What is Systems Thinking?

Seeing * Understanding * Making Connections *

Systems Thinking is a world view, a perspective of seeing and understanding systems as wholes rather than as collections of discrete parts. The elements of systems interact with each other over time and function as a whole. The Habits of Systems Thinking are ways of thinking and approaches to problem solving.

Habits of a Systems Thinker

At Borton, we help children build capacity for Systems Thinking through the use of:

  • * Visual tools that help children explain their thinking and observe how systems function. The tools foster problem solving and encourage questioning.
  • * Kinesthetic activities such as role play, simulations, games, and computer modeling.
  • * Auditory strategies that use a common vocabulary and skillful discussion.

Picky eaters exercise and student work


At Borton we incorporate Systems Thinking habits and tools throughout the curriculum. Here are some examples.
Systems Thinking Simulations
Creative Learning Exchange simulations
Planet Seed Stock Flow simulations