Problem Of Practice Based On Systems Thinking 400-600 words
For this question, develop and share a problem of practice, providing support from the literature as well as application of systems thinking. Universal Intellectual Standards
by Linda Elder and Richard Paul
Universal intellectual standards are standards which must be applied to thinking whenever one is interested in checking the quality of reasoning about a problem, issue, or situation. To think critically entails having command of these standards. To help students learn them, teachers should pose questions which probe student thinking; questions which hold students accountable for their thinking; questions which, through consistent use by the teacher in the classroom, become internalized by students as questions they need to ask themselves.
The ultimate goal, then, is for these questions to become infused in the thinking of students, forming part of their inner voice, which then guides them to better and better reasoning. While there are many universal standards, the following are some of the most essential:
CLARITY: Could you elaborate further on that point? Could you express that point in another way? Could you give me an illustration? Could you give me an example? Clarity is the gateway standard. If a statement is unclear, we cannot determine whether it is accurate or relevant. In fact, we cannot tell anything about it because we don’t yet know what it is saying. For example, the question, “What can be done about the education system in America?” is unclear. In order to address the question adequately, we would need to have a clearer understanding of what the person asking the question is considering the “problem” to be. A clearer question might be “What can educators do to ensure that students learn the skills and abilities which help them function successfully on the job and in their daily decision-making?”
As you work to identify a problem of practice in your organization, please note the imperative to apply systems thinking. As noted by Senge, Cambron-McCabe, Lucas, Smith, Dutton, and Kleiner (2012):
Systems thinking is the ability to understand (and sometimes to predict) interactions and relationship in complex, dynamic systems—the kinds of systems we are surrounded by and embedded in. Some of the systems already under study in classrooms (population growth; land use, climate, and agricultural production; the causes of revolution; and traffic patterns) readily lend themselves to the use of systems thinking and its tools.
The ability to think systemically is neither new nor mysterious. One teacher, after an introductory course, gave voice to many people’s reactions when she exclaimed: ‘This is just common sense!’ In many ways that is true. Systems thinking enables you to see the big picture, the minute details that make it up, and the way parts interact over time, making explicit the patterns of behavior that people see all the time but that are rarely explained.
The tools of system dynamics—behavior-over-time graphs, stock-and-flow diagrams, causal loops, computer models, simulations, and archetypes—are all ways to help us more effectively understand those patterns and the systemic dynamics that drive them.
Dirkx, J. M. (2006). Studying the complicated matter of what works: Evidence-based research and the problem of practice. Adult Education Quarterly, 56(4), 273–290.
Senge, P., Cambron-McCabe, N., Lucas, T., Smith, B., Dutton, J., & Kleiner, A. (2012). Schools that learn: A fifth discipline fieldbook for educators, parents, and everyone who cares about education. Crown Publishing.