• challenge program logoEnduring Understandings and Essential Questions

    Systems Thinking

    • A system is a set of specifically organized, interdependent parts which serve a purpose.
    • Systems serve specific purposes within larger systems.
    • Understanding the behavior of one system creates a framework to understand other systems.
    • Systems thinkers use particular vocabulary and tools.
    • Systems thinkers seek to understand, analyze and predict the short-term and long-term impacts of patterns and events (Behavior Over Time).
    • The real world often operates in circular causality, not just cause and effect. (Feedback)


    • Change is inevitable.
    • There are different types of change.
    • Systems seek stability.
    • Change in one system causes change in another system. 
    • Designing effective change requires understanding of systems thinking.

    Essential Questions
    What is a system?
    How can I use Systems Thinking to create change, predict or solve a problem?
    How does change in one system affect another system?
    How do I know what needs to be changed?
    How do I manage the unintended consequences that arise from the solution I find?
    How do I make and explain personal, topical, and conceptual connections to enrich understanding?

    Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Knowledge

    • Becoming knowledgeable about yourself and others gives you the power to make choices and decisions about personal actions.
    • Collaboration, communication, and contribution are necessary in order to be an effective self-advocate, learner and citizen.

    Essential Questions
    Who am I?
    How do I learn?
    How am I a system?
    How do I fit into a system?

    Presenting and Producing

    • To communicate a message, it must be received.
    • Presenting your knowledge in organized, insightful, and engaging ways purposefully informs and educates your audience.

    Essential Questions
    How can I communicate my ideas and knowledge in an organized and engaging way?
    How do I know if my message is received?

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