Linda Booth Sweeney


“Linda Booth Sweeney’s presentation confirmed our commitment to using systems theory as a lens for education. Our work with the Shelburne Farms Sustainable Schools Program started us along the path of ‘place-based education.’ Linda’s work dovetails beautifully with this concept, and her book When a Butterfly Sneezes is a great tool for teachers to use when planning units of study.

“Anyone looking to increase student engagement and as a result, student achievement, should consider thinking about teaching students in the context of the systems in which they live. Linda’s easy to understand application of systems theory to education is a great way to begin this work.”

Paula Bowen, Principal
Lawrence Barnes Elementary School
Burlington, Vermont

Learning About Systems:

Integrated Curriculum

Some of my most gratifying work involves efforts to integrate “living systems” principles and systems thinking “habits of mind” into learning-centered curricula. When we embed systems-based curricula to real-life issues such as climate change or energy use, we can help our young people to better understand interconnections and dynamics among nature, society, and the economy.

Systems + Literacy Download PDF

problem solving treadmils

When we think systemically, we’re more able to step off “problem solving treadmills” where our “solutions” often create more problems or make the original problem worse. (Think drinking more coffee to curb fatigue, or cutting costs when profits are down, or building an extra lane on a highway to lessen traffic congestion.)