Category Archives: systems

Linda Booth Sweeney: More Resources on Systems Thinking

Linda Booth Sweeney maintains both a web site and blog dedicated to systems thinking. Linda’s site provides some guiding information such as: 12 Living System Principles and 12 Habits of Mind. The site also has an excellent Systems Resource Room with an extensive list of books, articles, simulations, sites, etc.

These sites will be of interest to science educators who are looking to:

1. improve their understanding and teaching of Systems Standards

2. consider Systems Thinking as a specialized language, a fresh perspective, and a set of tools for solving problems

I highly recommend adding these two sites to your “systems” bookmarks- enjoy

Assessing Systems Thinking & Complexity in Science

Assessing Systems Thinking and Complexity in Science is a 2010 report from SRI International that provides guidance in considering how to effectively assess systems thinking on large scale state assessments. The report provides:

– a concise overview of systems thinking and complexity

– a review of literature on systems thinking and complexity

– A helpful table of Systems Thinking Competencies

– Overview of evidence-centered approach to assessment design.

– Design pattern for systems thinking an complexity. This is a great resource not only for building large scale assessments but also for  building classroom assessments. Click HERE to see the Design Pattern for Systems Thinking and Complexity.

This report seems most appropriate for anyone looking to increase their understanding of systems thinking, large scale assessment, or design patterns.

Building a Systems “Handbook” on LiveBinders

In my continuing pursuit of increasing my own learning about Systems Thinking and also sharing resources about Systems Thinking- I have started to build a Systems Thinking Handbook using a web tool called LiveBinders. LiveBinders allows you to build a virtual binder to organize websites, documents, videos, etc in a logical tabbed way.

Click HERE to see the DRAFT handbook… feedback is highly appreciated. It is not “pretty” yet but I would love ideas for further resources and a tab structure. This intent of this resource is to organize Systems Thinking: resources, lessons, tools, books, websites, standards, etc… in one place.

Sustainable Tomorrow: A Teachers’ Guidebook for Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula

Sustainable Tomorrow: A Teachers’ Guidebook for Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula is a resource for helping high school teachers to “gain competence and confidence to begin experimenting with integrating systems thinking into their instruction.”

Colleen F. Ponto and Nalani P. Linder have created a guide that contains:

  • An introduction to Systems Thinking
  • How to select learning activities that can be enhanced by Systems Thinking
  • Two different Learning Activities
  • Appendices with helpful systems and sustainability resources
I’m interested in hearing from folks. For teachers new to systems thinking, does this guide help provide an introduction? For teachers experienced with systems thinking, does this guide provide you with ideas for how to create intentional learning activities with a systems focus?

Systems Thinking in Schools: Waters Foundation

As I continue my own professional learning about Systems Thinking (see a recent systems post HERE) I have had multiple people steer me towards the Waters Foundation site. This is an excellent resource on systems that goes beyond systems as a cross-cutting science concept but extends systems thinking to how we consider classroom instruction and school reform. The mission statement of the site states:

Our mission is to increase the capacity of educators to deliver student academic and lifetime benefits through the effective application of systems thinking concepts, habits, and tools in classroom instruction and school improvement.

Useful resources on the Waters Foundation site include (free registration is required to access some of the tools):

I highly recommend taking some time to check this out and add to your “systems” bookmarks.