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Systems Thinking about Severe Storms in Social Studies Education

Systems Thinking about Severe Storms in Social Studies Education
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Author(s): Thomas Chandler (Columbia University, USA), Margaret Crocco (Michigan State University, USA) and Anand R. Marri (Teachers College, Columbia University, USA & Federal Reserve Bank of New York, USA)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 20
Source title: Handbook of Research on Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Ken D. Thomas (Auburn University, USA) and Helen E. Muga (University of Mount Union, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5856-1.ch016


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Systems thinking provides a powerful cognitive and pedagogical tool for considering problems related to sustainability. This chapter pays particular attention to critical conceptual aspects of systems thinking as manifest in the use of a curriculum guide addressing Hurricane Katrina called Teaching the Levees: A Curriculum for Democratic Dialogue and Civic Engagement. The three educators in this study used the Teaching the Levees curriculum guide in order to focus on a specific disciplinary aspect of social studies education. The educators also integrated a variety of social, ecological, economic, and political issues in their lessons. The inclusion of these disciplines supports the perspective that the educators were engaged in systems thinking, particularly in how they conceived of the patterns in which events emerged, the interconnectedness of discrete elements, and the impact of feedback loops within the system. The chapter also addresses ramifications of systems thinking within social studies education.

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