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Measurement of Global Thinking levels via analyses of solutions to problems Marina P. Bonser, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Measurement of Global Thinking levels via analyses of solutions to problems Marina P. Bonser, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measurement of Global Thinking levels via analyses of solutions to problems Marina P. Bonser, Ph.D.

2 THE EVALUATION SCALE FOR GLOBAL THINKING consists of three parameters(variable components): INTEGRITY is a pattern of connections between parts of a system, between a system and other systems, and eventually of multilevel interconnectedness to the entire world. DYNAMICS is a pattern of movements, changes, and continuous advances in a system's development via its inner potential of development, and its interaction with other systems, including the entire world. ALTERNATIVITY is a pattern of choices in a system's development at each bifurcation point considering inner and outer factors. A bifurcation point is the point of instability in a system's development when a system may change direction of its development, often spontaneously and unpredictably, for instance the point when intense clouds can turn into rain or can be taken apart by a strong wind. Each of these parameters is essential component of Global Thinking, and the system of those three parameters is complete. The higher the levels of parameters are the more they become dependent upon each other. Eventually they become inseparable, and work as unified system of parameters: “Integrity-Dynamics- Alternativity”. Each parameter is calibrated by levels from 0 to 4, and all of them are unified at level 5. Each level of each parameter represents a certain type of Worldview. Transitioning from one level to the next means transforming accumulation of information quantity into a new quality of understanding. It is like connecting pieces of puzzle, you will see the whole picture at some point when you have connected many of them..

3 I INTEGRITY (interconnectedness in space) LEVEL 0 Different things and systems in the world are mostly not connected LEVEL 1 Strong interconnections between different things and systems are recognized and taken into account LEVEL 2 Lateral interconnections between different things and systems are recognized and taken into account LEVEL 3 Multilevel interconnections between different things and systems are recognized and taken into account LEVEL 4 The model of the world becomes a whole system where all different things and systems have a certain place. Ability to see the design of interconnections between any systems and things.

4 II DYNAMICS (interconnectedness in time, interdependence) LEVEL 0 Only physical movements and changes in the world are recognized and taken into account LEVEL 1 Natural development of different things and systems is recognized and taken into account LEVEL 2 Development by material, energetic, and informational interaction between systems is taken into account LEVEL 3 Multilevel interdependences are taken into account LEVEL 4 The model of the world becomes a whole process of multiple levels and multiple speeds of development of all systems. Ability to see the evolving design of interdependences between any systems and things.

5 III ALTERNATIVITY (interconnectedness in cause; various visions of problems) LEVEL 0 Only one function of a multifunctional object, one solution of a complicated problem is recognized and taken into account without considering the causes and effects of this solution LEVEL 1 There are several options of solutions (can be considered with most obvious causes and effects) LEVEL 2 There are different types of options of solutions (can be considered with systems of causes and effects) LEVEL 3 Ability to find all alternative points in a solution, important in the context of the situation, and develop routs of possible solutions LEVEL 4 Alternativity as a principle of world development, of development of all the world’s systems and processes. Ability to discover the spectrum of options of solutions for any alternative point of a problem and design a reasonable path to the solution

6 LEVEL 5: The unification level of all tree parameters: INTEGRITY - DYNAMICS - ALTERNATIVITY. Perception of the world as a holistic system: an alternative process with multilevel interdependences of all subjects, facts and processes; a clear vision of the pattern of strong and lateral interconnectedness of possible causes and effects of problems; spectrums of its possible solutions and their interdependence are taken into account. From this understanding, develops a responsibility of making solutions.

