Approaches and Methods of Systems Design: Critical Pedagogy

  • Wendy Gregory
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 95)


This paper focuses on the processes of systems design. Several approaches have been witnessed over the last few decades, which can be classified as “doing to”, “doing for”, and more lately as “doing with”. It will be argued that this latest participative style of systems design is ethically the most sound. Various systems approaches will be loosely classified within the three categories, and the question will be raised as to whether systems science does offer any coherent and rigorous “doing with” design methodologies.


Critical systems theory cognitive emancipation critical pedagogy education systems design commitments knowledge constitutive interests 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ackoff, R.L: Creating the corporate future. New York: John Wiley, 1981Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Banathy, B.H.: Systems design in the context of human activity systems. San Francisco: International Systems Institute, 1984Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Banathy, B.H.: Systems inquiry in education. Systems Practice 1(2), 193–212, 1988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Banathy, B.H.: Matching design methods to system type. Syst. Res. 5, 27–34, 1988MATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Beer, S.: The heart of enterprise. Chichester: John Wiley, 1979Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Beer, S.: Brain of the firm, 2nd edn. Chichester: John Wiley, 1981Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Beer, S.: Diagnosing the system for organisations. Chichester: John Wiley, 1985Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Checkland, P.B.: Systems thinking, systems practice. Chichester: John Wiley, 1981Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Churchman, C.W.: The design of inquiring systems New York: Basic Books, 1971Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davies, L.: The seduction of systems: A response to R.L. Flood’s Editorial, “From positivism to critique”. Syst. Practice, 3(4), 383–388, 1990Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Eden, C., Jones, S., Sims, D.: Messing about in problems. Oxford: Pergamon, 1983Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fay, B.: Social theory and political practice. London: Unwin Hyman, 1975Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Flood, R,L. & Jackson, M.C.: Total systems interventionTotal systems intervention. Systems Practice, 4(3), 197–214, 1991Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Freire, P.: Pedagogy of the oppressed. London: Penguin, 1972Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Freire, P.: Education: The practice of freedom. London: Winters & Readers Publishing Cooperative, 1974Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Habermas, J.: Knowledge and human interests. London: Heinemann, 1972Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jackson, M.C. and Keys, P.: Towards a system of systems methodologies. J. Opl. Res. Soc, 35, 473–83, 1984Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jackson, M.C.: Social systems theory and practice: The need for a critical approach. Int. J. of General Systems, 10 135–151, 1985MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jackson, M.C.: Systems inquiring competence and organizational analysis. Proceedings of the 1985 Meeting of ISGSR, 1985Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jackson, M.C.: Systems methods for organizational analysis and design. Sys Res, 5(3), 201–210, 1988MATHGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jackson, M.C.:The critical kernal in modern systems methodologies. Proceedings of the 33rd ISSS Meeting, 1989Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Jackson, M.C.: Beyond a system of systems methodologies. J. Opl. Res. Soc, 41(8), 657–668, 1990Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jackson, M.C.: The origins and nature of critical systems thinking. Systems Practice, 4(2), 1991Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mason, R.O., Mitroff, I.I.: Challenging strategic planning assumptions. New York: John Wiley, 1981Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Midgley, G.R.: Flexibility as a promotable value in health education: Theoretical background. Working paper prepared for the Institute of Education, University of London, 1983Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Oliga, J.C.: Methodological foundations of systems methodologies. Syst. Practice 1, 87–112, 1988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Postman, N., Weingartner, C.: Teaching as a subversive activity. London: Penguin, 1969Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Reigeluth, C.: Principles of educational systems design, 1990 AECT Convention, 1990Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Tones, K.: Affective education and health. In: Crawley, D. & Williams (eds.) Health education in schools. London: Harper & Row, 1981Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ulrich, W.: Critical heuristics of social planning. Berne: Haupt, 1983Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Gregory
    • 1
  1. 1.Hull UniversityHull HU6 7RXUK

Personalised recommendations