Enhancing systems-thinking skills with modelling


Woei Hung, Ph.D., Instructional Design & Technology, Education Room 218, 231 Centennial Drive STOP 7189, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks ND 58202-7189, USA. Tel: +701 777 3486; fax: +701 777 3246; email: woei.hung@und.edu


Systems thinking is an essential cognitive skill that enables individuals to develop an integrative understanding of a given subject at the conceptual and systemic level. Yet, systems thinking is not usually an innate skill. Helping students develop systems-thinking skills warrants attention from educators. This paper describes a study examining the effects of utilising systems modelling as a cognitive tool in enhancing a group of graduate students' systems-thinking skills. A significant improvement was observed in the systems-thinking practises of the students. A theoretical rationale for enhancing systems-thinking skills with modelling and the results of the study will be discussed.