7 Method of Multilevel Content Analyses In order to measure students’ levels of Global Thinking (GT), we have to find conceptual units or their absence for a certain GT level in the content of the solution. A conceptual unit is a statement which testifies to an application of a certain thinking operation or system of operations as a part of a solution to the task. Ordinary content analyses is about finding certain conceptual units (key words) in students’ solutions. Multilevel Content Analyses is about finding versions of conceptual units (key statements which may vary in descriptions) in context of a solution. This significant difference is caused by multistep transition of conceptual units through structures of Global Thinking: A particular conceptual unit in the content of a solution for the certain task (“a river pollution”) which testifies for a certain level of a certain parameter (Integrity 0): “Close a factory which pollutes the river”. Similar conceptual units in the content of solutions for the same task which testify for the same level of the same parameter: “Close all pipes which go into the river”;”close resort on the river”. Different conceptual units for the same task which testify for the same level of the same parameter: “Fence-off the river banks”, “Post notes prohibiting littering”, “Prohibit motor boats on the river”. Different conceptual units for different tasks which testify for the same level of the same parameter:“Prohibit logging in the local forest”, “Relocate waste farther away from the city”. Full spectrum of conceptual units which can testify for this level of this parameter (Integrity 0) is determined by key statement based upon the description of the principle for this level on the Global Thinking Scale: “No connections of the problem with anything which might be involved in situation”. Different spectrums of conceptual units which can testify for certain levels of certain parameters are determined by key statements for those levels of those parameters on GT Scale; each of those key statements is determined by certain key concept for certain level on GT Scale + key concepts for certain parameter of GT. For testifying conceptual units above, we use Level 0 key statement and definition of Integrity. “Cancelling or relocating the problem” + “Vision of the pattern of the connections which involves the problem”. So, understanding of key principles needed to eventually identify all possible conceptual units in the content of a particular solution. Conceptual units in any solution should be considered only as optional and not only units which can testify for a certain level of GT. Structure of levels of Multilevel Content Analyses reflects the structure of Global Thinking Scale.

8 EXAMPLE OF VERIFIYING LEVELS OF INTEGRITY IN THINKING: The content of the task: INTEGRITY LEVEL 0: Several separate chains of strong interconnections of school subjects which consist of 2-3 elements, for example: Algebra – Geometry; Geography - Global Geography; Biology – Anatomy – Zoology; Chemistry – Physics – Algebra; National History – World History; Native Language – Native Literature. “Build up the system of connections between your school subjects. Explain unobvious connections.”

9 INTEGRITY LEVEL 1: One long chain, the connection of all subjects through one, for instance through Native Language (“daisy”), or 2-3 blocks of clusters with strong connections. The most common division of subjects is sciences, humanities, and arts with strong connections within each cluster. Divisions could also build upon other characteristics and concepts, for instance upon a primary goal: informative subjects and developing skills subjects.

10 INTEGRITY LEVEL 2: Lateral connections between subjects which are included in clusters with strong connections. Example: Example of description of lateral connection between history and mathematics: Mathematics developed together with history over time; Different historical conditions in different societies challenge developments of different parts of mathematics; It is possible that mathematics equations in the future will describe the historical development and functioning of a society.

11 INTEGRITY LEVEL 3: Multilevel structure: including some clusters in other ones as sub-systems. All subjects are connected between each other. Example:

12 INTEGRITY LEVEL 4: The picture of interconnections is holistic, its structure is harmonic, sub-systems of strong and lateral connections are identified Example: ↔ Sciences Philosophy ↕ ↔ Humanities Math ↕ ↔ History ↕ Info Tech ↕ a system of Geography ↕ Physics ↕ lateral Sociology ↕ Chemistry ↕ connections Literature ↕ Biology ↔ Language

13 UNIFICATION LEVEL 5. Vision of different options of building the whole system with harmonic structure, including visions from the positions of different subjects. Solutions for fourth and fifth levels often can be illustrated by a drawing. One of the creative solutions was “a tree” with “branches” of interconnected subjects for regular public school, and “a ball” intertangled segments-subjects for the Advanced School for Global Education which illustrated higher level of harmony and balance between subjects in education system of that school.

14 EXAMPLE OF VERIFYING LEVELS OF ALL THREE PARAMETERS OF GLOBAL THINKING: A)You are a team of representatives of countries around the sea (Black, Mediterranean, Arabian, East or South China sea, Gulf of Mexico, etc). In today’s meeting you are supposed to work out strategies for how to purify the water in the sea, and how to keep it clean. You have to decide what information and what specialists you need for your solutions. Please describe who will be implementing your strategies and solutions, under what conditions, and what tools and resources they will need for that. B) You are a team of representatives of regions in the same country along a big river (Volga, Mississippi, Amazon, Nile, Yangtze, etc). In today’s meeting you are supposed to work out strategies of how to purify the water in the sea, and how to keep it clean. You have to decide what information and what specialists you need for your solutions. Please describe who will be implementing your strategies and solutions, under what conditions, and what tools and resources they will need for that.

