System Theory

Topics: Systems theory, System, Thermodynamics Pages: 5 (1191 words) Published: October 14, 2013

General System Theory

General System Theory accounts for similarities in the functioning of diverse phenomena such as living organisms, machines, galaxy and organizations. All forms, from atomic particles through atoms, molecules, crystals, planets, solar system, and even galaxies may be regarded as 'system'.

'System' may be referred as 'complexes of elements standing in interaction. (Definition by Bertalanffy). The closed system is system that neither takes in nor emits matter. (only energy exchange is taken into account). The system is called an open system if there is continual input and output of both energy and matter in it.

All systems except the smallest have subsystem and all but the largest have supra system, which are their environment. Each system or subsystem have boundary. The boundary of system is the component that separates the system from its environment and filters the inputs to and the output from the system. Inputs, processes, and outputs are all stages in the system's cycle of event.

The open system theory also emphasizes the necessary dependence of any organization upon its environment. The organization imports the input from the environment, and transforms it (through creating new products, processing materials, trains people, provide service) into some other form (with value added) as output in the production process. The output is then exported to the environment. It then becomes input for another system and the cycle and process are repeated.

Education as an Open System

The school system environment is made up of several social, economic, political institutions, which are constantly interacting and are interdependent. A subsystem is a system that exists within a larger system. Examples of subsystems within the school system are Student Council Department, Finance Office, International Office and all other people and things that are the component of the school system. The school internal system will work together the create an effective value chain within the school system itself. A supra-system is a larger system of which a particular system is a part of it. For example the school system (including its own subsystems) is a subsystem of the National Education System/Ministries of Education. The school system is constantly interacting with other subsystem such as government agency, financial intermediaries (bank) and other institution in the environment. Together with other system, the school system will form an effective value delivery network that will greatly contribute to the society. All system (including the school system) will have a tendency to achieve balance among many operating forces upon or within the system, it can be either -

Stationary Equilibrium – fixed point or level of balance to which the system will returns after disturbance.

Dynamic Equilibrium – Equilibrium shifts to a new position of balance after disturbance.

Every living system strives to maintain a steady state (equilibrium). It will resist a disturbance if it can, and adjust it if it must. Every system produces entropy (Second Law of Thermodynamics) but at a minimum rate when the system is in a steady state. Entropy is the tendency towards disorganization or chaos. When a system is under stress of strain (when the school internal systems do not coordinate) that it cannot resumes it steady state, the system may collapse (the university will bankrupt)

Education is the process involving the following five forms of inputs:

Human Resources – Students, teachers, administrators, bus drivers etc. Material Resources – Buildings, desks, books, pencils etc. Financial Resources – Money
Constraints – Law and Regulation, Policy, values and goals. Existing knowledge in the society.

The production process involves mainly the teaching-learning process.

The output or products of the educational system are the educated students which now better equipped with knowledge,...
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