Habits of a Systems Thinker

The Habits of a Systems Thinker help learners understand how systems work and how actions taken can impact results seen over time. They encompass a spectrum of strategies that foster problem-solving and encourage questioning. The Habits of a Systems Thinker Courses on the Waters Center’s Thinking Tools Studio contains a course for each of the Habits. Access to these courses is free with a free Thinking Tools Studio account.

You can see a full page version of the Habits of a Systems Thinker below. You can also access a virtual version of the Habits of a Systems Thinker Cards HERE. The virtual cards allow you to click “Flip Card” to see the reverse side of each Habit card which contains further information and important questions to consider. The Habits of a Systems Thinker Cards are also available in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Turkish, Japanese, and Farsi. Just click on the language dropdown to change the language on the virtual cards.

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A great way to introduce the Habits of a Systems Thinker is by having students discuss the images used to represent the Habits and deciding which image the Waters Center for Systems Thinking uses to represent each Habit. It should be noted that while there is a way they have been connected, one could easily make the argument that any of the images could represent any of the Habits. You can find the printable version of the Habits Sort on the WCST Thinking Tools Studio. There is also a Google Slides Virtual Habits Sort version which matches the PowerPoint version below.

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