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In Media

Select content published in academic journals and in social media.

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Feb 28, 2023

Leading a Session on Systems Thinking for MIT J-WEL

Systems thinking is a skill or a set of skills which allows us to think about problems, solutions, and phenomena from a complex systems perspective. Systems thinking is considered to be one of the most important thinking skills for the 21st century.

But what is systems thinking? Why is it so important for today’s (and tomorrow’s) world, and how can we help students to develop this skill?

Watch a video recording of the session


Feb 9, 2023

A Proposed Case-Based Learning Framework for Fostering Undergraduate Engineering Students’ Creative and Critical Thinking

This paper outlines our proposal for a case-based learning pedagogical framework which aims to foster undergraduate engineering students’ creative and critical thinking. The framework provides scaffolding of the learning process for students using a sequence of case-based learning implementations with varying levels of student autonomy. 

Read the article in Journal of Science Education and Technology


Dec 11, 2022

Guesting on Skills Podcast

Tal Moskovich and Rea Lavi spoke about ill-defined problems, what they are, how to address them, and how to structure them.


They also spoke about creative ideation, systems thinking, and engineering education, among other topics.

The conversation is in Hebrew.

Listen to the conversation


Oct 28, 2022

Guesting on Reflective Teaching in A Digital Age Podcast

Introducing engineering students to systems thinking early in their education is critical for their development and learning success.


In this episode, Dr. Rea Lavi talks to us about the System Architecture-Function-Outcome (SAFO) framework he developed to help foster systems thinking in undergraduate students. He explains how this framework can be integrated in engineering teaching and used to assess systems thinking in first year engineering students.​

Listen to the conversation


May 25, 2022

Decarbonizing Ulaanbaatar: Using DIMES-FIRST Methodology to Tackle a Climate and Sustainability Challenge

The DIMES-FIRST methodology for structured problem-solving integrates concepts, methods, and techniques from systems engineering, marketing planning, social sciences, and cognitive psychology.

In spring 2022, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) undergraduate students applied this methodology in Dr. Lavi's course, Tackling Challenges in Climate and Sustainability with Ways of Thinking. 

Read my Medium article

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Mar 22, 2022

Teaching and Assessing Systems Thinking Workshop Hones Teaching Skills

Grasping the complexity of nearly any discipline increasingly requires thinking from a systems perspective. Whether in engineering, biology, or social sciences, understanding how components of a system interact to produce desirable and undesirable outcomes, which in turn impact the system itself, is necessary for solving challenges and developing innovations.


For two days this March, participants from J-WEL member organizations gathered online to explore the challenge of teaching this skill with the guidance of members of MIT’s New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) program.

Read the MIT J-WEL newsletter article


Dec 19, 2021

Three Ways of Thinking for Tackling Open-Ended Problems

I would like to present you with a quick (30 minutes) method for generating a wide variety of ideas for solving an open-ended problem. I adapted this example, with some changes for anonymity and clarity, from a first-year class I teach on ways of thinking for tackling open-ended challenges.

Read the LinkedIn article


Oct 5, 2021

Interview on Fresh Perspectives

An interview with MIT Teaching + Learning Lab (TLL) for their series, Fresh Perspectives.

1) What class did you teach during the pandemic and how was it structured?


2) How did you plan your remote class sessions?

3) How did you assess student learning?

Watch the interview on the TLL YouTube channel


Sep 1, 2021

The NEET Ways of Thinking: Implementing them at MIT and Assessing their Efficacy

In Fall 2016, the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chartered the New Engineering Education Transformation (NEET) initiative. NEET aims to educate young engineers to build the new machines and systems that will address societal needs of the 21st century.


Students enter NEET in their sophomore year and join one of five threads, namely Advanced Materials Machines, Autonomous Machines, Digital Cities, Living Machines, and Renewable Energy Machines. Threads are cross-departmental pathways of subjects and projects in interdisciplinary areas.

NEET students practice the 12 NEET Ways of Thinking, which are cognitive approaches for tackling complex challenges.

Read the article in Advances in Engineering Education


May 4, 2021

Are creative thinking and systems thinking related?

A discussion initiated by Dr. Lavi on ResearchGate, a social media platform for researchers.

Read/Join the discussion on ResearchGate


Sep 1, 2021

Perceptions of STEM alumni and students on developing 21st century skills through methods of teaching and learning

21st century skills are essential for career readiness. We investigated the development of students’ 21st century skills at a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research university, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Read the article in Studies in Educational Evaluation

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