Title

Introduction to Systems Thinking for the Chemistry Education Community

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-6-2019

Publication Title

Journal of Chemical Education

Volume

96

Issue

12

First page number:

2720

Last page number:

2729

Abstract

Within recent history, both science research and science education have been largely reductionist in perspective. While the reductionist approach has resulted in a significant increase in our knowledge of the natural world and in great technological advances, it is not sufficient for addressing global world challenges, such as sustainability, pollution, climate change, and poverty. We, as members of the Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education (STICE) project, argue that for science in general, and chemistry in specific, to continue to advance and for citizens to be prepared to participate knowledgeably and democratically in science-related policy decisions, the reductionist approaches that are commonly used in chemistry research and chemistry education must be complemented with a more holistic approach. Systems thinking is such an approach. This article discusses the historical development, describes the key characteristics, and presents some skills and competencies associated with systems thinking. Our intention is to provide chemical educators with enough basic information about systems thinking that they can consider why and how such an approach might be applied in the education of both future chemists and future global citizens.

Keywords

Chemistry education; Cross-disciplinary concepts; Students; Mathematical methods

Disciplines

Science and Mathematics Education

Language

English

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