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ERIC Number: EJ1208567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Developing Undergraduate Students' Systems Thinking Skills with an Integrate Module
Gilbert, Lisa A.; Gross, Deborah S.; Kreutz, Karl J.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v67 n1 p34-49 2019
Grand challenges such as energy, water, and food scarcity limit our growing population's ability to live sustainably on Earth. Such complex societal challenges, which interconnect many human and natural systems, will require today's students to apply approaches that go beyond simple cause and effect. To help instructors teach students how to develop their ability to work with complex systems that do not always behave in linear or intuitive ways, we created an instructional module called "Systems Thinking." The six-unit module is available online for free through InTeGrate. Using the context of sustainability, "Systems Thinking" begins with terminology and conceptual models and proceeds to quantitative modeling with an emphasis on metacognition--a key aspect of developing systems thinking. Before publication, the module was reviewed for pedagogy and content and piloted in three undergraduate courses in environmental science, oceanography, and climate science. External evaluators scored student work from the pilots and found that students met the stated learning goals. Students who completed the entire "Systems Thinking" module scored significantly higher on assessments of systems thinking skills than students who completed only one of the six units. The materials are broadly adaptable and instructors from a variety of disciplines can incorporate the "Systems Thinking" module into existing courses to help undergraduate students develop complex approaches to complex problems.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE1125331