Work summary of Lena Rabad
In accordance with the constructivist approach to learning and teaching, the meaning of knowledge development is the construction of knowledge while linking new information to the learner's prior knowledge. According to the constructivist-cognitive approach, learning is a gradual process of concept...
organization (horizontal coherence) to the ability to connect between components at different levels of organization (vertical coherence) is more difficult for the students, than the transition between the ability to identify simple relationships to the ability to identify dynamic relationships in the biological system. This finding led to the change of the hierarchical order in the theoretical STH-BE model and to the proposal of an updated model.
Learning while using the teaching-learning materials for the development of systems thinking has advanced the junior-high school students' abilities in all systems thinking skills, in accordance with the hierarchy in the updated STH-BE model. The greatest improvement was observed in the students' ability to identify components in the system at one level of organization (macro level) and the least improvement was observed in the students' ability to organize the system components in a framework of interactions. Furthermore, it was observed that the improvement in the students' ability to identify dynamic relationships between components at different levels of organization was greater than the hierarchical improvement in other skills. Moreover, the findings showed that the use of teaching-learning materials for the development of systems thinking caused the development of systems thinking among the teachers using the teaching-learning materials in the following aspects: (1) differentiating between structures and processes, (2) connecting between components and processes and creating a system, and-(3) differentiating between organizational levels in the system.
An analysis of the classroom discourse indicated that questions, which generate a discussion in the level of systems thinking matching the level of the students' systems thinking, encourage a fruitful debate between the teacher and her students, while questions that generate a discussion in the levels of systems thinking higher than that of the students do not encourage a discussion and cause a response in a lower level of systems thinking. Questions from the textbook guided the discussion gradually and encouraged productive discourse in a consistent level of systems thinking. The comparison between the characteristics of the teachers' systems thinking and the change in their students' knowledge structures indicates a possible connection between the significance the teachers place on the connections between levels of organization and the representation of these connections in their students' concept maps.