Tag: Education


Emergent Change in K-12 Education

Jorge Taborga’s post on emergent change provided me a framework for considering how emergent change can happen in K-12 education. As most everyone realizes, our structures and processes of K-12 education are rooted in the Industrial Age and are stifling learning for children in this amazing age of information, where knowlegde is at their finger… Read more »

Systems of Nothingness

January in New England makes it hard to visualize the muddy turf of a baseball field after a spring thaw. But, after speaking with a group of parents recently, spring training for children’s baseball starts as early as December up here with batting practice and other weekly regiments. Teaching children the proper sporting techniques in… Read more »

Engaging the Dragon: Learning Across Cultural and Political Divides

Last year, opportunity came knocking at our door in the form of a dynamic young Chinese woman who expressed interest in taking our organizational systems Ph.D. program to China as an offering to Chinese business and government executives. Having done my dissertation research in China, taught in another American university program in Beijing, and interfaced… Read more »

The “New” Kind of School

I recently met Barbara Brueggemann and was overtaken with delight. Barbara is the Head of School at George Washington University’s Online High School (or GWUOHS), an online, private high school that focuses on delivering an individualized college preparatory program for high school students. An educator with systems thinking strengths and humanistic inspiration, Barbara explained to… Read more »

Do Zero-Tolerance Policies in our Schools Work? Wrong Question!

An Oklahoma first grader was suspended recently for making a gun gesture with his hand because the gesture violated the school district’s zero-tolerance policy against weapons and violence, according to news reports. That’s just one in a handful of stories making headlines today. Stories of kids being expelled for having nail clippers or giving a… Read more »

A Growing Need for Systems Thinking to Design a New Future

Having just returned from the 2011 Systems Thinking in Action conference, I continue to believe that building the capacity for all children to think systemically is the key to shaping a new world. The more we recognize that problems are rarely simple cause-and-effect, but rather complex threads of interconnected actions and inactions, we can begin… Read more »

Complex Change Calls for Cross-Sector Collaboration

I had the opportunity last week to help facilitate a session for non-profit, business, technology, education, and media leaders who came together for the inaugural summit of ConvergeUS. Co-Chaired by TechNet’s CEO, Rey Ramsey, and Twitter’s Co-Founder, Biz Stone, ConvergeUS drives technology-based breakthroughs for critical social problems and thus accelerates social innovation. ConvergeUS—the non-profit arm… Read more »

Rethinking the Complexity of Learning Organizations

Today’s educational system is wrought with complexity—from the work of educating students to the lack of financing in heated political climates. Working in the educational system can be complex, but it can also be rewarding. The challenge is finding the right people with the right passion who are able to view the world from a… Read more »

Humanistic Education: Remembering Our Interconnectedness

This is the first week of the fall semester at Saybrook University and we launched it with the residential conference in San Francisco. We are a distance learning institution, but the sense of community and connection that I have with colleagues and students is deep and real. At commencement on Friday, the room was filled… Read more »

Helping students “get a voice” through collective courage

I have been working with Laurie Mandel, Ed.D., founder and Executive Director of Get-A-Voice™, recently. As I dove deeply into her philosophy, I ended up revisiting elements of systems knowledge intermingled with a motivation to establish conscious school cultures—from the student level! After nearly two months of work, these foundational systems Laurie “suspected” would spark… Read more »