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ERIC Number: EJ1237517
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education: Theoretical Challenges and Opportunities
Pazicni, Samuel; Flynn, Alison B.
Journal of Chemical Education, v96 n12 p2752-2763 Dec 2019
Systems thinking approaches underscore a holistic view of the components comprising a dynamic system, including their connections and interdependencies as well as their interactions with other systems. Compelling international calls have been made recently to infuse chemistry education with systems thinking so as to not only better illustrate chemistry's connection to other disciplines, but also explain and address emerging global challenges. Doing so presents exciting opportunities for chemistry educators to incorporate creative new activities into their courses. However, to employ systems thinking effectively in the chemistry classroom, we argue that considering "the learner" must take precedent. Relatively little is known regarding how chemistry learners interact with systems thinking, or the knowledge and skills necessary for chemistry learners to productively engage in systems thinking. In this article, we begin to address the discipline's knowledge gap about learning using a systems thinking approach. Our goal is to explore systems thinking from the perspective of the chemistry learner using current learning frameworks relevant to chemistry education (i.e., information processing theory, meaningful learning, sociocultural theory, and three-dimensional learning). Using this analysis, we highlight opportunities and challenges for employing systems thinking in chemistry education, to encourage further educational research and development using this approach.
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A