Systemic Cognition and Education

Systemic Cognition and Education (SCE) is a generic pedagogical framework for student and teacher education at all levels and in all fields. It emerges from reliable research and scientific theory about how the world is and works, how our mind and brain are and operate, and how we come to know about the physical world and all that is and goes in it.

An important faculty of the human mind is to constantly generate conceptual representations of the physical world, including our own selves, that would help us make sense of this world and devise conceptual and physical means for improving the quality of our lives and, hopefully, the world we live in. According to SCE, meaningful understanding of whatever we try to learn about can be efficiently achieved, and productive interaction among us and with our surroundings can creatively take place, when we conceive the world within and around us as a world of patterns brought about by dynamic, interacting systems. A system is a set of elements with particular properties of interest that interact in well-defined ways under specific conditions to serve specific functions or purposes in specific domains.

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SCE provides tenets, principles, and rules about how systemic learners can best develop 4P profiles of progressive, productive, profound, and principled citizens empowered for lifelong learning and success, even excellence, in all aspects of everyday life.

4P Profiles:


Progressive mind refers to an overall systemic and dynamic mindset with clear vision and critical and insightful commitment to empower oneself and others for self-determination and continuous progress in various aspects of life.

Productive habits refer to sustained systemic efficient skills and dispositions for wise resourcing and systematic orderly and innovative engagement in any individual or collective endeavor and for overall sound conduct in everyday life.

Profound episteme refers to a rich cohesive corpus of content knowledge focused in any field on generic epistemic essentials that readily lend themselves to practical aspects in the field and to coherence and consistency within and among different fields.

Principled conduct refers to constant value-laden drive for beneficiary outcomes that come about in accordance with righteous and constructive individual and collective stance and aspirations and in aesthetic harmony with local and global natural and social orders.

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.

Trilingual 4P Profiles synopsis (under revision)



Systemic Cognition and Education. (In preparation)

A generic pedagogical framework for student and teacher education.


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


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.

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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.