Enhancing children’s understanding of complex systems: A study of the design considerations of an effective learning environment
Wednesday, June 29 2:45 PM-3:05 PM Location: Pavilion Ballroom D
Abstract: Much public misconception about important complex phenomena such as environmental and social problems are due to linear thinking and poor understanding of complex systems. Researchers have considered teaching children about complex systems as an early investment in human capital. They argue that this leads to an enriched understanding of complex phenomena and the proper policies to control problematic trends, at an individual and societal level. In this paper, I review the research on the nature of children’s initial conceptions of complex systems and their competencies to develop a good understanding of systems concepts. I also investigate the properties of prevalent approaches to analysis of complex systems that have been used in designing different educational tools and activities. Finally, I discuss the affordances of these approaches to propose a guideline for designing an effective learning environment that aims to enhance children’s ability to reason about complex systems.