Systems Thinking for Understanding Sustainability? Nordic Student Teachers’ Views on the Relationship between Species Identification, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development

A1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift (referentgranskad)

Interna författare/redaktörer

Publikationens författare: Irmeli Palmberg, Maria Hofman-Bergholm, Eila Jeronen, Eija Yli-Panula
Förläggare: MDPI
Publiceringsår: 2017
Tidskrift: Education Sciences
Tidskriftsakronym: Educ. Sci.
Volym: 7
Nummer: 3
eISSN: 2227-7102


is a complex concept including ecological, economic and social dimensions, which in
turn involve several aspects that are interrelated in a complex way, such as
cultural, health and
political aspects. Systems thinking, which focuses on a system’s interrelated
parts, could therefore
help people understand the complexity of sustainability. The aim of this study
is to analyse student
teachers’ level of systems thinking regarding sustainability, especially the
ecological dimension,
and how they explain the relationship between species identification,
biodiversity and sustainability.
Nordic student teachers (N =
424) participated in a questionnaire and their open answers
were content-analysed and categorised. The results indicate the student
teachers’ low level of
systems thinking regarding ecological sustainability. About a quarter of them
(25.4%) had a basic level
including interconnections (13.7%), additional feedback (8.9%) and also
behavioural aspects (2.8%),
but none of them reached an intermediate or advanced level. The low level of
systems thinking
could be explained by two main factors: (1) Systems thinking has not been used
as an educational
method of developing understanding of sustainability in teacher education programmes;
and (2) systems thinking is also a result of life experiences; the older ones
showing more
systems thinking than the younger ones. Therefore, elementary forms of systems
thinking should be
an educational method already in primary education.


biodiversity, species identification, sustainability, teacher education

Senast uppdaterad 2020-24-05 vid 06:25