Barlas, Yaman, "Formal System Dynamics Education in Universities", 1993

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System dynamics, in spite of its solid philosophical foundations and a very promising practical prospect, has not experienced the growth that one would expect from its potential. I argue that a major cause of this relative stagnation has been the lack of formal, regular undergraduate system dynamics courses in universities. System dynamics community must spend more time and effort discussing issues of university-level system dynamics education. This paper is an attempt to start such process. In the paper, I first present a taxonomy of different types of university-level system dynamics courses. Then, based both on personal experience and published literature, I identify four groups of problems and issues to be addressed by the system dynamics community before the system dynamics education can proliferate. These are: lack of formal teaching material, insufficient literature on teaching methods, problems of terminology, and insufficient emphasis on undergraduate system dynamics teaching. Personal experience has taught me that system dynamic courses are extremely rewarding for both the instructor and the students. Once the above problems are dealt with, I believe that the university level system dynamics education will proliferate, which should be a major step toward initiating an exponential growth process in the field in general.

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  • 1993
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