6. Developing socially justified
MVO   Developing socially justified is important in order to go about durably with the ‘profit’. Profit is not purely gain but a balancing of economic and ecological interests. Durability is a conscious perspective in this context.
As an introduction to this chapter I give the assumptions that precede this description.
• The highest attainable is the highest attainable
There are limits to growth and abilities. Next to dreams and ideals the maximal attainable is important and not the maximal imaginable.
• Ecological insight gets you further than political strife
Insight in ‘how things go’ helps society further than polarising formations.
• If it must happen, it must happen
Not the intention, the policy paper or the preparation determines the success but the (inter)action that takes place here and now.
• If you cannot construct, you must reconstruct
If ‘building up’ does not succeed it is useful to make a reconstruction of the situation or the process. All kinds of symptoms often only camouflage the underlying problems.
Society, that is you
A television commercial has made us believe for a long time: “Society, that is you.” The message was evidently aimed at responsibility but in a strict sense you should say: “Society, that is us.” Society is people together with the emphasis on their mutual intercourse. Society, that is us. And us, that is you and you and I and you…..
If we together are society and we want to undertake something to that society in a justified way, then we will have to educate and counsel also in a justified way in preparation of that same society.
Counselling children can be considered excellently from the perspective of socially justified enterprising (‘enterprising’ in the widest sense of the word).
The (share)holder wins.
From shareholder to party concerned
Joost Steins Bisschop makes a round along the digital sites of internationals in his book Chatting with your daughter and finds that among others at Shell the exclusively financial target was replaced years ago by a target aimed at the three P’s: People, Planet, Profit. Profit to finance the taken responsibilities for People and Planet. At Unilever it becomes clear quickly that also here environment and society are emphatically of interest.: “At Unilever we recognize that we are part of the society in which we operate.” Also DSM was quick to respond regarding the Responsible Care Program. It is a voluntary, international action programme for the chemical industry. It aims at continually realising improvements in the fields of safety, health and environment and communicate about these with all people involved. They emphatically speak about stakeholders and not about shareholders.
Herman Wijffels wrote in the SER advice ‘The profit of values: advice about social enterprising’ in 2000: “Consciously aiming enterprising activities on the creation of values in three dimensions; Profit, People and Planet and in this way contributing to prosperity in the long run. The socially justified enterprising is described as a key task. ” The government of that time has taken over the advice in April 2000. The choice for the entrepreneurship is a free one, but not a non committal one!’
Money   Who benefit?
But what is the image of people driven by profit of people if the people who you meet are mainly subordinates and dependent people? And what is the image of planet if your ivory tower faces a self-constructed industrial area? And what is the meaning of profit if the translation is made by your inner voice: gain or benefit? In order not to leave the beautiful, free entrepreneurship entirely to the delusion of profit, it is desirable that children meet Profit, People and Planet in coherence before they start bearing responsibility for the free market.
There education has a socially responsible task.
The three p’s for teachers and entrepreneurs
According to Marinus Knoope, author of the spiral of creation, a human being has two desires:
1. A human being wants to mean something for other people.
2. He wants to be appreciated for that.
If a human being wants to be appreciated for his exertions for himself and other people, what is the relation to the three p’s: People, Planet, Profit? ‘People in education’ are more directed by nature on people and planet. For a good counsellor has attention for the children and his colleagues en knows how to establish an interesting interaction between the child and the world. ‘Entrepreneurs’ are (or must I say ‘were’) more directed by nature on profit. For the good entrepreneurship can be measured by the financial health.
Do teachers see the benefit of their exertions too little? Did they point downwards too much and looked around too little?
Have entrepreneurs seen the human being and the world too little when they were directed at profit that they could derive themselves from ‘profitable’ situations? Have they taken too much from underneath and looked too little at the reaction of the people and the environment?
When taking the three p’s seriously qualities are required from the new entrepreneur, which by nature were more related to the counsellor: an emphatic ability to people and attention for planet. From the counsellor more and more entrepreneurship is required. Not only for himself, but also in following the enterprising pupil. Finally it is about (read Wijffels) “making a contribution to prosperity in the long run.” Or enterprising and educating in a justified way is for the next generations and so also with the next generations.
