Sunday, July 8, 2012

Systems Theory and Curriculum Design

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent discussion-list post “Systems Theory and Curriculum Design” [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: PhysLrnR’s Alfred Louro pointed to Marion Brady’s Washington Post comment at (paraphrasing): “I think the tests and the Common Core State Standards on which they're based are blocking consideration of the most promising educational innovation in the last century - the use of general systems theory as a tool for reshaping and radically simplifying the ‘core curriculum.’ ”

Brady has explained his systems-based curriculum in his book What's Worth Learning at - for comments see e.g. Bernstein at and Hake at

For an introduction to “Systems Thinking” see “Over Two-Hundred Annotated References on Systems Thinking” [Hake (2009)] at (1.7 MB).

To access the complete 10 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles:
Links to SDI Labs:

“The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe. . . . . at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors requires research which I think is as fundamental in its nature as any other.”
- P.W. Anderson in “More is Different” (1972)

REFERENCES [URL shortened by and accessed on 08 July 2012.
Anderson, P.W. 1972. “More is Different: Broken symmetry and the nature of the hierarchical structure of science,” Science 177 (4047): 393-396; online as a 1.2 MB pdf at

Hake, R.R. 2012. “Systems Theory and Curriculum Design,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at Post of 8 Jul 2012 15:12:30-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

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