33. “Systems Thinking for an Economically Literate Society”

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Abstract: In the US a dismal truth exists about the citizenry’s lack of understanding of economic fundamentals whether it is amongst our political leaders or our university graduates. This then leads one to ask, “What can be done to help people become literate in economics?” Perhaps the answer lies in the area of systems thinking, which is a way of thinking about the interconnections between the parts of a system and their synthesis into a unified view of the whole system. More specifically, this means incorporating systems thinking and design in primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula. In this paper, the author gives a cursory review of General Systems Theory (GST) as developed by Ludwig von Bertalanffy and extended by others in the systems thinking field to illustrate the confluences of thought among Ludwig von Mises and systems scientists. From this the author argues the need for systems thinking and design in curricula and makes reference to non-prescriptive teaching and learning applications for the fostering of economic literacy.

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