't know, claims competent people are promoted until they reach their level of incompetency and are promoted no more.  Dilbert suggests promotion into management is nature's way of getting rid of the people who are in fact impeding the delivery of services and products. 

I wonder if there is a related 'DELTA Principle' at work in EFL?  So many management positions in EFL require a diploma level teaching certificate but few ask for a diploma level qualification in management.  Yeah, I know (from personal experience) that a DOS will have to observe teachers, provide academic support and leadership, etc. but to become a DOS in a large school or a principal, surely qualifications such as the EnglishUK Diploma in ELT Management or the Cambridge IDLTM are much more relevant?

But with the number of diploma qualified teachers is dropping every year, is there a danger of promoting the most competent teachers into management roles they receive no training for? 

1 comment:

Sputnik said...

I'm surprised to hear that DELTA numbers are falling given the recent introduction of the modular system (or have I lost track of time?). Either way, I take your point. I think highly qualified teachers move into management because that is the existing career path. If teachers could become Super Teachers, then Major Teachers, and Awesome Teachers, or something like that, I don't think so many would become managers. It's great when managers have teaching experience, of course,but it seems a strange way to treat the best teaching talent. I believe the programming industry suffers similarly, with no-one particularly happy as a result. Why do we pay managers more than teachers? Even from a strictly economical point of view, their value-add must be far less than only a fairly competent teacher.