Why Our Mission Advocates Systems Thinking

 

 

 

A.K.R.N.A Brings Unifying Principles into Educational Reform as Integral to Creating a Long Term 21st Century Solution

In this article of the series, we address the 1st Principle of a successful formula for educational reform:

 

Systems Thinking = Critical Thinking = Strategic Thinking
Synthesis is a Core Component of Systems Thinking

&
Systems Thinking IS Strategically Focused on Results

Bucky Fuller was our Inspiration…

 

abc model Why Our Mission Advocates Systems Thinking

Diagram and questions taken from The A-B-C’s of Strategic Management® because, Strategically speaking, “Why reinvent the wheel?” They nailed the simplicity of our message. Herein we answer the questions and fill in the blanks regarding how we have been applying these questions to our vision as we were evolving it into our mission and results oriented planning.

 

Five Systems Thinking Questions in Sequence

  1. Where do we want to be? (i.e., our ends, outcomes, purposes, goals, wholistic vision)

WE envision a cohesive educational system that wholistically serves the common goals and learning needs of parents, students, and educators to be optimally prepared for 21st century living.

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Minimally this means being resilient and flexible enough to adjust teaching- learning outcomes to keep pace with the changing times in needed skills, knowledge translated into experiential knowing, and affective traits of interactive relating that supports mutuality, effective communication, respect and equality of accessibility to stabilizing services.

Moving our collective relationship quotient from being self-serving and competitively striving for win-lose scenarios to being collaborative and rapport seeking for win-win outcomes in order to co-create peace on earth is within our reach through an educational paradigm shift that attunes education processes to support evolving our wholeness, thus, to focus teach not only on the 3R’s (academia) but also to our human spirit (relationship skills & sense of who I am) that seeks the grander reality of our unification as a race. This is achieved by celebrating and benefiting by our differences.

Humanity continually seeks happiness coupled with the integrity of accountability and responsibility. Education has always been and will continue to be central to all societies as the vehicle of teaching their children how to be functional adults. Thus, intentional educational systems that are focused on producing these result-oriented outcomes will optimally serve the future of societies so inclined and committed to excite our collective human spirit to be the best it can be, which is to say always focused on being more and that is natural, central, and healthy to all life.

We call this continual cycle of advancing evolution, and education determines the pace and direction of evolution by its intention and commitment to results oriented outcomes.

2. How will we know when we get there? (i.e., the parents’, students’, societies’, educators’, and marketplace needs and wants connected into a quantifiable feedback system)

We will know first and foremost by children and parents being uplifted and hopeful with positive learning and behavior changes happening as intended.

Further, we will see an increasing momentum in the decline of gangs, criminality, hostility, bullying, and rivalry in classrooms.

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Conversely, we will experience teaching as a dynamic of establishing mutual respect and rapport with parents and students which will translate into a natural love of learning process.

It will be evidenced in self motivation to learn, enjoyment of attending school, an eventual momentum of state standards being met and eventually raised to higher levels of learning expectations as the norm because we will be living the reality of higher standards of learning abilities being achieved.

This will be further supported and evidenced by the empirical feedback orientations of a new breed of well trained teachers, called Mateas, who will be experienced rapport builders and learned observers understanding the implicit and explicit educational meanings of feedback being indicated by students’ performances, attitudes, and progress.

3. Where are we now? (i.e., today’s issues and problems)

We have a failing education system in a denied exit stage with a rising number of students falling though the cracks of our public education systems. There is a rising public dissatisfaction from the marketplace and government/political sectors, parents, teachers, policy makers, and students bored to death.

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As a result, schools across our nation are dealing with a plethora of stop-gap type measures being applied in efforts to raise test scores, improve reading, writing and math skills. Yet, the decline prevails to the point that the public outcry and programs make phrases such as, “the dumbing down of America”, “kids keep falling through the cracks,” “leave no child behind,” etc., popular and widely voiced.

Clearly, we need to reverse this negative trend.

Our learning needs differ widely from the industrial age that our current educational system was designed to serve, in which teaching for mediocrity and rote information served an economic purpose. Specifically, that of training people to serve on factory production lines in producing goods and having expendable incomes in order to consume those goods. Thus, creativity and superior independent functioning was not a desired educational goal.

