Abstract for: Adoption of Qualitative System Dynamics in Primary and Secondary Education in the German-speaking Part of Switzerland

In this study, we analyze the supporting and limiting factors for implementing qualitative system dynamics as an innovative, cross-curricular qualification in the classroom of K-9 schools in Switzerland. Teachers who participated in a standardized one-day training in systems thinking are the main focus of our design-based research using mixed methods. The results confirmed the importance of available time, supporting material, as well as, systems thinking specific self-efficacy as supporting factors. Although previous knowledge of systems and of systems thinking was limited in all of our groups of teachers, it was not necessarily a barrier when adopting systems thinking into the classroom. Our study revealed that the experience of autonomy and competence and, above all, the attribution of significance to systems thinking are key elements to foster systems thinking in schools despite the initial low level of competences.