Exploring middle school students’ systems literacy within the context of water system

Demirci, Sinem
The purposes of this study are determined as to (1) provide a conceptual model for the description of ‘systems literacy’; (2) propose an alternative framework for the elements of systems literacy in water system context; (3) explore possible factors that might interfere with systems literacy in water system context; and (4) determine readiness of children completing middle school degree in terms of systems literacy in water system context. A research cycle was designed including both conceptual research and empirical research. In conceptual research, philosophical conceptualization and conceptual systems were used as research methodology. To test the model and acquire in-depth information, multiple case study was selected. Accordingly, four 9th grade students were participated in the study. Data was collected through four-tiered conception test, two drawing tasks and semi-structure interviews. Based on the outputs of conceptual research, an alternative definition for systems literacy and systems literacy in water system context were provided. On the other hand, the analysis of empirical research indicated that 9th grade students in this study failed to develop an adequate level of critical systems literacy (CRSL) due to having limited understanding either in functional (FSL) or cultural systems literacy (CUSL). While their CRSL were interacted with their FSL and CUSL, it also obscured by their alternative conceptions and in-situ answers. Possible factors interfered with three elements of systems literacy in water context were determined as gender, daily life experiences, socioeconomic status, residence area, cognitive differences, and parental interaction. To conclude, it is suggested that students’ readiness of systems literacy should be determined before revising current elementary science education and education for sustainability curricula.


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Citation Formats
S. Demirci, “Exploring middle school students’ systems literacy within the context of water system,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.