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Essays on Systems Thinking: Applications for Art Education

Jeffrey L. Broome, Victoria Eudy, Yuha Jung, Ann Rowson Love, Julia Marshall, Cathy Smilan, Delane Ingalls Vanada, Pat Villeneuve


Systems thinking offers a critique of traditional methods of analytic problem solving and presents new possibilities for conceptualizing the interconnected nature of all parts of unified systems.  In this article, a collective group of scholars speculates on how systems thinking might be applied to art education, arts administration, and museum education as a way to reconceptualize entrenched problem solving practices in interrelated arts professions.  The article begins with a brief literature review before presenting arguments related to (a) the congruency of systems thinking with interdisciplinary and informal learning approaches, (b) a critique of current educational systems built upon rigid uncreative traditions, (c) recent research supporting learner-centered pedagogies as effective approaches for breaking away from linear systems of schooling, and (d) the application of eco-feminist systems thinking to visitor-centered museum education.  The article concludes with a discussion of the reoccurring themes and lingering questions that emerged within the respective arguments.


systems thinking; art education

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