In my last post I mentioned Atul Gawande’s article* detailing how many lives a simple checklist system has saved in ICUs—and how astonishingly difficult it is to widely implement this humblest of processes. Here it is. I have returned again and again to this article over the years, and to similar pieces about how we in the United States are so dazzled by technological complexity that we neglect process. We therefore entirely overlook elegant solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.
What are some of the “checklists” that can help schools? That is a guiding question for me. They may not be literal checklists: what I mean is, What are the simple, elegant solutions that, while they can’t solve everything, can unobstruct a least one or two major arteries of dysfunction?
*Gawande later turned this article into a book. Stay tuned for a review.