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Monday, July 25 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Taking Advantage of Systems Thinking to Improve a STEM Project to Promote Regional Development

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2748 Taking Advantage of Systems Thinking to Improve a Stem Project to Promote Regional Development Luis Arturo Pinzon-Salcedo, Erika Van den Bergue Patiño & Angélica María Castaño-Herrera Email address: lpinzon@uniandes.edu.co, e.van10@uniandes.edu.co, am.castano263@uniandes.edu.co Between 2014 and 2016, a group of researchers from three different universities and a social innovation park, developed a STEM Project to promote regional development in three areas from the province of Cundinamarca, Colombia. The project was financed with public funds and supported the official regional plans. The intervention was carried out by a group of almost thirty researchers using several systemic and non-systemic approaches. The involvement of researchers from diverse disciplines who believed in very different paradigms, as well as the participation of communities with dissimilar interests and problems, posed serious challenges to the project. During the research inquiry the participants experienced the difficulty of integrating elements from apparently incommensurable paradigms from the social sciences, the natural sciences, and several engineering disciplines. This experience, as well as others that involved the promotion of regional development by taking advantage of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, served to propose a systemic model of intervention that we consider might be helpful in developing future STEM projects to promote regional development. The aforementioned intervention drew upon several systems thinking principles, methodologies and techniques, such as boundary critique, soft systems methodologies, critical systems heuristics, Midgley’s creative design of methods, and system dynamics. The model proposed for new regional STEM interventions takes advantage of several systemic methodologies, principles and techniques, and proposes a new multi-paradigm multimethodolgy that aims an improving the efficacy and effectiveness of regional interventions. The model includes several key elements that we consider particularly relevant: the promotion of community capacity to guarantee a sustainable future, community development at different levels (cultural, social, economic, etc.), training that involves both individual and social learning, and continuous evaluation. This paper also illustrates the important role that computer supported collaborative learning and other information and communication technologies can play in these interventions, as well as the relevance of the communities of practice theories to address diverse issues but particularly identity, power and learning issues.

avatar for Jennifer Wilby

Jennifer Wilby

Vice President Admin, ISSS
From 1978 Jennifer started working in urban planning, followed by database programming and textbook publishing until 1993. In 1989, moving to San Jose, Jennifer graduated in 1992 from the MSc in Cybernetic Systems at San Jose State University. Moving back to the UK in 1993, she worked... Read More →

Monday July 25, 2016 2:00pm - 2:30pm MDT