Teaching about Human Biology taking a Systems Approach

1 June 2017
3.00 pm to 4.00 pm

Deakin Burwood Corporate Centre

Complex systems are often challenging subjects, because they are characterised by many elusive and non-intuitive elements that can be difficult for teachers to explain and for students to perceive.

Event details

Associate Professor Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) offers several principles for overcoming this challenge in the latest in the free REDI seminar series.

First, it is important to present the human body within a conceptual framework that addresses, expresses and organises all of the system's components and the relationships between them.

The research described here used the STH (Systems Thinking Hierarchical) model.

Second, students should be given a means of externalising and examining their own mental system models. The students in our study did this using concept maps.

Third, students can benefit greatly from explicit guidance in using system language and in drawing clear connections between the various aspects of the complex system. This can take the form of a metacognitive reflective interview – a knowledge integration activity that helps students reflect on their own concept maps and make fuller use of systems language through a series of explicit, specially designed questions.

Finally, teachers should be provided with learning materials that explicitly reinforce the connections between the system's different hierarchical organisational levels, and the connections between the human body's various sub-systems.

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Date and time

1 June 2017
3.00 pm to 4.00 pm


Deakin Burwood Corporate CentreLevel 2, Building BC,
221 Burwood Highway, Burwood