Systems Thinking and Research (work in progress)

The following is a work in progress and an excerpt from a paper I am writing about applying systems thinking to education.

An analyst is not separate from the system or situation she analyses.  An external observer, researcher, analyst is not external while observing; she is engaged and absorbed in the community, the culture, the organisation, or the system being analysed.  Her journey into the system reveals a looking glass and imposes a journey into the self – a pilgrimage into a lake of intertwined lily pads.  The wind, the waves, and the analyst move through rhizomatous lily pads.  The journey is unlike the narcissist gaze.  The analyst moves through the lily pads, the rhizome, the systems, but also move with them, and is moved by them. 

The systems movement ripples through water, time, space, disciplines, professions, organisations, cultures, and… systems.  The analyst’s research requires her to internalise and integrate systems organically, holistically, from within the self and the body, and integrate the interaction and connections with other bodies, individuals, communities, structures, systems.  Like a dancer, she moves parts of her body, and even if apparently in isolation, she moves the whole; the whole body is impacted, just as the space around her is impacted, as are the other bodies dancing with her or observing her.  The body parts, the bodies, the space, the observed and the observers, the ideas, or the raw physicality create something new and whole and interconnected.  Like a dancer, the analyst moves through the system, in the system, with the system, and is moved by the system.


2 thoughts on “Systems Thinking and Research (work in progress)

    • i enjoyed reading these notes and excerpts from other sources about systems as applied to education.

      this note made me think: [when we don’t encourage personal growth people who aren’t on track to rise in the organization lose the “commitment, the sense of mission, and the excitement with which they started their careers.” (p. 7)

      i feel that workers – and teachers are workers – need to be nurtured. if they feel they are growing and can work creatively, then system in which they are working benefits because that worker is not just working but growing.

      i came across this quote in the MOOC about hyperlinked libraries:

      “What’s wrong isn’t trivial. It isn’t fixed with dress-down Fridays, health food in the cafeteria, or learning to pretend to look into the eyes of the trembling subordinate you’re condescending to chat up on the way in from the parking lot. The power structure, the politics, the sociology, even the spirituality of work has a sick, sour smell to it” (Weinberger, 2001, p. 118).

      i sense that due to the current climate in working environments in both the private sector and in education, so many people are overworked. the goal is to increase productivity but by multiplying responsibilities and data, productivity seems to decrease. it seems to me that any working environment should have a focus on learning and nurturing.

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