Systems notation can expand the propositional toolbox of concept mapping

The plus and minus signs in systems notation must be read as conditional propositions. So – in this post’s picture of systems notation in a small concept map – if the furnace operation is increased, the temperature will go up. And if the temperature increases, the temperature gap with the thermostat setting will decrease, hence the minus sign. If the thermostat is set higher, the temperature gap will widen. If the temperature gap increases, the furnace operation will be enhanced. The introduction of systems notation in concept mapping seems to make sense. It is hard to see how this type of propositions can be used in concept mapping without this special form of notation. A question remains as to how the combination of two types of propositions will work out in a single map.

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About Sjon van ’t Hof

Development professional who worked in rural development, tropical agriculture, and irrigation development in Chad, Zambia, Mali, Ghana, Mauritania, Israel, Burkina Faso, Niger, and the Netherlands in capacities ranging from project design and management to information management. Conducted missions to India, China, Kenya, and Bangladesh. Experience in the development and delivery of trainings in irrigation equipment selection, information literacy, Internet searching and database searching. Explores systems thinking in relation to international development, education, and management, with an ever stronger focus on the systems approach of C. West Churchman. Knowledgeable in tropical agriculture, project design and development economics, agricultural mechanization, irrigation, plant pathology, environmental degradation and protection, rural development. Co-authored "Wicked Solutions: a systems approach to complex problems", a book written by Bob Williams and Sjon van 't Hof. It was published in June 2014 and provides a practical way of dealing with wicked problems. Wicked problems are complex, ill-structured, human problem situations. This book will help you design an inquiry and intervention in such messy, wicked situations. It does so by guiding you through the steps and stages of a systemic process that addresses your own wicked problem. For more information, see https://csl4d.wordpress.com/ or http://www.bobwilliams.co.nz/Systems_Resources.html
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