Two-day Workshop Options

March 15-16, 2018

Daniel Webster School, Milwaukee, WI


“Introduction to Systems Thinking”

This workshop will benefit anyone interested in learning about systems thinking.

Facilitator: Joan Yates, Vice President, Waters Foundation

Receive an introduction on how to use systems thinking in conjunction with other teaching and learning practices. Participants will develop knowledge of systems thinking concepts, Habits and tools. This interactive workshop provides an opportunity to experience, practice and discuss interactive and inquiry-based instructional strategies that support designated curricular standards and utilize systems thinking.


“Systems Thinking for Business, Community Organizations and School District Leaders”

This workshop is geared toward business and community members/leaders.

Facilitator: Tracy Benson, President, Waters Foundation

A systems thinking point of view encourages leaders to step back and see the whole picture, rather than focusing on just its parts. When individuals have a clear and deep understanding of their departments, divisions or organizations as whole systems, they are better equipped to identify leverage actions that lead to improvements and desired outcomes. This session will introduce systems thinking concepts, habits and tools that will help your organization develop:

  • Positive and productive organizational cultures,
  • Effective communication and collaboration skills,
  • Decision-making and problem-solving approaches that maximize benefits

Participants will learn and practice strategies for working together that will inform the quality of day-to-day interactions and propel desirable organizational outcomes.

“Systems Thinking Approach to School-Based Challenges”

This workshop will benefit educators and school administrators looking to address current issues and challenges.

Facilitator: Mary Quinnan, Executive Director, Leadership and School Improvement, Waters Foundation

Approaching, and ultimately overcoming, school-based challenges can be daunting — this workshop will get participants comfortable with identifying issues and working to solve them using several tools to explore the interconnections and relationships of school systems.

Participants will practice and apply the tools and Habits of systems thinking to everyday challenges affecting school leadership and the education system as a whole. By identifying perceptions that may hinder progress and looking for patterns to avoid quick fixes, participants will be able to identify possible leverage actions that deliver positive results.

This highly interactive and collaborative workshop will include real-life examples and experiences from schools approaching school-based challenges using systems thinking. This includes a presentation of the ladder of inference by Jessica Quindel, Principal of Doerfler Elementary School (MPS).

“From Systems Thinking to Action”

This workshop will benefit educators looking to solve authentic problems in their school or community using systems thinking.

Facilitators: Pete Reynolds and Joost Allard, Co-Founders, Learn Deep Milwaukee

How do you go from recognizing a challenge, creating a plan for change, and then adapting and scaling the plan to ensure a broad reach of influence? Find out in this lively, collaborative workshop where participants will work in teams using systems thinking to explore a real-life scenario– the Learn Deep and Milwaukee Succeeds partnership that is working with a group of math educators to explore factors that contribute to the success of middle school students in math.

After getting an in-depth review of this program from Danielle Robinson, Math Intervention Lead at Brown Street Academy (MPS), participants will then work together to discover the forces that enable or hinder effective practices from taking root and spreading.

Leaders from Milwaukee Succeeds will also be involved in facilitation of this workshop.

If you have a vision for change in your organization and would like to explore how to successfully implement a plan and model it for various environments and scenarios, this workshop is for you.

“Break Away from Tradition Using Systems Thinking”

This workshop will benefit teachers, administrators, anyone in an education setting, and parents who are interested in implementing the tools and Habits of systems thinking.

Facilitators: Ellen Grasley and Betsy Markwardt, Teachers, Milwaukee Public Schools 

Are you interested in systems thinking? Have you started working with systems thinking, but want to know more about the tools and Habits and how to best utilize them? You will have an opportunity to go deeper in this workshop! Participants will broaden their knowledge of the benefits of systems thinking by hearing from teachers who are actively using it in classrooms. You will have hands-on experience and leave with practical ideas to implement systems thinking in and out of the classroom, with students and teachers/colleagues. Several Milwaukee Public Schools students will also be present for demonstrations and to answer your questions. Be prepared to be challenged, impressed, and to break away from tradition!