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ERIC Number: EJ961399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
The Feasibility of Systems Thinking in Biology Education
Boersma, Kerst; Waarlo, Arend Jan; Klaassen, Kees
Journal of Biological Education, v45 n4 p190-197 2011
Systems thinking in biology education is an up and coming research topic, as yet with contrasting feasibility claims. In biology education systems thinking can be understood as thinking backward and forward between concrete biological objects and processes and systems models representing systems theoretical characteristics. Some studies claim that systems thinking can be readily introduced at the level of primary-school education; other studies claim that even in upper secondary-school education the introduction of systems thinking requires a carefully outlined approach in order not to strain students' capacities too much. In order to explain these contrasting claims a procedure of analysis was used to map and compare the conceptual frameworks of the various studies, focusing on the selection of systems, references to systems theory and definitions of systems thinking. The analysis demonstrates that the frameworks include different elements of systems thinking. In particular, the analysis shows that the studies recommending the introduction of systems thinking in primary- or lower secondary-school education did not measure students' ability to think forward and backward between concrete objects and systems models. The analysis contributes to a discussion about useful preparatory learning and teaching trajectories, preceding the formal introduction of systems thinking. (Contains 3 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Primary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A