Abstract for: Developing Capacity for Systems Thinking in Schools

The Systems Thinking in Schools programs, funded and supported by the Waters Foundation, serve to build systems thinking and modeling capacity in teachers and students nationwide. Because the field of systems thinking in education is so new and substantive research findings are limited in scope, there is a need to expand programs to gather evidence of improved learning outcomes. Before more research can be done towards measuring learning outcomes, there is a need to understand the barriers for both new Systems Thinking in Schools movements being initiated, and for established programs maintaining support and capacity. To best address this discrepancy in understanding, the author finds it most productive to create visualizations of the situation with the help of stakeholders and literature. Through a system dynamics framework, the author will be working to construct a case study, series of models, and Handbook for Replicability to address this gap for schools looking to include systems thinking in their curriculum and programs.