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ERIC Number: EJ1237458
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Situating Sustainable Development within Secondary Chemistry Education via Systems Thinking: A Depth Study Approach
Eaton, Andrew C.; Delaney, Seamus; Schultz, Madeleine
Journal of Chemical Education, v96 n12 p2968-2974 Dec 2019
We report here a teacher action research project in which a Systems Thinking approach was implemented into a 15 h Depth Study for students in their final year of secondary chemistry. Students were introduced to the concept of Systems Thinking and the use of systems maps, along with the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs). Integrating these ideas, students created their own systems maps for specific chemical processes. Specifically, they represented their chemistry curriculum content knowledge in the context of the SDGs, by considering whether the impact of each aspect of the chemical process is positive, negative, or neutral for each SDG. The purpose of the approach was to give students the opportunity to situate their knowledge of sustainability in the context of the sourcing, uses, and other intended and unintended consequences of a variety of chemical processes, and how these processes impact the wider global community. The teacher action research was conducted through the development and testing of the teaching materials as part of an iterative cycle of improvement. The teaching and assessment approach was evaluated utilizing reflections of the teacher in an action research cycle. The project is described in the context of how Systems Thinking influenced the inclusion of sustainability as a cross-curriculum priority in Australia. This report gives secondary teachers tools to implement Systems Thinking in their own classrooms in a way that integrates it within the chemistry curriculum without requiring additional time or resources.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc. and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A