Systemic Pedagogy: Definition, Characteristics, and Benefits

Today, we'll tell you all about systemic pedagogy, which requires an active role of the family and interaction with schools.
Systemic Pedagogy: Definition, Characteristics, and Benefits
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Written and verified by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 06 February, 2022

Parents are always looking for new strategies to properly educate their children. One of them is systemic pedagogy. This is based on the organization, visualization, and understanding of a whole; that is, family, customs, values, school, and community.

Systemic pedagogy tries to integrate parents in the education of their children by creating a link between family and school. Children take on the behavior of their parents, just as their parents took on the behavior patterns of their parents. Therefore, teachers need to have some knowledge of the generations that have preceded the child.

Systemic pedagogy focuses from its beginnings on the family, the community, and its cultural expressions. Thanks to the above, it’s easier to understand the behaviors and skills that the child possesses.

Both at home and at school, parents and teachers need to exchange their roles and give way to loving teaching in which the acceptance of skills and weaknesses takes place.

Systemic pedagogy doesn’t allow exclusion; on the contrary, it aims to include all aspects related to the child in order to discard imbalances or unwanted attitudes.

How to apply systemic pedagogy in schools?

To integrate systemic pedagogy in schools, educators must work together with traditional pedagogy; the reason is that one is believed to complement the other.

The student’s environment and family transmit basic knowledge supported by values such as respect, acceptance, and inclusion. These are fundamental for coexistence.

It’s crucial for the family to feel included in the student’s learning process. Its promoters affirm that very strong and useful bonds can be established there, which should be taken advantage of.

Systemic pedagogy is based on the peculiarities of the student, their context, and culture, and develops them by strengthening positive attitudes and transforming them into values and potential.

A teacher helping his student.

The importance of systemic pedagogy

One of the most important advantages of systemic pedagogy is inclusion. Not only of people but of everything that the learning process implies. Parents have the responsibility to educate their children by filling them with values, traditions, and principles.

On the other hand, teachers impart their knowledge, taking into account their realities and abilities. They need to accept and respect them as individuals.

Systemic pedagogy gives way to a relationship between the elements that surround the child and their family environment; this interaction starts from the union and reaffirmation of knowledge and values.

“Systemic pedagogy doesn’t allow exclusion; on the contrary, it aims to include all aspects related to the child in order to discard imbalances or unwanted attitudes.”.

Systemic pedagogy according to Bert Hellinger

In the early 1980s, the German pedagogue Bert Hellinger developed the method of family constellations. It works with the laws of human systems: family, school, and community.

These laws focus on the reduction of problems in the systems creating better functioning and operability so that each individual can develop comfortably. The family, as a system, is one of the most important and affected; changing one of its elements affects all the others due to their close relationship.

According to Hellinger, with respect to systemic pedagogy, there are three characteristics of life that must be taken into account:

  • The first is that every individual has the right to remain in the system in which they are, without any kind of exclusion or rejection. Resistance to adapt to the established norms can cause an imbalance in all members of the system.
  • The second is to accept that balance will always be different and necessary in all systems. Parents give much more than children, the latter receive what’s offered and, as they grow up, pass on what they’ve learned to their descendants.
  • Finally, there’s respect for the rules. Each individual, regardless of their pecking order, must respect and abide by the agreements established in the different systems.
A mother helping her daughter with homework.

A possible application of systemic pedagogy

Ultimately, the real challenge in every system is to face its realities and accept them, while taking its rightful place and providing viable solutions to any problems that arise.

Systemic pedagogy teaches us to order, accept, and attach love to the family, the community, and the established norms for the benefit of all generations.

If this pedagogical current is applied, it will open a space for intercommunication based on values, moral principles, and the strengthening of the educational context, both at school and at home.

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.


  • Núñez, Q. Á. (2017). Pedagogía sistémica e interculturalidad: claves para construir un aula inclusiva. Revista Lusófona de Educação.
  • Parellada, C. (2007). La pedagogía sistémica: la educación sigue latiendo al compás de los tiempos. Reflexión.
  • Traveset Vilaginés, M. (2007). La pedagogía sistémica: fundamentos y práctica. Barcelona. Graó. 1a ed.

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