NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ884069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
Promoting Systems Thinking through Biology Lessons
Riess, Werner; Mischo, Christoph
International Journal of Science Education, v32 n6 p705-725 Apr 2010
This study's goal was to analyze various teaching approaches within the context of natural science lessons, especially in biology. The main focus of the paper lies on the effectiveness of different teaching methods in promoting systems thinking in the field of Education for Sustainable Development. The following methods were incorporated into the study: special lessons designed to promote systems thinking, a computer-simulated scenario on the topic "ecosystem forest," and a combination of both special lessons and the computer simulation. These groups were then compared to a control group. A questionnaire was used to assess systems thinking skills of 424 sixth-grade students of secondary schools in Germany. The assessment differentiated between a conceptual understanding (measured as "achievement score") and a reflexive justification (measured as "justification score") of systems thinking. The following control variables were used: logical thinking, grades in school, memory span, and motivational goal orientation. Based on "the pretest-posttest control group design", only those students who received both special instruction and worked with the computer simulation showed a significant increase in their achievement scores. The justification score increased in the computer simulation condition as well as in the combination of computer simulation and lesson condition. The possibilities and limits of promoting various forms of systems thinking by using realistic computer simulations are discussed. (Contains 7 tables, 4 figures and 2 notes.)
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: Grade 6; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment