Pareto in the Classroom

I’ve noticed some trends in my class. About 10% of the class will do the right thing no matter what. About 10% of the class will be off task no matter what. About 80% of the class will follow the momentum of where the rest of the class is. It’s my job as the teacher to set the atmosphere and create well-planned lessons that will pull the momentum forward, producing focus and engagement for the 80%.

The 80%-20% relationship has been oft termed the “Pareto Principle.” It applies to many areas of business, leadership, and economics, but I think it applies to people groups as well.

Let’s apply this to America. About 10% of people will seek God no matter what—regardless of their bank account, the weather, who is president at the time, or their feelings. About 10% of people will run after their own lusts, no matter what happens around them. Then about 80% of people are going with the flow. I’m asking myself the question, “What will I do to shift the atmosphere?”

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