Systems thinking. A simple introduction.


“The principal goal of education is to create individuals who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.”– Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Swiss cognitive psychologist.

Part of our challenge today is to simplify knowlege and make it usable, accessible, understandable, digestable for audiences that use different modalities to learn and process.

The center for Ecoliteracy understands this and you can witness this yourself in their website as they explain Systems thinking.

Here are the highlights (their webpage explains more):

“In Science for All Americans, the American Association for the Advancement of Science defines a “system” simply as “any collection of things that have some influence on each other….The things can be almost anything, including objects, organisms, machines, processes, ideas, numbers, or organizations. Thinking of a collection of things as a system draws our attention to what needs to be included among the parts to make sense of it, to how its parts interact with one another, and to how the system as a whole relates to other systems.”

“Individual “things” (plants, people, schools, watersheds) are themselves systems, and are not sustainable separate from the larger systems in which they exist. The Center for Ecoliteracy recognizes that learning to think systemically is critical to education for sustainability. One of the ways that teachers and schools teach systemic thinking is to model it themselves.”

  • Shifts in Perception
  • From parts to the whole
  • From objects to relationships
  • From objective knowledge to contextual knowledge
  • From quantity to quality
  • From structure to process
  • From contents to patterns

Daniel Montano
Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect


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