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Article

A Method for Measuring Systems Thinking Learning

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School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, 204 Rogers Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
2
Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences (SMILE) Program, Oregon State University, 18 Gladys Valley Center, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Systems 2020, 8(2), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems8020011
Received: 6 February 2020 / Revised: 1 April 2020 / Accepted: 2 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Systems Sciences 2018)
The myriad of problems facing the world today are increasingly complex, dynamic, and transcend multiple domains. This necessitates the need for trans-disciplinary approaches capable of providing a framework to help solve these problems. Systems thinking provides the skills necessary for people to approach these types of problems. However, a lack of awareness and understanding of systems thinking hinders a potential systems-literate and systems-capable society. Systems thinking is comprised of four underlying concepts or skills: distinction-making, organizing systems, inter-relating, and perspective-taking. The path to becoming a systems thinker follows a process comprised of three levels—sensibility (awareness of systems), literacy (knowledge of systems), and capability (understanding of systems)—repeated across multiple learning phases. During this research study, a method was defined to measure whether non-experts learned the underlying systems thinking concepts according to this learning process. An experiment was conducted with 97 middle and high school students who were asked to draw a fish-tank system before and after being taught to apply the systems thinking concepts as skills for identifying elements, interactions, and roles/purposes. The results provide evidence to conclude that student learning of systems thinking significantly increased from the first drawing to the second drawing. View Full-Text
Keywords: systems thinking; systems education; systems skills; systems sensibility; systems literacy systems thinking; systems education; systems skills; systems sensibility; systems literacy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Taylor, S.; Calvo-Amodio, J.; Well, J. A Method for Measuring Systems Thinking Learning. Systems 2020, 8, 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems8020011

AMA Style

Taylor S, Calvo-Amodio J, Well J. A Method for Measuring Systems Thinking Learning. Systems. 2020; 8(2):11. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems8020011

Chicago/Turabian Style

Taylor, Seth, Javier Calvo-Amodio, and Jay Well. 2020. "A Method for Measuring Systems Thinking Learning" Systems 8, no. 2: 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/systems8020011

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