Orit Ben Zvi Assaraf, Zohar Snapir

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Complex systems are often challenging subjects, because they are characterized by many elusive and non-intuitive elements (emergence, multilevel organization, interconnections, heterogeneous components and invisible dynamic processes) that can be difficult for teachers to explain and for students to perceive. This chapter offers several principles for overcoming this challenge. First, it is important to present the human body within a conceptual framework that addresses, expresses and organizes all of the system's components and the relationships between them. Second, students should be given a means of externalizing and examining their own mental system models, such as concept maps. Third, students can benefit greatly from explicit guidance in using systems language and in drawing clear connections between the various aspects of the complex system. This can take the form of a metacognitive reflective interview-a knowledge integration activity that helps students reflect on their own concept maps and make fuller use of systems language through a series of explicit, specially designed questions. Finally, teachers should be provided with learning materials that explicitly reinforce the connections between the system's different hierarchical organizational levels and the connections between the human body's various sub-systems. The chapter will present examples of how these four principles can be applied and explore their direct contribution to the promotion of students' systems thinking.].

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationTeaching Biology in Schools
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Research, Issues, and Trends
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351615228
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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