Faculty opinions regarding the incorporation of systems thinking into undergraduate chemistry education

This session took place as part of the 2021 Conference. The presenters were Alice Jackson and Glenn Hurst.


Research suggests that systems thinking is beneficial to education. It has been proposed that training students using systems thinking techniques may enhance their abilities to work on interdisciplinary projects to understand and solve some of the global grand challenges that society currently faces as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. However, before systems thinking can be incorporated into chemistry education, the perceptions of the instructors who would adopt this framework must be investigated. Therefore, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 instructors from the Department of Chemistry at the University of York. Responses were analysed using both qualitative (framework method) and quantitative (Likert-style) techniques. The instructors expressed positive opinions of systems thinking as all participants stated that systems thinking techniques should be implemented into the undergraduate chemistry curriculum to some extent. Examples of anticipated advantages include benefits to student learning, the facilitation of interdisciplinary teaching/learning and enhanced student employability prospects. Research has suggested that curriculum reform is only successful with support from instructors and so these positive opinions of systems thinking from participants with expertise from a variety of areas within chemistry show great promise for the prospect of future implementation.

You can access the recording of this session at this link here:

Faculty opinions regarding the incorporation of systems thinking into undergraduate chemistry education (UoY Panopto log-in required)

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