Focus on enterprising: self-steering and creativity
In his publication: ‘ Recognising spirit of enterprise’ professor Laevers writes: Some people directly link spirit of enterprise to money and business. However, if we look at the phenomenon of entrepreneurship, then it takes us, surprisingly enough, to one of the most essential patterns of behaviour in the development of people. That is what the developers of the Experience Oriented Education found out when they explored in an addition to a Experience Oriented practice in class children that do not thrive at school. For some of them the usual interventions did not help. Supporting self-confidence, offering a stimulating environment, increasing freedom of choice, attuning contents to their interests, they all did not lead to the desired result: being busy in a fascinated way and deep-level- learning. The researchers began to recognize and understand children that could not choose. Those who cannot think of or execute scenarios. Those who are helpless and are determined in everything by others. Those children drop out strikingly in one competence: the ability of self-steering. Self-steering seemed to be the corner-stone of the conceptual model around spirit of enterprise.
Self-steering is about the art of ‘controlling’. Controlling the means and the opportunities that are available. In that optimal ‘self-managing’ four components play a part:
1. Being able to determine a goal and being able to make choices.
2. The factor of will.
3. Being able to call up scenarios and translate them into acting.
4. Being able to keep a distance.
In the analysis the researchers found out that there is a second dimension that cannot be missing in the profile of entrepreneurs with children and adults that are enterprising: creativity. That is the engine behind seeing chances, of possibilities that others cannot see. Bursting of ideas for possible initiatives, finding original solutions and being able to estimate the situation quickly from another point of view are utterances of a strongly creative ability. It adds something to self-steering; it does not only cause that something comes into motion but above all that something new develops, new ways of working, new realisations and developments. So the basis has been laid for the whole concept: self-steering and creativity make new spirit of enterprise together.
If we finally want to end at the justification of the counselling of that new, enterprising pupil, then we will have to go through the justification of the current system. Maintaining ‘justifying, but not enterprising.’ Via politics, via the inspectorate, via school management.
Justifying but not enterprising
Politics knows a cycle of four years: of electoral promise, introduction, execution to the settlement. And then the circus begins again. Processes of life cannot be caught in that frequency. Many processes demand attention and time, while most decisions are acute. The counsellor acts all day. His decisions become visible in his acting. Politics will have to distinguish between long-term and acute processes. On the one hand it will have to take a course that is founded on an educational vision. That does not change in the ‘every-day delusion debates.’ And on the other hand it will have to make room for the diversity of development, institutes and counsellors.
The crucial question remains: “How do I determine quality?” But if politics could refer to a vision that has been leading in innovative ‘educational – the Netherlands’ for quite some time, then it is clear that the field will have to justify in a different way. By the way, who is supervising, is clear…..
The educational inspectorate
The educational inspectorate supervises the quality of education in the Netherlands. And that is a good thing. The more recognition there is for the diversity of different forms of education, the more justified it is to follow developments seriously, to interpret parallels and differences and to have a debate in all openness there where the question marks are. But what is the measuring-instrument that the inspectorate uses? What quality is measured? And what is its value?
In my view the framework of supervision is too light. It measures mainly the ‘objective’ cognitive skills of children. Of course the inspector will also taste the pedagogic climate. And the empathic inspector will get quite a good impression. But what do I know when I read the school reports on the internet? As I suggested, I think the framework of supervision is too light. It starts from suppositions which do not go hand in hand with a constructivist approach.
I will give an exemplary example that makes the framework of supervision as far as I am concerned not sufficiently valid. When a school employs a method for arithmetic, language or spelling that meets the key targets, this is marked as sufficient on the report. But who says that the pupils who were offered this subject matter (is that is really the case) have also acquired it? Of course the yields are measured but in these it cannot be read if children have developed maximally.
Everybody understands that in a short period the inspector does not have the opportunity to follow all children in their personal growth. But this shortened version aimed at ‘objective output indicators’ without all too much attention for the essential questions about how children are really doing and if children are really developing maximally, often cause frustrations for those who find it their interest to have a serious talk about their real worries…
The school-leaders
School-leaders are zealous education fanatics. They have a pedagogic vision and know everything about didactics. Next to that they are financial experts, they are good organisers and communicate in an exemplary way. They put on the lights in the morning, are considerate, alert, friendly and switch off the lights in the evening. In case you do not recognize all qualities in the arbitrary school-leader, then it may have been a good teacher, who still has a lot to learn in his leading position. But it is certain that he is also just a human being then. A universal characteristic of school-leaders is that they are proud of their school (if you know an exception, ask him to leave). That pride is something they mostly make no secret of to the outside world. Towards their own team it is often already somewhat more difficult and when the inspector comes that beautiful attitude has even practically disappeared.