15 INTEGRITY LEVEL 0: Cancelling the problem “Close all pipes which pollute the water ”, and/or other options: “Prohibit waste dumping for all surrounded industries”, “Close industries”, “Close resorts”, “Fence off all shores and do not let anybody in”. Such a solution ignores the connection of the problem with the rest of the world. Closing industries and resorts can lead to economical problems. Prohibition of waste dumping can lead to illegal waste dumping in other regions which can lead to worse problems.

16 INTEGRITY LEVEL 1: Partial solution to the problem (ranges from structures of strong connections to structures with full spectrum of connections). “Build waste treatment facilities” and/or “Install trash cans, dump stations, and post notes of prohibitions”. This solution does not take into account: All sources of pollution. That is why it cannot solve problem in full. (For instance, it does not contain a solution for what to do with water transport waste.) A degree of satisfactory implementation of those solutions for the problem. (For instance, no one can guarantee that all the people will put trash in trash cans; no one can guarantee that all of them will read notes, and that all of those who read them will follow them. No one can guarantee that industries will agree to spend money for building waste treatment facilities.)

17 INTEGRITY LEVEL 2: A full approach which takes into account strong connections (which leads to the vision of lateral connections) All the sources of pollution are identified. That makes it possible to find solutions for overcoming each kind of pollution (industries, water crafts, ecologically related regions, tourists, locals, etc.), or/and: All parties which are interested in finding a solution are identified. This creates a reserve for participating in solutions (locals, resorts, healthcare authorities, ecologically and possibly economically related regions, etc.). This approach gives an opportunity to develop, for instance, the following solution: “Waste treatment facilities for industries; filters for water crafts; environmental sustainability education for locals; resort taxes for tourists; trash cans for all” or/and: “Suggest to close by regions how to find resources to help with pollution control; set up a control team made up from locals and healthcare authorities; assign areas around resorts to resorts for pollution control”. This solution formally coves a holistic approach to “entrance” factors only. It is missing a structure core, an opportunity for building a strategy for solutions from a higher degree of generalization which would open opportunities to see gaps and failures in implementation of such a strategy.

18 INTEGRITY LEVEL 3: A full approach which takes into account strong and lateral connections In addition to a system of strong connections, a financial base for efforts and actions is considered. Set up not just a control team from interested people and organizations but “a commission that find solutions to problems, which works on issues of control, and searches for recourses and tools.” This commission ensures that prohibitive measures are applied in combination with educational ones, and that special local conditions concerning a solution are taken into account (landscape, natural areas, local infrastructure, etc.) Following is an example of financially based of solution: “Industries will pay taxes out of their profits for using natural environments, and the government will partially spend it for setting up waste treatment facilities and paying salaries to controllers; Related regional governments which are interested in finding solutions will engage private funds in order to help build waste treatment facilities. Mutually beneficial solutions are possible depending on local conditions; Water craft owners would be obligated to install good filters for their exhaust; Resorts would keep assigned areas clean by using part of their profits; Volunteer resources would be used for area maintenance and for promotional- educational activities in help for the work of a committee”.

19 INTEGRITY LEVEL 4: A full approach which takes into account strong and lateral connections within the context of a situation All above mentioned strategies including the whole system of conditions a situation is settled in, and difficulties of those related conditions for joint solutions; for instance: “ Ecological inequity of regions situated along the river related to the direction of a stream line; Real level of the economical development of regions/countries involved into the problem. Third world countries have much less economical resources and much less developed environmental sustainability ethics but they usually have much more creativity potential which they developed because of economic survival. Cultural differences between populations in countries around the sea or the ocean.” Verification of sufficiency of the solution: Collect exact data about pollution, approximate estimation of expected results and recourses for solutions of the problems; then follow up with what part of the problem can be solved with what kind of actions and recourses.

20 DYNAMICS (Ability to consider a problem in dynamics of its development) DYNAMICS LEVEL 0: Relocating a problem “Close all pipes which pollute the water”, or/and other options: “Prohibit waste dump to all surrounded industries”, “Close industries”, “Close resorts”, “Fence off all shores and do not let anybody in”. If a plant or a factory is closed, most likely another one will be build at another location. Instead of polluting in a particular preserved area people would trash out other areas.

