Final Reflection on Systems Theory

This course gave me a chance to investigate educational systems in a new way. I had never taken the time to consider the school where I work as a complex activity system, nor to break down and evaluate the challenges the school faces from that perspective. This course allowed me to see that this school has many common traits to other complex systems, and that the problems and challenges it faces are not unique. Systems thinking and critical theory can be used to help evaluate the system and its challenges and determine the best course of action that works for our school and the goals of the stakeholders.

I was originally not enrolled in the Systems Theory class. The course I was supposed to take was dropped due to low enrollment or lack of an instructor and everyone who was enrolled in it was transferred into this course. At the time I was positive I would not enjoy this class at all, and that the course held no relevance to my work. I could not have been more wrong on either count. Of the two courses I’ve taken this semester, this course has held my attention the most. It has been this course that I’ve most enjoyed and that has proven to be the most relevant. Already on a number of occasions I’ve had the opportunity to apply systems thinking to problems or challenges I’ve faced at work.

The process of doing a micro-system analysis on myself also helped me learn a little bit about myself. I think I’ve grown a little as a person as I’ve analyzed my own behavior and thought about how I interact with my own environment.

In the future, systems thinking and critical theory will be tools in my tool belt for analyzing and breaking down complex problems and determining how organizations function within their environment. Having these tools will make me a better problem-solver and allow me to analyze situations differently. I now have the ability to break a complex problem or organization down to various components and look at it in a new way. This skill will come in handy a lot in education.

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