But if a school-leader has developed a vision with his team that is supported qua intentions and has chosen a concept in which the way of working is anchored and knows that his team speaks the language with respect for children and each other in which that vision and that concept become visible…..
Then it cannot be different but that he wants to show (proudly) the strong sides of the school and to find sparring partners for his questions in all openness. At the inspectorate the telephone should be red-hot.
The question to politics, the inspectorate and the school-leaders is a qualitative question which cannot be simply expressed in a score-list. That is what the pupil knows and that is what the teacher knows. That is what the school-leader, the inspector and the politician should know. Education does not have a day’s rate of exchange. If it does have a criterion, that should be read from the pupils and teachers. If they are doing well together (well-being) and develop maximally (involvement) the conversation between politics and inspectorate and between inspectorate and school-management can get more easily a constructive character. And that is what we want: constructive.
Various wishes, uniform care
NIVEL, the Dutch institute for investigation of healthcare (www.nivel.nl) published a report referring to an investigation in nursing homes and homes for elderly people. A few quotations from this report: “Residents of nursing homes and homes for the elderly want to decide themselves when they want to take a shower or go to the toilet. But equally important for their quality of life are the contacts with children and relatives and a useful spending of the day. (….) Residents often think their living space is too small and they have problems with the lack of privacy. (…..) The wishes of the residents are very diverse but the care is uniform.”
If we ‘are society’ and the basic needs are universal it seems evident that we are going to use concepts that satisfy the needs of all of us, of society. So what should be uniform is not our approach, but our intentions, the vision, the concept, the language we speak and the pleasure that develops if the real needs of babies, kids, pupils, students or residents of nursing homes can be fulfilled.
Debit side
In Kunneman’s ‘Beyond the fat - me’ there is a passage about waste and scarce means: “On the business balance there are on the debit side (the active side of the balance with property and demands) no items for overloading the environment or hardworking employees, the social consequences of mass dismissals in order to increase the rates of shares or the damage to the environment that is to be expected in ten years. (….) There is an immense distance between the dominant rhetoric of efficiency and control on the one hand and the actual waste of human capital and scarce means on managerial and economic level and within domains such as care, education and judicial organisations on the other hand. ”
Waste of human capital and scarce means in care, education and judicial organisations? It is not difficult for those who work ecologically to measure. Counsellors and children who have not been involved for a long time, fall into this category. Wasting human abilities is a sin. Counsellors should be aimed at the enterprising spirit of children. In that way the counsellor can get to know the entrepreneurship in himself and of the ‘’learning organisation’ from the micro perspective and translate into the entrepreneurship of for example education.
Good and socially justified
Socially justified means that is justified towards society and thus that you can justify it to society. A good entrepreneur has knowledge of his product and a feeling for the market. A good, socially justified entrepreneur has beside that also eye and dedication for the coherence between the three P’s.
A good counsellor knows about his product. He is educated developmentally psychologically, knows about relevant contents and materials and had good organisational and communicative skills. Next to that he has feeling for the market: he follows the dynamic developments of his target group. A good socially justified counsellor has beside that also eye and dedication for the coherence between the three P’s.
A bit of luck will certainly help. And how much some (successful) entrepreneurs and counsellors state that you have to force this, one thing is sure: he who can sincerely justify himself on the basis of a vision that comprises the broad spectrum of enterprising in a justified way, knows that he has done what was within his abilities. And that is good for the well-being.
When giving attention to people from a socially justified approach a one-sided approach, a recipe and output indicators are not sufficient.
If you have to listen to chips…
McDonald’s is the biggest restaurant in the world but a cook does not work there. The water tomato is red and big quickly but does not taste. Farmers follow their cattle via computer screens. Spreadsheets justify the results. Jaap Peters makes a striking comparison between intensive cattle farming and the way in which many organisations deal with people in his book ‘Intensive Human Farming.’ It is remarkable that the Dutch breeding sows perform very well in relation to member of the same species in other countries and in relation to their ancestors. An additional phenomenon is that they last less and less longer. The average well performing breeding sow is turned into a sausage after two and a half years at the moment. You could state that the ladies are rewarded in a strange way for their above-average achievement. In what way do output indicators influence your achievements and your reward? Are your involvement and well-being considered in coherence? And does that happen from a spreadsheet?

On TV a Belgian woman was asked: “Why are your chips much tastier than those of the Dutch? In fact we have comparable potatoes and deep fat.” “That is simple,” the keeper of the chips stand said, “Dutch people look at the packaging when the chips are ready, but we listen to the chips.”
