Systemic Cognition and Education

Systemic Cognition and Education (SCE) is about what it takes for education to resonate well with the way the world within us and around us is and works in order to bring about graduates who are empowered for excellence in life and not conditioned to pass school and high-stakes exams. We belong to a world that can be systematically and efficiently conceived and dealt with – perhaps to the best that we can and that is possible – when we look at ourselves as biological and cognitive systems that constantly affect and are affected by local and global environments made of different sorts of systems. SCE thus calls for transcendence of all traditional paradigms and settings, and for systemism for excellence to prevail throughout educational systems, from pedagogy to governance, and from curricula to organization in partnership with various sectors of society, ultimately in the direction of systemic, praxis-immersive, convergence education (SPICE).  


4P Profiles:

The prime function or mission of formal education is to help students develop appropriate profiles for self-fulfillment, success, rather excellence, in life, and significant contributions to the welfare of others and the ecosystem. That mission is best fulfilled when students are empowered with systemic 4P profiles. Systemic profiles revolve around habits of looking at the world and dealing with it with systemic worldview and mindset. A person with a 4P profile has a PROGRESSIVE mind and seeks to develop and constantly enhance PRODUCTIVE habits for systematizing and optimizing the quest for, and deployment of, PROFOUND knowledge that concentrates on substantial and generic conceptions and processes in any domain, all with a commitment to PRINCIPLED conduct in all aspects of life.

The four P’s are not absolute traits of a “one-size fits all” profile. They are universal “qualifiers” for distinct individual profiles which reliable research in cognitive science has constantly proven to be necessary for success – and excellence – in any aspect of life and in any era, especially our modern era.



Systemic Cognition and Education: Empowering Students for Excellence in Life. (May 2022)

This book offers cognitive and pedagogic foundations and guidelines for systemic education that conforms to how the human mind and brain are and work and transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries in order to meet the realities of the 21st century. The book is written for school teachers, university professors, graduate students, curriculum developers, and all other educators, educationists, and stakeholders in various sectors of society who look for empowering our youth for excellence in life and not for conditioning them to pass school and high-stakes exams.

Please click here to download an outline of the book and request a complimentary, pdf preprint copy of the entire book.


P-SPICE: Physics for Systemic, Praxis Immersive, Convergence Education. (2022). Physics for Teachers, 2, 3-13.

Formal education should empower students for excellence in the 21st century. To this end, it has to immerse students into praxis with systemic convergence lenses that bring together traditionally distinct fields and disciplines for tackling real life issues. With scientific models (conceptual systems) and modeling (systemic thinking) at the core of their discipline, physics teachers can synergize systemic reform in this direction. Full Text.


Systemic, Praxis Immersive, Convergence Education (SPICE) in Higher Education for the 21st Century and Beyond. (May 2021).

We live in a rapidly changing world that requires higher education institutions (HEI) to empower students to cope with unprecedented demands and challenges in the workplace and various aspects of life. To this end, Systemic, Praxis Immersive, Convergence Education (SPICE) is proposed whereby HEI: (a) adopt differential convergence education in their majors and curricula, (b) immerse students in insightful, culturally rich praxis, and (c) operate under systemic paradigms that bring about students with 4P systemic profiles. Synopsis & slides


Éducation systémique universelle pour le 21e siècle et au-delà (Décembre 2020)

L’Assemblée Générale des Nations Unies (2015), dans son quatrième objectif de développement durable (ODD4), et la Commission internationale sur « Les futurs de l’éducation » (2020) considèrent l’éducation comme un « bien commun » de qualité, fondé sur l’équité, l’inclusion et la solidarité, assurant un apprentissage tout au long de la vie pour l’épanouissement individuel et collectif. Cette fin requiert, comme par la Déclaration d’Incheon (UNESCO, 2015), des « initiatives audacieuses et novatrices » qui mènent à des changements significatifs, voire radicaux, dans les systèmes éducatifs, les établissements d’enseignement, les curricula, et les divers concepts et pratiques en rapport avec l’éducation formelle et non formelle. Le systémisme se prête bien à un tel défi. Effectuée systématiquement sous gouvernance systémique et dans le contexte de curricula systémiques, l’éducation pourrait bien alors devenir un bien commun universel dans un monde post-Covid.  Texte intégral


Differential Convergence Education from Pluridisciplinarity to Transdisciplinarity. (April 2020).

Five modalities of differential convergence that may be deployed in the context of any curriculum, including discipline-based curricula, are proposed in a systemic perspective. These are, in increasing order of cohesiveness and productivity, pluridisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, crossdisciplinarity, and transdisciplinarity, with the last two as ultimate modalities for secondary school and university respectively.  Full Text

Supplement: Guidelines for systemic differential convergence education. (April 2020)

General guidelines for carrying out differential convergence projects to help students develop efficient competencies for addressing daily life issues from the perspective of many disciplines brought together cohesively and productively from different fields and different realms under systemic pedagogical frameworks.

Please click here to request a complimentary copy of  the Supplement.


Model-based convergence in science education in the framework of Systemic Cognition and Education. (March 2020).

Convergence within and with science education may be optimized when science curricula are model-based designed in the framework of Systemic Cognition and Education (SCE). This paper presents an overview of models and modeling in the framework of SCE, provides modeling tools like the system schema for model construction and a systemic scheme for model deployment, and discusses ways and advantages of model-based differential convergence in science education. Full Text


.Cognition and Education: A Bungean Systemic Perspective. (2019). In: M. R. Matthews (Ed.), Mario Bunge: A Centenary Festschrift, pp. 683–714. Boston, MA: Springer.

