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Title: The presentation of systems thinking in support materials for secondary design and technology pupils : a review
Authors: Steeg, Torben
Keywords: systems
control
flowcharts
diagrams
text books
electronics
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: © DATA
Description: Systems ideas as a tool for supporting pupils’ thinking about a wide range of situations in design and technology (D&T) are now well established in UK curricula, syllabuses and texts. There is, however, circumstantial evidence from examinations, books and observation of work in lessons that the understandings and uses of the system diagrams common in school D&T are diverse and, often, confused, both with each other and other types of system diagram. Such confusion is unhelpful to both teachers and pupils. This paper describes, firstly, an instrument for analysing the system diagrams presented to pupils in school texts and, secondly, an analysis of a range of texts using this instrument. The analysis highlights a wide range of problems in the portrayal of both flowcharts and system diagrams in texts for school pupils. In addition, the survey indicates that problems with the portrayal of system diagrams are more widespread and deep seated than those relating to flowcharts. It is suggested that the common practice of authors of school texts referring to existing texts is a likely reason for the perpetuation of this problem. The paper concludes with some suggestions for improving the quality of information about systems thinking provided for teachers and pupils.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/2801
Appears in Collections:D&T Association Conference Series

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