Abstract for:Systems thinking and systems dynamics skills inquiry in an international masterís program in Sustainable Resource Management

Current research showed that dynamic behaviour of even very simple systems are not well understood correctly by students of all domains of sciences. Many studies identified surprisingly poor performance on different levels of education. This raises the question what are studentsí previous experiences and current expectations about systems thinking and system dynamics in higher education. The international masterís program in Sustainable Resource Management (SRM) of the Technical University of Munich attracts students from all over the world and it includes classes in systems theory, systems analysis and system dynamics. From 2006 to 2017, more than 600 SRM students participated in an inquiry at the beginning of their system theory class. It includes a questionnaire and solving system dynamics tasks (bathtub tasks). The questionnaire asks about personal and educational backgrounds, previous experiences, opinions about own skills and the relevance of system thinking in their career. The bathtub tasks are slightly modified applications of the original bathtub tasks. Poor performances of master students still persist and there are no changes over the years. The majority of students estimate their current level of skills as medium and below. They think that system thinking skills are of high or very high importance.