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ERIC Number: ED415203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jun
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
The Instructional Leader's Primer in Systems Thinking.
Wheeler, Nedra
Learning to see reality at multiple levels provides instructional leaders with several advantages (e.g., being adaptive and solving problems before they occur, being creative by choosing a different future, and being generative by bringing forth something new). Four distinct levels of reality in systems thinking are: events encountered on a daily basis, patterns of events, systemic structure as the cause behind the events, and shared visions as the guiding force behind the creation of structures. The language of systems thinking involves links and loops as the dynamic thinking tools that provide the visual means to represent patterns of events occurring over time and structures producing those dynamics. Causal loops are stories told using variables and arrows ("links") to depict how one variable influences another. The reinforcing loop situation generally goes into highly amplified growth or decline. The balancing loop, which is similar to naturally occurring growth, is often found in situations that appear to be self-correcting and self-regulating. Systems archetypes include: drifting goals, escalation, fixes that fail, growth and underinvestment, limits to success, shifting the burden, success to the successful, and tragedy of the commons. (Most of this document consists of graphics of loops and links, descriptions of archetypes in "at a glance" format, and case examples that involve various archetypes.) (SM)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A