My youngest daughter has begun to learn about systems and critical thinking… She is 8-years-old, going on 13, and in third grade….
It is an interesting learning experience for me. I think something different happens as you get older, something makes you realize you have as much to learn as you already have learned in life.
The child was having some struggles in Biology/Science. I spoke with her teacher, read her text book, and came to the conclusion that this type of thinking is “not” necessarily an easy thing to grasp.
I have had to begin to take some time to learn how to teach some things to my daughter, to help her understand things that she does not, by nature or by genetics, understand.
The system they have begun with is the ecosystem. Wow… I really missed some fundamental learning when I was in school… or it just slipped by me because I did not understand it at the time. What a great way to introduce systems thinking to children! I think I must have understood something about systems, but did not grasp the vast meaning it had for “other” systems I would come in contact with, but watching a child struggle with such things… it makes you want to teach… to show… to pass on knowledge…
And critical thinking… the text book actually has passages dedicated to this, but does not show the “how to” on doing such… this has been an amazing thing to observe, likely because I have gathered enough information over the years to make me “see” things differently… to “look” at things with questions.
I have learned that some things that I understand may not be so easy to put into words or tutorials for others to understand. Thinking is not an easy thing to pass on. It is especially not easy if the thinking styles are different among those in conversation. (Google “thinking styles” and take a look at a few different sites to see what I mean.)
I have an innate ability to understand some things, and I understand bias enough to know I sometimes think others should/could/do understand the same things… but I also know enough to know this may not be true… hard to balance this at times, but it is life. Because I know the difference between thinking, I recently bought a book to help me teach my child how to “see” systems…. How to “understand” a bit more about discerning them in the things she is learning.
I found Thinking in Systems... a Primer to be a good teaching/learning book. I have only just begun to read/digest chapter 1, but I already like the direction it is heading in. This book has given me several examples to easily compress for my daughter a bit of enlightenment on thinking in systems… I already recommend reading this book, especially if you do not really understand systems thinking, but want to learn how to digest it… before you read An Introduction to General Systems Thinking .by Gerald M. Weinberg.... which will definitely lead you to the next level...