“In engineering, control exists in adjustment to natural law. It does not mean making nature do our bidding. We do not, for example, dig channels in the expectation that water will flow uphill; we do not put kerosene to put out a fire… with respect to physical phenomena, control involves the selection of means which are appropriate to the nature of the phenomena with which we are concerned. In the human field, the situation is the same, but we often dig channels to make water flow uphill. Many of our attempts to control behaviour, far from representing selective adaptations, are in direct violation of human nature. They consist in trying to make people behave as we wish without concern for natural law. Yet we can no more expect to achieve desired results through inappropriate action in this field than in engineering.” – Douglas McGregor (1960), The Human Side of Enterprise, p. 8-9.
How many school administrators, in their interactions with teachers, are acting as if they can make water flow uphill?
How many teachers, in their interactions with students, do the same?
What would a science of performance, that took into account the human side of schooling, look like?