Designing Curriculum and Instruction for Computer-Supported Complex Systems Teaching and Learning in High School Science Classrooms
While research on teaching and learning about complex systems has achieved solid grounding in the learning sciences, few educational studies have focused on articulating design features for classroom implementa- tion that can serve a modular purpose for building curricular and instructional experiences. Furthermore, despite the fact that several studies describe important roles for teachers in constructing successful classroom learning experiences, only a few of them examine how teachers’ instructional practices, knowledge, and beliefs influence student learning outcomes and the extent to which teachers are interested and willing to teach through complex systems approaches. Furthermore, we do not know what supports teachers themselves say that they need to teach about complex systems in their classrooms. In this study, we present a curriculum and instruction framework that outlines how teaching and learning about complex systems in high school science classroom contexts can be done. We articulate the features of the framework and provide examples of how the framework is translated into practice. We follow with evidence from an exploratory study conducted with 10 teachers and over 300 students aimed at understanding change in teachers’ instructional practices; the extent to which students learned from the activities; what teachers’ perceptions were in terms of utility and usability; and what other supports teachers needed.