Since education gifts with knowledge and skills, and production line skills are no longer our world, what and how we teach must change to meet an entirely different economic and social need. While we know many like to validate their position with supporting statistics and documentation, that is the essence of analytic thinking and we are system thinkers. Also, statistics are prolific and readily available for anyone desiring to study and verify the voracity of our statements. Therefore, in answering this question, we address it strategically

4. How do we get there? (i.e., close the gap from C to A in a complete wholistic way)

We acknowledge where education is from a business cycle sense so we can make appropriate changes on the business level, as well as the pedagogy or methods level of how we teach, in order to formulate a new educational paradigm that evolves our thinking from what was needed to thrive in our industrial age to what is needed to be successful in the information and technology age we are entering today.

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We need to reassess what needs to be learned from a wholism perspective for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health (all our intelligences) so we can teach to the whole person and engage learning from a motivational, academic, affective, and physical learning needs perspective.

This is necessary for a broad and healthy viewpoint capable of restoring people’s abilities to meet the challenges and learning required to be balanced, productive, and relational in a fast paced technology age that is predicated on constant change. “How do people become stable, comfortable, and maintain caring relationships with rapid change?”, is a question the new educational paradigm shift must answer.

Modern education needs to inspire creativity & critical-logic in thinking skills to discern the value of ever-flowing information that technology makes available, and because creativity not only survives changes, it thrives. People need hope with a strategic plan to engage a paradigm shift in education, not just hope…

5. What will/may change in your environment in the future?

This question can be like gazing into a crystal ball unless you can open to the idea that you won’t truly know till the changes can be noted as challenges and successes that will be present as experiential outcomes.

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Yet, with a strategic eye on the long term outcome of graduating adults prepared for 21st century living, we can ascertain how well the skills that the curriculum is organized around delivering are developing to satisfaction or not.

The value of empirical feedback and Matea skills will act as a lifeline from where we are to where we intend to be. The ability to be immediately responsive in adjusting methodology to meet student learning, motivation, and commitments in order to pick up dropped stitches or to accelerate and enhance lesson delivery will be quite self evident student by student. Further, this is well modeled with an exceptionally positive and profound track record when we study the Montessori Method in action.

 

vs. Analytic Thinking which:

  1. Starts with today and the current state, issues, and problems.
  2. Breaks the issues and/or problems into their smallest components.
  3. Solves each component separately (i.e., maximizes the solution).
  4. Has no far reaching vision or goal (just the absence of the problem).

Note: In Systems Thinking, the whole is primary and the parts are secondary (not vice-versa).

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

 

 

Why We Advocate Systems Thinking

A.K.R.N.A Brings Systems Thinking and Synthesis
into Educational Reform
as Integral to Creating a Long Term Solution.

  1. A.K.R.N.A functionally thrives on Systems Thinking because it synthesizes what we already know about what works in classrooms to increase learning, and organizes it around a results oriented goal that sees the end outcome from the onset.

  2. Systems Thinking also focuses attention upon how things need to function in order to achieve the desired long term goal by providing an ethical framework or structure that will support the process from beginning to end.

  3. Thus, Systems Thinking empowers people to implement changes that are enduring.This means meeting present time challenges while laying a firm foundation for future growth that is resilient and responsive to change by nature of being open ended.

  4. Since Systems Thinking considers an ethical structure and the function it is designed to serve, it essentially supports an interactive wholism. Educational reform can greatly benefit by this since its very nature is to act as a guiding rudder for advancing our changes into healthy cooperative and co-creative behaviors supporting our intention seeded in our result’s orientation. We advocate serving the result as the issue, not focusing on methodology or problems per se.

For clarification, problems are discerned as problems when they interfere with achieving our desired outcome, indicating how they are not part of our solution and need to abandoned – we don’t focus on “fixing” them because problems and methods are not the issue, results are what matters. Everything strategically serves our goal of graduating adults prepared for 21st century living.

Beginning is in the end transparent Why Our Mission Advocates Systems Thinking

More poetically we ponder the wisdom of this ancient saying,

“The end is in the beginning and its beginning is in its end”.

 

 

 

Related Articles of Interest:
Career Opportunities: Founding Team Opportunities

2. Rapport Driven Education Teaches Collaboration & Feeds the Human Spirit
3. The Value of Classroom as Systems Being “Alive” for Enhanced Learning

 

Research Materials/Resources:
Systems Thinking
The Essence of Systems Thinking
An Introduction to Systems Thinking
Bloom’s 3 Learning Domains


Bucky Fuller
Bucky Fuller – Paradigm Shifts: The Vision of Buckminster by Celeste Adams

“Fuller believed that school limits the mind and suppresses original thinking. He said, “What usually happens in the educational process is that the faculties are dulled, overloaded, stuffed, and paralyzed, so that by the time most people are mature they have lost many of their innate capacities.”

Series NavigationRapport Driven Education Teaches Collaboration >>

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