21 DYNAMICS LEVEL 1: Solution postponement “Permission for industries to dump waste somewhere else far away from human settlements”; “Dispose of trash cans”; (this solution needs to be supported by financial solution for payments for maintenance people’s work); “Conduct educational-informational work among population”; (this solution needs to be followed up and its results need to be periodically supported).

22 DYNAMICS LEVEL 2: Taking into account strong interdependences, often with immediate results Milestones of a solution: “Waste treatment facilities are needed - design engineers are needed – then materials, equipment, workers, and management are needed – then educators are needed to teach people of how to work on those treatment plants”. Consideration of such a solution should lead to a result of looking for a financial basis for each stage which will help to solve the problem. Following is an example of a situation modeling when looking for a solution: “Fines and prohibition notes – controllers – there will be trash anyway because it is impossible to keep track of everyone – maintenance workers ; it is not good enough for the same reason, lack of finances.” After considering this model for a solution we can conclude that those actions cannot be a full solution, and also need a financial basis for payments to controllers and maintenance workers. An imaginary modeling helps in the selection of the ideas and educes problems associated with the solution.

23 DYNAMICS LEVEL 3: Taking into account not only strong but also lateral interdependences which impact takes longer time but solve the problem deeper. It is often reasonable to implement this kind of solutions in combination with the kinds of solutions mentioned above. “Gradual development of ecological infrastructure; efficient placement of trash cans, bathrooms, and showers on public beaches; recycling – using waste of one kind of production as resources for the other kind of production; applying new technologies of production which are less harmful for nature; fostering natural water filters (sea weeds, microorganisms, mollusks, etc.) where it will be appropriate; learning from national and foreign experiences; developing a bank of ideas concerning those problems, etc.” and/or : “Gradual development of environmental ecological literacy of the population: building volunteer teams from interested people and organizations; thinking out the ways of effective conduction of lectures, seminars, and also the content and ways of distribution of printed materials; conducting public activities, exhibitions; creating permanent societies and clubs; engaging mass media and related organizations.”

24 DYNAMICS LEVEL 4: Step-by-step modeling of the solution taking into account the interactions with the situation and conditions for its development. In addition to eduction of working capacity of the ideas of solutions with the help of imagery modeling of the situation. When modeling, students create step-by-step plans for the effective solution to the problem during gradual satiation development. Such a solution should take into account a verification of theory by practice. On this level all cause-effect and step-by-step chains are accomplished and point out approximately which part of the problem the suggested solution is able to cover. Examples of a combination of solutions for short- and long-term results: “The development of ecological literacy of the population will help with long term results but cannot solve the problem immediately. That’s why along with those activities we should take into account ecological illiteracy in parts of the population, find funds for payments to controllers and maintenance workers, organize garbage disposal, treatments, and recycling on the basis of real capabilities”. “After analyzing the situation we concluded that the best solution for some industries is a transition to a new technology, but they cannot afford to buy new equipment. While they collect the money they can install a cheaper filter system. Before they install a filter system, they can dispose their waste to another place which would be less harmful for environment and people’s health.”

25 ALTERNATIVITY (various types of visions of problems) ALTERNATIVITY LEVEL 0: Only one solution to a complex problem is considered “Build waste treatment facilities”. ALTERNATIVITY LEVEL 1: Presence of options for alternative solutions (at least at one bifurcation point): “Build waste treatment facilities”, ” Transition to the new technology”, “Collect waste in containers and dispose of it to wasteland”. ALTERNATIVITY LEVEL 2: Vision of the spectrum of diverse alternative solutions (at least at one alternative point): “For plants and factories: build waste treatment facilities; transition to the new technology; transition to the new product which may be substituted for the original one; waste disposal; using waste as a resource for production in another industry.” “For people: notes of prohibition; fines for littering; development of ecological infrastructure; educational programs for ecoliteracy; organizing activities for searching resources and tools for solving a problem.”

26 ALTERNATIVITY LEVEL 3: Vision of the importance of the solutions key points in cause-effect chains (at least two alternative/bifurcation points) “Pollution – industries – transition to the new technology – purchase of new equipment - finding finances for the purchase out of profits”; or: “Pollution – people – fostering of ecological-environmental culture – methods – periodically conducting lectures and workshops in schools and organizations – creating permanently functioning centers – human resources – building a team from volunteers and paid representatives from interested organizations.” Underlined links in the chain are the most difficult points and need consideration of the spectrum of alternative ways to the solution. Generally, locations of key points in chains depend on availability of enough information about the situation and local conditions.

