System Structure and Outcomes
Systems and nested systems are additional “big ideas” within the standards and present in both systems thinking and Capra’s ecological principles. While Stone writes about it in terms of natural systems, the concept applies to cultural systems as well: “Nature is made up of systems that are nested within systems. Each individual system is an integrated whole and—at the same time — part of larger systems. Changes within a system can affect the sustainability of the systems that are nested within it as well as the larger systems in which it exists” (Stone, 2012).
Throughout the standards, students are asked to examine impact to systems and outcomes. The outcome of a system is determined by the system’s structure. To achieve different outcomes, modifications to the system’s structure must be made.
Feedback is information taken from a situation or experience. As systems respond to change, the results or effects create feedback in various forms, such as biochemical changes or behavioral responses. In systems thinking, students analyze feedback to consider potential modifications to the system structure to receive different feedback.