Thinking About Systems
Living systems are everywhere. These systems – elements and processes interacting to form a whole – shape us and surround us. When we look closely, we see living systems on all scales, from the smallest plankton, to our own body, to the planet as a whole. When we understand what constitutes a living system, we also see that our watersheds, families, communities, organizations, and nations are all living systems.
To “think about systems” means we pay attention to interrelationships, patterns, and dynamics as well as to the parts. The field of systems thinking has evolved over the past 50 years as a set of methods and tools that focus on systems – rather than fragments – as the context for defining and solving complex problems, and for fostering more effective learning and design. At its best, the practice of systems thinking helps us to stop operating from crisis to crisis, and to think in a less fragmented, more integrated way. More
To understand why things change, we need to shift our perspective from parts to patterns
A school visit reveals much intuitive knowledge fourth graders have about "systems" and how few opportunities they have to put that intuitive understanding to use.
WHEN THE WIND BLOWS: New Educator/Parent Guide
This classroom guide, designed for K-3 students, offers activities to help teachers integrate When the Wind Blows into English language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, social studies curricular. And systems thinking and Biomimcry as well!
Helping Kids Discover "Systems" on a Farm
Check out our new playkit: "Healthy Chickens, Healthy Pastures, Making Connections at Drumlin Farm and Beyond." There's a game and a free curriculum guide to help students think deliberately about living systems in a farm setting.
Award-Winning Connected Wisdom book now on KINDLE
Connected Wisdom CD (for ages 4-10) available through Chelsea Green
Cool collection of radio Interviews
Full collection of interviews with systems practitioners, including myself, Daniel Kim and Sara Schley.