27 ALTERNATIVITY LEVEL 4: Ability to build a spectrum of alternatives in any point in the process of problem solving and choose the most promising options from the whole visible spectrum. The description of all alternatives in all key points is not necessary; it is fine to go straight ahead to results selection. Identification of the solution with level four on Alternativity is diagnosed upon the final result which is sufficiency of approaches for the full solution provided by varieties of alternatives.

28 LEVEL 5: THE UNIFICATION LEVEL FOR A SYSTEM OF PARAMETERS: “INTEGRITY-DYNAMICS-ALTERNATIVITY” Brief overview of a sample of solution: “ Find out: 1. Who pollutes the water, how, and how to recover that; 2. Who is directly interested in the solution and how to apply this interest to a solution; Then develop a program of necessary actions on the basis of the obtained situation, and include in this program a tracking of its effectiveness via follow up corrections of this program depending upon the results. First we identify all pollutants and all parties interested in solving problem. 1.Pollutants are from waste products of industries, water crafts; trash and garbage are from people: tourists, fishermen, locals. A set of measures for water treatment/disposal, for people, for further maintenance of healthy levels of water purity is considered. 2.Parties who are interested in solving the problem. All those parties are suggested to create a committee on this problem for the control of the situation which would compose and correct programs of actions, look for human, financial, and other resources, inform and educate the population, and foster ecological culture in the general public. Suggested measures of such a committee are considered. Strategies of engaging funds for business, industries, water craft owners, resorts, locals, regions, organizations, and people related to this region are considered. This is an initial outline on how to approach the problem and how to start solving it. As far as the process of solution goes, the situation will be changing and it will become more and more clear which plans and actions will be more effective in which local circumstances and to which level of satisfaction. Consideration of the problem in the context of special conditions contributes to the corrections at each stage of solving the problem, maintaining healthy environment in a sea and surrounding areas of different countries (A), and in a big river and surrounding areas of different regions (B). Formed responsibility for chosen solutions develops thorough consideration of the situation and in motivation to lead the process of solutions to the full accomplishment. It expresses in student’s attempts to approach the problem from different angles, and their selection with the principle of minimal negative effects, in substantiation of measures planned and actions taken.

29 Key concepts for levels of the parameters of Global Thinking Scale: LevelConcept 0Cancelling or relocating a problem; 1Partial solution which doesn’t cover all aspects of a problem; 2Consideration of a problem in a system of strong connections; 3Consideration of a problem in a system of strong and lateral connections; 4Consideration of a problem in the context of a larger system which includes a system with a problem as a sub-system; 5Consideration of a problem in the context of balanced work of the system of parameters : “ Integrity-Dynamics-Alternativity”.

30 In Global Thinking Development Course we interpret students’ solutions to global and large scale problems on Global Thinking Scale at three levels of human life: Levels Examples of global problems Environmental Pollution of the environment, management of natural resources use, ecosystems conservancy. Socio-economic Overpopulation, poverty, unemployment, healthcare problems, corruption, traffic jams, etc. Personal Regular stress, attention disorder, learning disabilities, depression, adictions, etc. Generally, global problems on each level caused by limits of resources and waste management. Types of sustainable strategies for solutions are considered in my conference presentation here in 2012: “Sustainability 3.0- Sustainability of Consciousness” which can be also found at For more details on measurement of Global Thinking levels please contact me:

31 Organizing Global Thinking Competitions Information on how to organize and lead Global Thinking Competitions can be found in attachments to my doctoral thesis: “Global Thinking Development of High School Students Under Conditions of the Integration of Curricular and Extracurricular Education” defended at the State St.Petersburg University of Advanced Pedagogical Education (Russia, 2004): A description of a workshop plan for Global Thinking development; A brochure of how to organize Global Thinking competitions; Sets of tasks for seven games for Global Thinking competitions; General review of completed tasks in Global Thinking Course with the most common and the most unique creative solutions. Have a great learning adventure! Marina P. Bonser, PhD.

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