Our journey continues with one goal in mind: Giving our best effort to provide for the opportunities, growth, and success of our students.
"Systems Thinking" helps us envision and evaluate all of the moving parts in our school organization. Systems Thinking, most famously studied and detailed by Peter Senge, consists of the following five characteristics:
Personal mastery - how the individual looks at the world
Mental models - an individual's deeply ingrained assumptions
Shared vision - encourages experimentation and innovation among multiple members
Team learning - more than one person acting together; two heads are better than one
Systems thinking - looking at the whole picture rather than the individual problem.
The concepts found in systems thinking are overarching and can seem a bit nebulous in practice. However, DuFour, DuFour, Eaker and Many (2012) have encapsulated systems thinking concepts into something more practical in a school setting: Professional Learning Communities. The communities of practice focus on four crucial questions, as detailed below:
What do we want each student to learn?
How will we know when each student has learned it?
How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?
How will we respond when a student already knows it?
Systems Thinking and Professional Learning Community concepts converge nicely in this video from Rebecca DuFour:
A major system of support that encompasses all students is the Response to Intervention (RtI) or Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) model. Buffam, Mattos, and Webber (2012) have brilliantly turned the traditional triangle on its head, both literally and figuratively, as pictured and below:
Encompassed in this model is every type of instruction you can imagine including (but not limited to) core instruction for the whole class, differentiated instruction for groups or individual students, support in smaller groups formed for a purpose, What I Need Now (WINN) time, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Title I push-in, Title I pull-out, and Special Education services. The video below gives a helpful overview:
The information presented thus far in this Adobe Spark site is more big-picture than the essential details. Presenting each detail can get tricky and "too much" on a site like this. So, please use the buttons below that will take you to some more detailed information on different parts of our "system."