This study concerns how technology teachers conceptualize systems thinking and how textbook descriptions of systems can be related to systems thinking. The analysis is conducted using the ‘Freiburg heuristic model of systems thinking’, which uses four dimensions of systems thinking: (1) declarative and conceptual knowledge, (2) modelling systems, (3) solving problems using system models, and (4) evaluation of system models. It concerns both propositional knowledge and problem-solving skills, which makes it suitable for technology education purposes. Four Swedish technology textbooks, intended for years 7–9 in compulsory school (pupils aged 13–16 years), were analysed. The declarative dimension was present in varying degrees through use of terms and concepts related to systems (component, input, output, etc.). System modelling processes, model use, and model evaluation are absent. An interview with three technology teachers working in compulsory school (pupils aged 7–16 years) rendered similar results. When prompted to describe systems thinking and how it is taught, they talked mainly in conceptual terms (e.g., systems as sets of interacting components). To some extent they discussed pupils’ modelling activities, but not how models could be used for problem solving, explanation, or prediction. The teachers also put forward historical perspectives on infrastructure as part of systems thinking. The study suggests that systems thinking in compulsory school could be developed further. The use of system models to understand for example complex environmental problems related to technology use, or perform life cycle analyses is not emphasized, neither by the teachers nor in the textbooks.
Referera så här
Copyright (c) 2021 Susanne Engström, Per Norström, Henni Söderberg
Det här verket är licensierat under en Creative Commons Erkännande 4.0 Internationell-licens.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).