This book presents arguments for adopting a Systems way of Thinking about developing schools to become in sync with the times, both locally and globally. Systems Thinking and Quality Management both are natural approaches for educators to adapt schooling to the rapid changes of life today in a global context. The chapters include strong rationales for adopting a more natural way of thinking about schooling, one that prepares students for life as it is now evolving around the world. Stories of success are abundant, which offer evidence of the power of a systems approach to leading school development in the complex context of schooling today. Research studies report up-to-date evidence of the power of Systems Thinking to continuously adapt schooling to changing conditions.
Karolyn J. Snyder is 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.
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.
Series Editor Introduction
Skardon Bliss & Janet Greenwood
Karolyn J. Snyder & Kristen M. Snyder
Tribute to Joyce B. Swarzman, Kristen Snyder
Karolyn J. Snyder
Kristen M. Snyder
Elaine C. Sullivan
David Scanga & Renee Sedlack
Nongradedness, and Multi-Aged Grouping
Robert H. Anderson
Introduction by Karolyn J. Snyder & Joyce B. Swarzman
Sustainability: Moving from Theory to Practice
Anna Martensson & Kristen M. Snyder
John Fitzgerald & Elaine C. Sullivan
About the Editors and Other Authors
Finally, a book that in a scientific and accurate way addresses system thinking and sustainable development as the education sector's important future challenge. Through the authors' different perspectives, reading becomes both interesting and entertaining. I recommend this book to anyone active in education, and to others interested in these same challenges for society at large.
Over 50 years ago Karolyn Snyder and Robert Anderson launched a movement with educators around Systems Thinking that took them around the world to teach, train, and conduct research. They influenced generations of educators and doctoral students by producing worldwide digital networks, school visits, task forces, study groups, school district training series, partnerships, global summits, and numerous publications. Their early work helped to reimagine change in schools as something natural and welcomed, rather than forced and resisted. In this new book, Snyder and Snyder lovingly carry on this earlier work by revisiting the value of Systems Thinking, reporting its impact on school development, and imagining its possibilities and its importance to continuous growth and sustainability in schools. While the current scholars of improvement science are rediscovering this early work, these editors and their authors are the real deal in Systems Thinking!
In our society all schools (public, private and charter) need to become learning organizations. It is the only way to develop the full potential of every student as an inquirer, able to reach the highest level of his or her abilities/skills. It will change every student into a 'life-long learner' who is able to contribute to society. A key factor for the learning organization is 'Systems-Thinking'. It is hard because it implies a real mind shift for all professionals in the school, as well as for students and families. And, it is the best way to achieve the highest level of quality in education.
Understanding the roots and principles of Systems Thinking is vital to any true educator. This book is an excellent guide to the world of Systems Thinking and its role in education. The book also supports the reader to develop systems thinking skills that are needed in the sustainable development of education. My own experience in leading educational reforms at the state, local and school levels in Finland certifies the value of this important book.