Examining systems thinking through the application of systemic approach in the secondary school chemistry teaching
Tamara N. Hrin
Dušica D. Milenković
Mirjana D. Segedinac
This study was conducted during the second semester of 2012/2013 school year, with the aim to investigate two possible applications of systemic synthesis questions, SSynQs: as instructional and assessment tools observing the construct of systems thinking in organic chemistry. In order to achieve this aim, the secondary school students were divided into two groups, one experimental (E: systemic classroom training) and one control (C: traditional classroom training). The final testing was conducting after instruction on three teaching themes: “Alcohols, phenols, ethers”, “Carbonyl compounds” and “Carboxylic acids and their derivatives”. The instrument for assessing students’ systems thinking skills contained isomorphic and analogical SSynQs, while the results focused on E and C group students’ percentage distribution through the four levels of systems thinking construct, as well as differences in their performances. Namely, the results obtained from both isomorphic and analogical SSynQs indicated that male and female students subjected to systemic classroom training developed systems thinking skills in more effective way than students from control group. Perceiving analogical SSynQs and gender as independent variable, the statistically significant difference appeared in E group within the most complex IV level of systems thinking, for the benefit of females. However, contrary to our previous research, E group male students were as much successful as female students in III level, and this finding led us to the conclusion that male students might benefit from longer lasting instruction with SSynQs.