This book gives readers big ideas for how to think about applying systems thinking in education to create the conditions for sustainable, continuous development. The theory of Systems Thinking is explained and concretized through stories of its application at all levels of the educational system. Chapters are designed to help readers “unearth” the importance of Systems Thinking and understand its centrality to the sustainability of education as a social system.
Kristen M. Snyder is a Professor of Quality Management at Mid Sweden University and an Associate professor in Education. Her international research and publications in quality management and school development have contributed to understanding the complexities of leading change in a global age, and how leaders can develop internal practices to support sustainable organizational development that is adaptive to customer needs and society.
Karolyn J. Snyder, Retired Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of South Florida, and President of the International School Connection, Inc. Over 55 years she worked in 40 different countries to promote Systems Thinking for Education, and the preparation of students during their schooling years to become competent and caring global citizens. Dr. Snyder is also responsible for the publication of six books and over 300 other publications
Series Editor Introduction, Jeffrey Glanz
Foreword: Anneli Rautiainen
Preface: Kristen M. Snyder and Karolyn J. Snyder
Editor’s Introduction: Kristen M. Snyder and Karolyn J. Snyder
Chapter 1: Systems Thinking in Curriculum Development in Finland: Irmeli Halinen
Chapter 2: Leadership Preparation for Sustainable Schooling: Michele Acker-Hocevar
Chapter 3: Principal Networking for School Sustainability: Renee Sedlack, David Scanga, Tammy Berryhill, and Claudia Steinacker
Chapter 4: System Thinking Training and School District Transformation: John Mann
Chapter 5: Toward a Human Networked School: A Natural Energy System: Karolyn J. Snyder
Chapter 6: The Magic of Esprit de Corps: Isn’t Really Magic: John Fitzgerald
Chapter 8: Complexity Thinking as a Way of Living to Develop Sustainable Schooling: Elaine C. Sullivan and John Fitzgerald
Chapter 9: Storytelling as a Strategic Leadership Tool: Kristen M. Snyder
About the Editors and Contributors
The complexity of society today is calling for new approaches to leading and designing educational systems around the world to meet the needs of youth. It is time for us to embrace a systems approach to design sustainable education systems. We need more educational leaders who have the courage to challenge outdated models and be challenged to innovate, to use the knowledge and skills of others in and through ongoing dialogues, and to build trust and resilience for education to become sustainable. This book highlights the crucial role of education in society, and the need for a systems perspective to empower educational leaders to respond and adapt to the complex challenges of preparing youth for this new age of living and working. It is a critical read for educators at all levels of the system.
To meet the increasing challenges of an ever-changing world, schools must adapt their mindset and find new strategies to prepare students to become caring and competent global citizens. Everything is connected and interdependent in life and in work as well as in schools. All this calls for a new understanding of the concept of systems thinking. When this holistic approach is applied in schools, a more dynamic, energetic, and creative network system will evolve based on connections and cooperation at all levels, dialogue and trust. Students will be encouraged, motivated, and empowered to reach their goals. They will find more joy and purpose in their lives and education and develop confidence and a sense of responsibility towards society and the environment. This book explores and explains systems thinking in schools and gives practical examples and tools that will prepare the young generation even better for a sustainable future.