ISGE – Integrated Science General Education

ISGE is a unique curriculum designed to teach the conventional science requirement for general education of most colleges and universities. Rather than a student taking 12 units of usually stand- alone and separated courses of their choice (e.g. sometimes biology, sometimes oceanography, sometimes astronomy), students are presented with integrative themes common to the seven major sciences (astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, computer science).

For example, students are taught the identifying features for feedback in systems of all kinds and then presented with case studies in the phenomena in each of the seven sciences.

By Knowing one thing, Know Many

By Learning one thing, Learn Many

By Solving one thing, Solve Many

This project eventually expended around $2M on design and production. There were so many projects that we have established an entire website on I.S.G.E. Please go to:

Learning theory experiments have indicated that students learn more when presented with a general framework, and then different manifestations of that framework. So teaching the general process followed by case studies from the various sciences unifies and synthesizes the usually separated and isolated disciplines.

Because the conventional GE requirement is limited to 12 units for every major, students are usually exposed to only two or three sciences. ISGE gives them deep information on seven sciences simultaneously.

Designed for a year on either the quarter or semester system, ISGE covers 21 systems processes as the major integrative themes or “frameworks” organized into a simpler 9 clusters:

  • hierarchy/emergence
  • flows/interactions/networks
  • boundaries/limits/fields
  • symmetry/duality
  • feedback/regulation
  • stability/equilibrium
  • cycles/cycling
  • chaos/origins
  • systems variation/development/evolution
A feasibility study was funded by two National Science Foundation grants ($400,000). One-quarter versions of the year-long course were offered to seven classes on three California State University campuses.
Copyright for the program has been assigned from Cal Poly Pomona to my consulting company, General System Research Development and Consulting, for commercial development.
Test of attaching .pdf files of ISGE papers…  Here is a publication that explains how we condensed coverage of 55 key systems processes that describe how most systems work to a more manageable 9 clusters of concepts to be taught 3 per quarter to ISGE students.


One Response to ISGE – Integrated Science General Education

  1. Are you aware of the work of Rick Szostak? My superficial reading suggests there may be some overlaps. See digital poster 515 at

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