The Systemic Approach to Teaching and Learning (SATL) was conceived in 1997 during the period when the current version of globalization of various human activities—commerce, economics, security, sports, tourism education, etc.—was on the upswing.  SATL, when viewed from afar, can be imagined as a globalization process for educational activities.  The SATL technique requires that students and teachers establish a relationship among the ideas, concepts, and facts, issues that are being learned and taught.  Professor A. F. M. Fahmy  and J. J. Lagowski  produced the original concept and they have guided its development since their seminal meeting in 1997 at The University of Texas at Austin.


What is SATL?

            SATL is a new way of teaching and learning based on globalization principles; that is, the approach a human domain from a global perspective.  In this case, the human activity is “education,” both the teaching and learning components thereof.  The more common educational process can be described as linear; facts are overstressed and important concepts are generally presented (and learned) in isolation, one after another.  The linear method encourages student memorization, which emphasizes “knowledge” at the lowest cognitive level on the list of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. This leads to graduation of linear thinkers, which is a wrong preparation of citizenship in the global age.



            The overarching goal of any educational process should be to help students to learn how to “think through” problems, systemically.  This goal can be reached only through the acquisition of skills in the upper levels of Bloom’s taxonomy; namely analysis, synthesis, and evaluation [5], which is difficult to accomplish with a linear approach to education.  We maintain that SATL methods provide a more rapid acquisition of skills at the higher cognitive levels of Bloom’s taxonomy.  Thus, SATL methods have the potential to represent a holistic view of teaching and learning in which facts and concepts are linked in a dynamic (systemic) network which reflects relationships and which help embed these in the cognitive structure of the learner.  SATL methods also help learners to become proficient in deducing new relationships that need not be taught explicitly.  SATL techniques make it easier for the teacher to teach and the learner to learn skills in all three domains of Bloom’s taxonomy.

Applications of SATL

            The SATL method has been applied in a wide spectrum of disciplines

·        The Basic Sciences

o       Biology

o       Chemistry

o       Physics

o       Mathematics

·        Applied Sciences

o       Environmental studies

o       Agricultural sciences

o       Pharmaceutical sciences

o       Engineering sciences

·        Medicine

·        Law

·        Commercial sciences

·        Linguistics

At all levels of education.

·        Pre-college

·        College

·        Adult Education

An inspection of the known applications of SATL methods (vide supra) indicates that the method is sufficiently general in its approach to the creation of teaching/learning materials that it transcends apparent (surface) differences in subject matter, e.g., the sciences vs. law and linguistics.  The key to producing good SATL materials lies in our ability to train personnel—teachers and creators—who may be comfortable and familiar with the linear approach to the educational process to accept the basic premises and philosophy of SATL.  The details of the training process have been refined at formal workshops and conferences.  More than 60,000 pre-college teachers have been trained in Egypt, Libya, and Jordan involving the use of SATL methods in a spectrum of sciences.  Finally, approximately 20 post graduate (Ph.D. and Masters Level) students have studied SATL methods in their work, and about 60 post graduate students are currently prepare their thesis in SATL in Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Libya and Jordan.