Professional development is available for individual educators as well as schools, districts and organizations.

1st St. Louis Training 1

The Systems Thinking in Schools Project offers a variety of professional development (PD) opportunities including workshops, learning collaboratives, regional institutes, webinars, online learning modules and follow-up coaching and consulting.  Here are some of the benefits to participating in our PD sessions:

  • Teachers learn from and alongside their peers.
  • PD is directly related to standards-based curriculum.
  • Sessions include time for reflection and meaning making.
  • Participants are able to develop action plans relevant to their own work. 

The application of systems thinking in schools is most effective when other conditions in the school complement its implementation.  Review our Indicators of Readiness.

Below is a listing of some of our professional development offerings.  Check our event calendar to locate upcoming events or contact us to schedule professional development for your school or organization.


Systems Thinking Level 1:  Developing Capacity for Thinking Learning and Leading

This workshop will provide an introduction to systems thinking and its connections to other effective instructional practices and school improvement efforts. During the workshop, participants will:

  • develop knowledge of and skills in the use of systems thinking concepts and tools.
  • experience, practice, and discuss interactive, inquiry-based instructional and school improvement strategies.
  • use systems thinking tools to analyze complex issues and identify high-leverage interventions.
  • develop and share a plan of application relevant to their work.

Length: 4 days/30 hours (standard length)

Check our event calendar to locate upcoming events or contact us to schedule professional development for your school or organization.


Systems Thinking Level 2:  Embracing the Power of Visual Tools, Including Simulation Models

Expand your knowledge of systems thinking through an exploration of tools and concepts in a variety of contexts. Participants will:

  • utilize the ladder of inference and iceberg visual as frameworks for systems analysis.
  • build interconnected causal loops.
  • create stock/flow maps.
  • experience, develop and test simulation models using kinesthetic activities and modeling software.
  • identify how the same simulation model can represent systems in different disciplines, including math, science, social studies, and literature.
  • use simulation models to explore “what if” scenarios and look for leverage to solve an identified issue.
  • develop an implementation plan.

Prerequisite: Level 1
Length: 4 days/32 hours (standard length)

Check our event calendar to locate upcoming events or contact us to schedule professional development for your school or organization.


Learning Through Play:
Kinesthetic and Computer Models for Deeper Understanding 

Creating and using dynamic models, both physical and virtual, can help you and your students explore a variety of systems: an interconnected ecosystem, a historical situation, a story, a math equation, and more. This workshop focuses on experiencing a variety of systems through movement and by seeing how those experiences can transfer to virtual representations. Participants will:

  • create and test models using kinesthetic experiences and STELLA® modeling software.
  • identify how one model can represent systems in different contexts.
  • use models to explore “what if” scenarios and look for leverage to solve an identified issue.
  • weave dynamic modeling tools into lessons that support current educational standards.

Prerequisite: Level 1
Length: 2 days/15 hours (standard length)

Please contact us to schedule professional development for your school or organization.


Coaching and Support Structures

Follow-up coaching support is essential for effective ST adoption and integration.  Coaching may include classroom observations and debriefing meetings, demonstration lessons taught by the coach, collaborative meetings with cohort teachers, and planning sessions with principal and/or cohort teachers.  During each coaching visit, a regular check-in meeting with the building principal is highly recommended.

Download a PDF document describing the process and structures in more detail.

Contact us for additional information.


Specific-focus Workshops

Sometimes workshops applying systems thinking to a specific focus area are offered.  Focus areas include:

  • grade level
  • subject matter
  • school improvement

They vary in length and may have Level 1 as a prerequisite.

Please contact us to schedule professional development for your school or organization.


Customized Services

For Schools, Districts and Organizations

If you are interested in developing systems thinking skills throughout your school, district or organization, please review the information in our Get Started  section and contact us.

We are available to provide informational presentations to stakeholders in your community.