Connections to Curricular Standards
Systems thinking habits, tools and concepts are embedded, either implicitly or explicitly, within many existing state and national curricular standards. See below for a few examples. Each example includes a link to the related website(s) and one or more illustrations of systems thinking connections with key words italicized.
Systems thinking concepts are embedded within Common Core State Standards for Mathematics; English Language Arts; and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. A few examples include:
Reading Standard for Informational Text K-5: Key Ideas and Details
Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Mathematics Standard Grade 8: Functions 8.F
Use functions to model relationships between quantities.
Reading Standard for Literacy in History/Social Studies 6-12: Key Ideas and Details
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Download a document with specific correlations for reading in Grades 9/10.
Also, view the graphic on the Creative Learning Exchange website that illustrates connections between the Common Core and System Dynamics/Systems Thinking concepts and strategies.
Systems thinking concepts are strongly infused within the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for both specific grade-level contexts as well as crosscutting concepts. For example,
K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
MS-LS1-3. Use argument supported by evidence for how the body is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells.
HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation
Scale, proportion, and quantity
Systems and system models
Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
Structure and function
Stability and change
National STEM Standards (PDF version)
View a graphic on the Creative Learning Exchange website that outlines connections between STEM standards and systems thinking concepts and tools.