A systemic worldview helps us make sense of the world around us and flexibly systematize how we go about constructing, retaining, and deploying all sorts of knowledge. Formal education is then supposed to provide for systemic cross-disciplinary curricula designed and deployed under systemic pedagogical frameworks, like the Systemic Cognition and Education framework, to empower students with systemic profiles for lifelong learning and success in life. Full Text


Systemism: A synopsis. (September 2019). Working paper.

Systemism, the worldview that the universe consists of systems, offers us the best framework to systematize and infuse order in our everlasting quest to make sense of the world around us and develop and deploy our knowledge about this world in meaningful and productive ways. It also helps us optimize our engagement with others, and bring about processes and products that none of us can produce on her/his own independently from others. Full Text


SCE Taxonomy of Learning Outcomes. (2017 / 2019).

Students are empowered for excellence in life under systemic curricula that mandate systems and systemic competencies in the form of learning outcomes spelled out in accordance with a well-defined taxonomy. This paper introduces the SCE taxonomy and discusses how it resolves certain critical issues in Bloom’s taxonomy. Full text

SCE Taxonomy of Learning Outcomes: Rational Subsets. (2014 / 2019).

Subsets or particular reasoning skills are presented of the five rational facets in the SCE taxonomy (Halloun, 2017/19): analytical reasoning, criterial reasoning, relational reasoning, critical reasoning, and logical reasoning. Full Text


Systemic Convergence in Education: A synopsis. (September 2018). Working paper.

Convergence in education is primarily about bringing together many academic fields to come out with certain pedagogical products and processes that may extend from the solution to a particular type of abstract or real world problems to a full-fledge curriculum. It can be brought about through a variety of modalities with a diversity of conceptual lenses the most meaningful and efficient of which are crossdisciplinary modalities that rely on systemic lenses. Full Text


Scientific Models and Modeling in the Framework of Systemic Cognition and Education. (August 2018). Working paper.

Models and modeling may serve pedagogical purposes as much as scientific purposes. This paper presents an overview of models and modeling in the framework of Systemic Cognition and Education (SCE) and provides modeling tools like the system schema for model construction, a systemic scheme for model deployment, and a rubric for tracking the evolution of student profiles in meaningful ways. Full Text


Mind, Brain, and Education: A Systemic Perspective. (January 2017). Working paper.

An interpretation of research findings in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and education, through specific conceptual lenses drawn primarily from the philosophy of science and cognitive science, brings about a systemic perspective on mind, brain, and education (MBE), and lays down the foundations of Systemic Cognition and Education, an MBE-based generic pedagogical framework. Full Text


Systemic Education for Sustainable Development. (May 2016. Plenary paper). UNESCO regional meeting on GAP-ESD. Cairo, Egypt.  PowerPoint Presentation


Mental Capacities between Course Content and Achievement. (April 2014. Plenary paper). NCAHE (Qiyas) Symposium on Distinguished Achievement. Riyadh, KSA.   PowerPoint Presentation


Toward a Comprehensive Learning Ecology. (October 2012. Plenary paper). Jordanian Ministry of Education Conference on IAB. Amman, Jordan.   PowerPoint Presentation


The following are early drafts of SCE then called Profile Shaping Education (PSE). They are superseded by the above publications.

Profile Shaping Education: An Overview. (March 2012. Plenary paper). Proceedings of ACES conference on Education Dubai, UAE: ACES.

Profile Shaping Education (PSE), the precursor of SCE, is a research-based pedagogical framework that promotes a particular 4-P profile (Paradigmatic, Productive, Proactive, Principled) meant to empower students for meaningful learning rather than rote learning of course materials, and for success in modern life rather than for merely passing school or high-stake exams. The profile is reified in cross-disciplinary curricula in the form of learning outcomes that are defined according to a novel taxonomy of learning expectations.

Taxonomy and Learning Outcomes. (March 2012. Plenary paper). Proceedings of ACES conference on Education Sustainability. Dubai, UAE: ACES.

Under PSE, the 4P profile is reified in various educational fields following well-defined cognitive tenets and pedagogical principles and rules. The profile can be translated in any given curriculum in the form of epistemic, cognitive, behavioral and metacognitive learning outcomes in accordance with a novel taxonomy developed by this author.

Profile Shaping Education: A Paradigm Shift in Education to empower Students for Success in Modern Life. Paper presented at the 11th International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group biennial conference. Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, July 2011.

This is an early draft of Profile Shaping Education (PSE) which, like SCE, sets to empower students of all levels, especially secondary school and college graduates, with a profile needed for success in modern life. The profile embodies major traits of accomplished people in the workplace and daily life, while it respects the local vision for education and local culture and heritage.

From Modeling Schemata to the Profiling Schema: Modeling across the Curricula for Profile Shaping Education. (2011)In: Khine & Saleh (Eds), Models and Modeling in Science Education. Boston: Springer.

This chapter outlines the cross over to Profile Shaping Education from Modeling Theory, a research-based pedagogical theory developed by this author that promotes mediated experiential learning of model-laden theory and inquiry in science education. Modeling schemata are generic tools that students use for systematic construction and deployment of scientific concepts and models. Under PSE (and subsequently under SCE), these schemata have been extrapolated beyond the boundaries of science, and a single profiling schema (system schema under SCE) has emerged as a major tool to set and deploy benchmarks or outcomes that need to be accomplished in any educational field, and at any grade level.