Working to develop Systems Citizens in K-12 Education
Connecting Past, Present, and Future
The four simulations of the Population Dynamics series have been designed to supplement existing high school history curricula and be largely self-directed by students outside of class time. They introduce students to systems tools (behavior-over-time graphs, stock/flow maps, models/ simulations) along with primary and secondary historical resources.
This combination of tools allows students to reconstruct patterns of change in the past, based on structural relationships that persist today. Each of the four simulations examines an important period of development in American history.
It really does take a village!
We are excited to announce a new partner in our collective efforts to develop systems citizens. PBS Learning Media, with support from the Kendada Foundation, has launched a pilot Systems Literacy collection. The online collection is designed to support the development of systems literacy awareness and skills in K-12 students and teachers.
Aligned with Next Generation Science standards, the collection includes six, re-purposed PBS media resources covering a wide range of topics, from Westward Expansion to soil health, to climate science, etc. In addition, there will be two introductory videos by systems educator, Linda Booth Sweeney, with learning modules designed for teachers and high school students.
DynamiQueST: A showcase of student projects
DynamiQueST is a demonstration of student projects that utilize critical thinking skills to analyze complex dynamic systems in a relaxed environment, free from “winner/loser” constraints.
Students ages 8-18 will present their work using their ability to analyze and to clearly communicate critical thinking using the tools and methods of systems thinking and system dynamics.
This simulation is loosely based on an experiment that was conducted at Stanford University in 1971. Phillip Zimbardo wanted to see how typical people would act if they were asked to take on roles of prisoners and prison guards for a two-week period. The experiment was stopped after only six days because of escalating, abusive behavior of the guards and concerns about the well-being of the prisoners.
In the simulation, students take on the role of a social scientist, trying to understand how a similar situation (with guards having complete control over prisoners) can create specific human responses, such as fear, repression, and resistance. They can then compare this situation to a host of other similar situations, fictional or real. Try the simulation.