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The Potential of Systems Thinking in Teacher Reform as Theorized for the Teaching Brain Framework


Address correspondence to Vanessa Rodriguez, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way, Room 213, Cambridge, MA 02138; e-mail:


The teaching brain is a dynamic system that is in constant interaction with the learning brain. If we fail to explore the teaching brain we will continue to design educational reform policies that ignore the most important lens in the classroom: the teachers'. Master teachers recognize their perspective and leverage their teaching brains to embody a systems thinking view of their practice. If all teachers were taught how to recognize themselves as self-created, organized systems existing within the larger teaching–learning interaction, they would understand how their context and intentions affect the teacher–student interaction. Education reform must acknowledge and understand more about the teaching brain, how master teachers practice systems thinking and the mutually interacting brains of teacher and student if we hope to truly improve how we educate children.