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ERIC Number: EJ1132081
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1094-3277
The Need to Introduce System Thinking in Teaching Climate Change
Roychoudhury, Anita; Shepardson, Daniel P.; Hirsch, Andrew; Niyogi, Devdutta; Mehta, Jignesh; Top, Sara
Science Educator, v25 n2 p73-81 Win 2017
Research related to teaching climate change, system thinking, current reform in science education, and the research on reform-oriented assessment indicate that we need to explore student understanding in greater detail instead of only testing for an incremental gain in disciplinary knowledge. Using open-ended items we assessed details in student successes and challenges in thinking about climate change and climate system. Twelve teachers of the 7th and 8th grades and 457 students from four schools in a Midwestern state participated in this study. Statistical analysis of student responses on the pre- and post-test showed a significant (p<0.0001) gain in knowledge but more importantly, qualitative analysis of student responses showed that they learned that our climate is changing but had constructed a linear connection between variables such as surface temperature and drought. The students did not develop a connected body of knowledge or an understanding of climate as a system. Future research needs to focus on curriculum development, effective system pedagogy, assessment, and teacher development in the context of climate change as an interlinked system.
National Science Education Leadership Association. P.O. Box 99381, Raleigh, NC 27624-9381. Tel: 919-848-8171; Fax: 919-848-0496; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL0822181