Learning Through System Dynamics as Preparation for the 21st Century
Jay Forrester has just published "Learning Through System Dynamics as Preparation for the 21st Century" in the October 2008 issue of The Systems Thinker (Volume 19, No. 8). It's a pretty comprehensive, five-page summary of what he thinks one should get from a system dynamics education. Each objective he lists falls into one of three categories:
- Developing personal skills
- Shaping an outlook and personality to fit the 21st century
- Understanding the nature of systems in which we work and live
In the process, he touches on factors I've mentioned here, including its ability to provide us a more effective language for thinking, its ability to help us apply lessons from one set of experiences in another setting, its ability to help us test policies before we apply them, and its reminder that we often create our own problems by virtue of the way we respond to the environment in which we operate. That last sounded depressing when I first realized it until I also realized it meant we have a lot of ability to be able to fix those problems, too, if our policies are their cause.
He presents the case rather comprehensively. If you or your institution subscribes to The Systems Thinker, be sure to read this article. If you don't subscribe, you can purchase individual articles, too. I imagine they'll list this article on their Web site soon; I just got my subscription copy today. (Be sure to follow the terms of their licensing.)
Labels: system dynamics