Article | PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012 | Primary pupils’ thoughts about systems. An exploratory study

Title:
Primary pupils’ thoughts about systems. An exploratory study
Author:
Marja-Ilona Koski: Science Education and Communication (SEC), Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands Marc de Vries: Science Education and Communication (SEC), Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands
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Full text (pdf)
Year:
2012
Conference:
PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012
Issue:
073
Article no.:
030
Pages:
253-261
No. of pages:
9
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2012-06-18
ISBN:
978-91-7519-849-1
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


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This paper presents a study into systems thinking among 27 primary school pupils; 8-to10-yearolds; and their teacher. The study includes; pre-test to the teacher and a group of pupils; lesson planning; the actual lesson and post-test to the pupils. The focus is on three concepts: do the pupils see a system as a structure consisting from main- and subparts; what are the inputs and output that they reason to be important for a system; and can they put boundaries to a system. Analysis revealed that the pupils showed some indications of machines consisting from parts with different functions; or that a sequence of steps is needed to complete a process. Systems; however; are mainly described in terms of what the user can experience; instead of what the machine itself does. The concept of input was more obvious to the pupils than the output. The impression of what a systems does; and what a user does; seemed to overlap; and this made setting the boundaries to a system more demanding. Nevertheless; by including basic principles of systems thinking; the teacher was able to introduce alternatives to approach the problems. Even though; the systems thinking was rather limited in larger sense; the pupils were able to reach beyond fair descriptions; and they used new practices to explain and label artefacts.

Keywords: Primary pupils; systems thinking; qualitative study; main- and subparts; input and output; system boundaries

PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Author:
Marja-Ilona Koski, Marc de Vries
Title:
Primary pupils’ thoughts about systems. An exploratory study
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PATT 26 Conference; Technology Education in the 21st Century; Stockholm; Sweden; 26-30 June; 2012

Author:
Marja-Ilona Koski, Marc de Vries
Title:
Primary pupils’ thoughts about systems. An exploratory study
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