Fostering Reasoning About Complex Systems: Using the Aquarium to Teach Systems Thinking

Research
TitleFostering Reasoning About Complex Systems: Using the Aquarium to Teach Systems Thinking
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJordan, RC, Hmelo-Silver, C, Liu, L, Gray, SA
JournalApplied Environmental Education & Communication
Volume12
Issue1
Pagination55 - 64
Date Published2013/01/01/
ISBN Number1533-015X
AbstractMiddle school learners find it difficult to understand ecosystems. Here we describe an intervention that pairs structure, behavior, and function (SBF) conceptual reasoning with computer-based learning tools that focus on an aquarium as a complex biological system. Based on results from 138 middle school students, we suggest that the use of SBF ontology combined with guided questions and simulations can enable students to consider multiple aspects of system dynamics. Potential benefits of using this framework in ecological education include providing learners with a language to articulate ideas and increased ability to transfer ideas from one context to another.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1533015X.2013.797860