Teaching Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking is at the root of the world we operate in. One of the most important things that we can do moving forward in our complex world is to pass on the intricacies of Systems Thinking to students. Beginning in the Fall of 2016, a class was created for juniors and seniors called A Systems View of Life, which acted as a catalyst for many students who were on their way to navigate the real world of wicked problems, tipping points, and feedback loops. The students were charged with the task of developing a syllabus for a large introductory course pilot which would be a mandatory class for incoming students onto UW-Madison’s campus. This pilot class had 9 students, with interests ranging from Business to Limnology. The class worked together to create a syllabus for a pilot Systems Thinking class, and the syllabus is found below. While in the class, the students learn skills such as presentation etiquette, as well as team building, and what working as part of a system really means. The following Fall was the second iteration of the class, who followed a similar project and has the class syllabus they created linked below as well.

2016

+Agronomy 375: " A Systems View of Life" Fall of 2016

Agronomy 375 was the material created by Molly Jahn and taught to the students in the capstone course. Here you will find the syllabus for the Fall 2016 Agronomy 375 class.

+Final Student Group Project UW 100: An Introductory Curriculum for Systems Thinking

As the final project for the class, the students created a Systems Thinking Class curriculum, which could be taught to all incoming freshman as an introductory course to Systems Thinking. To find the syllabus created by the students, click here

+Student Reflections of Systems Thinking: Selected Student Journal Entries

During the Systems Thinking class, the students had a weekly assignment to journal any reflections they had on Systems Thinking that week. Here are highlights from student’s journals

2017

+Agronomy 375 "A Systems View of Life" Fall 2017

Agronomy 375 was the material created by Molly Jahn and taught to the students in the capstone course. Here you will find the syllabus for the Fall 2017 Agronomy 375 class.

+Final Student Group Project UW 100: An Introductory Curriculum for Systems Thinking

As the final project for the class, the students created a Systems Thinking Class curriculum, which could be taught to all incoming freshman as an introductory course to Systems Thinking. To find the syllabus created by the students, click here

+Student Reflections of Systems Thinking: Selected Student Journal Entries

During the Systems Thinking class, the students had a weekly assignment to journal any reflections they had on Systems Thinking that week. Here are highlights from student’s journals