Rationalization democratisation and marketisation
In ‘Beyond the fat-me’ Kunneman wrote a lovely discourse in which he departs from a historic perspective. He distinguishes three axes along which the modernisation of Europe has taken place from the sixteenth century: a cultural axis with rationalization as key notion, a political axis with democratisation a key notion and an economic axis with marketisaton as a key notion.
Education directly experiences and with much pressure the consequences of democratisation (think of all the participation committees) and the marketisation (think of the diffuse landscape of ‘organisations that offer care’. It is settled (and settling is not the same as justifying) from the rationalisation.
In a competition battle customers must be seduced to buy, employees must be stimulated to maximum achievements and the internal hierarchy is primarily measured in terms of money and power. The temptation to consume more and more goes hand in hand with the pressure to achieve better. This pressure is on the one hand a source of constructive energy and creativity and on the other hand a permanent source of stress and frustration of those who have to do their utmost in order to meet these requirements.
But how do market perspective and moral values relate to each other and in which language are they expressed? The successful language speaks in terms of (management) models. It echoes in output indicators and objective comparisons (benchmarking). The system of submission to the market working (marketization) leads to strategic behaviour in which the factors People and Planet are under pressure. In the language of rationalization , which is familiar to education, there are hardly success indicators which express the human measure. This has great consequences for self-steering and creativity, and thus consequences for the enterprising spirit.
  Participating versus becoming problematic
Children know for themselves exactly how their world is built up. If they are taken seriously, they are perfectly able to give their vision on the rest of the world. If they are ignored in this, serious deformations occur.
Mother’s Day: colouring or doing detention work
It is Mother’s Day 2007. Two thousand seven! Robbert is in special education. That the school is special, his teacher (not for the first time) proved around Mother’s Day. When Robbert got off the van on Friday afternoon, he walked into the house with a confused face. He threw his backpack casually into the corner.
“What is the matter” asked his mother.
“I had to make something stupid for Mother’s Day, but you may not see it until Sunday. ”
“Well, if you have made it, I will like it anyway ,” his mother smiled The bag disappeared upstairs.
On Sunday morning the house smelt of tasty buns. With his eyes looking down Robbert shoved a coloured double-folded paper to the front.
“For you , mummy, you must read how stupid it is.”
His mother took it up, looked at the colourful drawing and read the printed poem. After an introduction the heart of the text is:
It will be Mother’s Day the whole day and we are going to spoil you
You are doing that the whole year with food and the knitting you do
With baking, sewing and vacuum cleaning, scouring, polishing and cleaning windows
And you will never take a day off for youself….

She began to laugh and looked at Robbert. Robbert was ashamed visibly. “I really did not want it,” he said “but I had to.”
“What do you mean: you had to?” his mother asked.
“Well, I told that you did not knit and that we have got a cleaning woman who cleans here and that you really take a day off for yourself and that I really did not want to make this for you. ”
“And then?”
“Then the teacher said: You can choose now either colouring or doing detention work. Then I did do it.. sorry. ” But contradicting children that know their own mother and want to thank her in an appropriate way: that is very special indeed!
In his book ‘Children as fellow citizens’ professor dr. Micha de Winter writes, professor of pedagogic at the University of Utrecht, a strong and well-founded plead for youth participation. According to de Winter it should be an education aim to make children grow into citizens who are in our society as involved people.
There is a political scientist who has said: “A citizen from a democratic society is somebody who is prepared to be governed, to adapt to a system, but he must also be prepared himself to govern.”
So citizenship has two sides: you must be prepared to give and take responsibility.
Adults, educators and counsellors must create situations in which participating behaviour is provoked as it were. It works insufficiently if a school writes in its school plan that it wants children to be actively involved. Children can only participate actively if they get the opportunity to do so. If somebody says: “In a group we need rules. Rules of intercourse, how are we going to do that?” then an open situation is created, in which responsibility is provoked from the children as it were. Then you are promoting participation.
De Winter: “A democracy gene has not been discovered yet. So we will have to educate.”
In the 90’s youth participation was a hype. But youth participation is too important to be left to the delusion of the day. It was too much ‘the pupil in the centre’ and then you miss your target. You must link youth participation to good citizenship and responsibility. That is very important. Youth participation has to do with a certain attitude with doing things consciously.
