GEMS Wellington Academy – Dubai
Center for Systems Awareness SITE
GEMS Wellington Academy is located in Silicon Oasis, Dubai.
We started working with the Compassionate Systems Framework with 24 students in one Year 8 class. This has now expanded and it is a permanent feature of the IBDP Geography course, as well as an optional unit of Food and Health.
Over the course of two years, fostering the Compassionate Systems Framework we introduced many visible thinking routines and systems thinking tools to nurture critical thinking and caring using systems thinking toolkits including the ‘Ladder of Connectedness’, ‘The Iceberg Approach’ and the ‘Stock and Flow Diagram’.
Without using these toolkits to study geographical issues such as the lack of clean water in Tanzania and malaria in East Africa, the depth and connection with the ideas surrounding compassionate integrity certainly wouldn’t have resonated with students as much as they did. The toolkits were almost the catalyst for growth in compassion thinking for our students.
We found using the Compassionate Systems Framework led to a far great willingness for cognitive empathy to occur. The students have a far better ability to infer, and it should be noted that students are less likely to assume because of these tools. The toolkits have allowed for structured thinking, and given students the chance to understand what they already know, ways of knowing and question their own beliefs. In addition to this, they have given a real purpose to ‘thinking time.’
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