Project Director

McLean, Aldo

Department Examiner

Dae Kim, Seong; Abrha, Wolday


Dept. of Engineering Management


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Lean and Six Sigma have been lauded in the manufacturing sector for their ability to streamline processes, reduce waste, minimize variation and defects, and improve the bottom line. Although these methodologies have begun to spread to other industries, their impact has been relegated to certain areas and has largely missed others. One area that bears strong consideration is education. Education is heavily process-based and notoriously tight on resources. It is hypothesized that if educators were taught the basics of these strategies and were able to implement them in the classroom setting, the effectiveness of both teaching strategies and classroom operations would improve, saving teachers time and improving school performance in a number of areas. This study focused on developing and testing a workshop-based method for teaching the process improvement methods to K-12 teachers and administrators with the goal of finding a method that could be scaled. Engagement emerged as a significant obstacle, but based the workshop results and feedback from educators, the study found that overall, the workshop is a viable method for communicating these skills. Alternate ideas for future programs are presented based on the challenges encountered with the pilot study.


This research project was supported by a $700 SEARCH Award grant from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavor. Advisors for this project included Dr. Aldo McLean, Dr. Wolday Abrha, and Dr. Seong Dae Kim, all of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Department of Engineering and Technology Management. Thanks also to Department Head Dr. Ahad Nasab, for his support; to Bryan Wootan, who designed the flyer and certificate for us; to the four outstanding educators who participated in our first workshop session; to all the educators who spoke with us; to Sara Jackson, who provided us with the contact info for many educators and helped us get the word out; and to Shanae Anderson, who ordered, filed, scheduled, and took care of all the little details to make this happen.


B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.




Classroom management; Educators; Lean manufacturing; Six sigma (Quality control standard)


engagement; K-12 education; lean; process improvement; Six Sigma; workshop


Educational Methods | Other Engineering

Document Type



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