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ERIC Number: EJ1037943
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Nov
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0957 7572
An Exploratory Study on How Primary Pupils Approach Systems
Koski, Marja-Ilona; de Vries, Marc
International Journal of Technology and Design Education, v23 n4 p835-848 Nov 2013
This paper presents a study of systems thinking among 27 primary pupils (8-10 years old) and their teacher. The study included a pre-test for the teacher and the pupils, lesson planning, the actual lesson and a post-test for the pupils. The research focused on finding an answer to three questions: (1) do pupils see a system as a structure consisting of main- and subparts, (2) what are the inputs and outputs that they consider to be important for a system, and (3) can they define the boundaries of a system. Analysis revealed that the pupils showed some understanding of machines consisting of parts with different functions, or that a sequence of steps is required to complete a process. Systems, however, were mainly described in terms of what the user can experience, instead of what the machine itself does. The concept of input was more obvious to the pupils than output. It appears that setting boundaries to systems was a challenging task because what a system does and what a user does seemed to overlap. Nevertheless, by including basic principles of systems thinking, the teacher was able to introduce alternatives to approach the problems discussed during the lesson. Even though systems thinking was rather limited in a broader sense, the pupils were able to reach beyond basic descriptions, and they used new practices to explain and label artefacts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A