De Winter: “We have done many small investigations such as ‘what do you want in your neighbourhood or in your school yard ?’ Then they went to the Efteling the day before and then they also want a wild water track. That is how children are. Just like in the case of skating tracks. The alderman also wants to practise participation. They want to be youth friendly in the council. Then the youngsters want a skating track, but then there are again all kinds of groups that do not want a skating track in their backyard. So the procedure will sometimes take two years: those youngsters have gone for a long time or have moved and have become frustrated then. ”
Participation ladder of Hart
In his book ‘Children as fellow citizens’ De Winter refers to the participation ladder of Roger Hart. It is a useful instrument for counsellors of children to look how far an instrument really goes in making children participate: the children not as clients but as participants. Hart has set out grades of participation on a ladder of eight rungs:
1. Manipulation
Children are used for the purposes of adults.
2. Decoration
Children form the scenery as justification for the acting of adults.
3. Buying off
Children do get the opportunity to join the conversation but their voice is not heard in fact.
4. By order, but informed
Adults develop activities and perform these. Children are informed as such that they understand and know who decides and why.
5. Consulted and informed
Children take initiatives and execute these activities. Children get insight and their opinion gets a serious treatment.
6. Initiative with adults, children decide too
Adults take initiatives. At the preparation and decision taking children are invited to participate completely to come to shared decisions.
7. Initiative and lead with children
Children take initiatives and decisions without intervention of adults.
8. Initiative with children, children and adults decide together.
Children take initiatives, prepare decisions and decide themselves in good consultation with adults.

Real participation only occurs from rung four on the ladder, at the preceding forms there is a would-be participation because these forms yield something for adults, not for children. The shared influence of adults and children is seen as the highest form of participation and is for that reason on rung eight.
Canary in the mines
Formerly miners took a canary into the mines. If the canary did not whistle anymore that was a sign that gas could have escaped. The miners themselves did not notice this because it could happen so gradually. (As a frog allows itself to cook if you increase the temperature of the water in which it is lying). So a non-singing bird was necessary to know if a dangerous gas was in the air.
In this way good managers and colleagues notice too which birds in the team do not whistle anymore (or whistle too loudly). It is important that the whistling of those birds is not only seen as ‘annoying’ but also as an important signal.
We make things problematic ourselves
In his book ‘Children as fellow citizens’ De Winter explains we make our processes problematic ourselves. In order to get grips on ‘groups’ we generalize but when we are going to counsel then we individualize.
“We generalize. That means (potentially) attributing characteristics of a limited group to a much wider population is an inherent part of a prevention strategy based on risk groups. If that wider population possesses the wanted characteristics or not, is not important for the image building. Stigmatisation seems to have effect, witness for instance public opinion with regard to foreign youngsters.
“Individualization is a process in which causes for problematic behaviour are especially put at intra-personal and inter-personal level. For youngsters and adults this leads to an attribution of responsibility or guilt which is only partly justified. In this sense the process (just as it was the case for generalisation) is stigmatising and in contributes in a considerable way to the problematic image building of youngsters. ”
Of course it has to be the other way round: if you want to get grips on reality, to develop that in a positive way, a differentiated image is required. Generalisations take you away from this. And if you counsel or give help it is important to look at the child from the context. A generalised image makes cloudy and an individualised approach does not return children as competent participants.
If problems are caused by generalising and individualising then the solution becomes visible in the opposite processes: being precise and departing from the context. Being precise in the descriptions from which you work, gives differentiated images of reality. And in the approach it is important to see the individual from the total context in which he moves.
The ant that cannot smell
In ‘Transforming talents’ Jozef Kok describes an incident from the animal world that serves as a metaphor for ‘the use of a deviation.’ Ants seem to walk about chaotically and out of control. But biologists have shown that every normal ant has two talents: the talent to smell and the talent to emit a scent. The power of smell takes care that the ant can follow the trail of scent of another ant (which has for instance found a prey) and ends up with the food in that way. The ability to leave trails of scent gives the ant the possibility , if it has found something itself, to set out a trail for other ants so that they can find it too. If all ants were perfect, this (closed) system would soon get stuck. Because everybody walks after each other. And if no food is found, it stops. But…. fortunately there are in every population some ants with a deviation. They cannot smell for instance, but they can leave trails of scent. That type indeed walks around without a trace and deviates from the beaten tracks. And it runs the accidental chance to come across food. If that happens, the animal immediately puts out traces so that other ants end up at the new source. A single ant with a deviation saves a population with this. A perfect system is its own death. Every system needs a certain amount of deviant behaviour. It is the paradox to some chaotic people who take care of stability and continuity in the system by organising coincidence.
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