ADAPTING BANATHY’S SYSTEMS VIEW OF EDUCATION TO A SYSTEMS VIEW OF HUMAN SYSTEMS

Lynn Rasmussen

Abstract


While Troncale’s System of System Processes (SSP) lists over eighty processes found in complex systems throughout nature, most systems workers are familiar with and apply a fraction of that number. Although knowledge of all eighty processes is not be necessary for a systems view, familiarity with most of the processes and their interactions should be a prerequisite for claiming expertise. In A Systems View of Education, Banathy described concepts and processes of human activity systems generally, and educational systems more specifically. He then asked readers to apply the concepts and processes to their particular systems. He took readers through three models of a system: the system-environment model, the function/structure model, and the process model. A comparison of A Systems View of Education with the SSP led to six suggestions for adapting and updating the rubric to general and specific natural and human systems: (1) Rename the “process model” to the “development model” or “change model.” (2) Add and/or emphasize development, hierarchy, networks, and chaos/attractors. (3) Reframe abstract, philosophical concepts like beauty, good, plenty, and truth into systems functions and processes. (4) Add the primary drives and physiological functions of human systems.(5) Articulate consciousness, cognition, and emotion as functions and series of processes. To more fully develop this rubric, a comparison to more recent systems texts is in order. Findings from fields as diverse as neuroscience, social and evolutionary psychology, and business management can provide further insight and examples. Finally, determining what is important for developing a beginning systems view and what should be included in later courses may be best discovered by offering the course and then determining with participants what is helpful and what needs revision.

Full Text:

PDF