What is a System and its characteristics?


What is a System

A system is an assemblage – an organic or organised whole – of objects united by some form of regular interaction or interdependence. Eg. Solar system, Pulley system, Internet, Ecosystems, respiratory system, etc.

All the components of a system work unitedly, symbiotically and harmoniously to achieve some objective. They cannot work without each others’ cooperation. Many correlated actions are performed together and the expected outcomes are achieved skilfully, effectively and optimally.

Characteristics of a system –

  1. Systems approach has aims
  2. Systems process is made up of different parts.
  3. Each systems process has an input method.
  4. Processing is carried out on the input
  5. There is an expected output after process completion
  6. One gets a feedback through the various components of a system

What is System Approach

Every aspect of a topic is related to the other. The important thing is to organise them in a proper manner.

Organising different parts of a system in a proper, systematic, competent, logical and smart way for achieving objectives is System Approach.

Systems Approach is a holistic or totality approach. It is structured way of thinking.

It is a scientific method of problem solving or decision making.

Performance of any activity in a proper effective manner with open eyes is System Approach.

John Dewey, a well-known pragmatist has introduced a problem-solving way wherein –

  1. Problem identification
  2. Find proper alternative (think divergently, don’t be prejudiced and attached to previous conditioning while searching for alternatives)
  3. Analysis of merits and demerits and critical examination of alternatives.
  4. Select the proper alternative having maximum merits and minimum limitations
  5. Use, apply the alternative to solve the problem.

Input, Process and Output are the 3 main aspects of System Approach.

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Causes or reasons for guidance
Causes or reasons for guidance

Complex/Changing nature of society – Today the entire structure and nature of society is undergoing changes from all angles – socially, culturally, scientifically, economically, politically, etc. due to rapid Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation.

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Individual and social need for guidance
Need for Guidance

According to Jones, everyone needs assistance at some time in his life. Some need it constantly throughout their entire life, while others need it only at rare times of crisis.

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Principles and Nature of System Approach
Principles and Nature of System Approach

There are goals and objectives in system approach. Goal is the overall aim and generally vague while objectives are the specific, definite, concrete, precise steps to be taken towards that goal.

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Steps involved in System Approach in education
Steps involved in System Approach

Using System Approach for any school unit / using system Approach in the classroom.
Using System Approach in System analysis wherein – Identification of the problem or objective or goal

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Some important study notes