The Systems Thinking Playbook: Exercises to Stretch and Build Learning and Systems Thinking Capabilities

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-04-30
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Pub Co
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This book has become a favorite of K-12 teachers, university faculty, and corporate consultants. It provides short gaming exercises that illustrate the subtleties of systems thinking. The companion DVD shows the authors introducing and running each of the thirty games. The thirty games are classified by these areas of learning: Systems Thinking, Mental Models, Team Learning, Shared Vision, and Personal Mastery. Each description clearly explains when, how, and why the game is useful. There are explicit instructions for debriefing each exercise as well as a list of all required materials. A summary matrix has been added for a quick glance at all thirty games. When you are in a hurry to find just the right initiative for some part of your course, the matrix will help you find it. Linda Booth Sweeney and Dennis Meadows both have many years of experience in teaching complex concepts. This book reflects their insights. Every game works well and provokes a deep variety of new insights about paradigms, system boundaries, causal-loop diagrams, reference modes, and leverage points. Each of the thirty exercises here was tested and refined many times until it became a reliable source of learning. Some of the games are adapted from classics of the outdoor education field. Others are completely new. But all of them complement readings and lectures to help participants understand intuitively the principles of systems thinking.

Table of Contents

Guiding Ideasp. 1
The Ways of A Systems Thinker
The Role of Games in Teaching Systems Thinking
Design Consideration
Creating an Environment for Learning
Degree of Physical Challenge
Framing Techniques: Ways to introduce Learning Exercises
Going for the insights: Debriefing Tips
Selecting Exercises
Summary Matrix of Gamesp. 12
Mind Groovingp. 15
Color, Furniture, Flower
Everything But "Sleep"
Oak, Joke, Croak
Arms Crossedp. 22
Circles in the Airp. 25
Thumb Wrestlingp. 30
Chevreul's Pendulump. 34
Warped Jugglep. 38
Toothpick Teaserp. 45
Five Easy Piecesp. 50
Community Mazep. 54
Teeter Totterp. 61
Hands Downp. 68
Web of Lifep. 75
Moon Ballp. 83
Paper Tearp. 91
Belief Releasep. 96
Balancing Tubesp. 103
Touch Basep. 109
Squaring the Circlep. 114
1-2-3 GO!p. 120
Dog Biscuits & See Sawsp. 125
Framesp. 132
Postcard Storiesp. 146
Paper Foldp. 158
Monologue/Dialoguep. 170
Living Loopsp. 179
Harvestp. 196
Trianglesp. 205
Avalanchep. 215
Space for Livingp. 227
Group Jugglep. 237
About the Co-Authors and Illustratorp. 252
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