Abstract for:Critical Thinking in System Dynamics

This paper argues for the need to publicize and strengthen the “products” of system 

dynamics (its real-life applications), and to clarify its “processes” (what using system 

dynamics entails in terms of the specific tasks carried out, and the thinking skills 

required), as a way to fuel a greater demand for system dynamics education in schools 

and colleges. In particular, there is a need to be clear about the critical thinking skills 

that students of system dynamics deploy and develop. Are these mainly restricted to the 

seven systems thinking skills identified by Barry Richmond? Is it feasible to emphasize 

the development of only one thinking skill at a time? The paper demonstrates that using 

a simple system dynamics tool such as a causal-loop diagram requires the simultaneous 

use of all seven systems thinking skills together with the use of inductive and deductive 

reasoning, while meeting all the standards of critical thinking.