Abstract for: Teaching undergraduates systems thinking in multidisciplinary classrooms: LinkedIn Groups and Knowledge Building
In the Information Age where technology has made vast amounts of data readily available, knowledge building has never been more relevant. In Singapore’s Higher Education Residential Colleges, where undergraduates are given a holistic education that provides the requisite skills and competencies to thrive in this world, the educator is tasked with developing students’ literacy with this data. This model of holistic education is evident at Residential College 4 (RC4) with one significant additional component, its focus on systems thinking. Most of the undergraduate residents at RC4 hail from various disciplines and will not have encountered systems thinking prior to their entry into the college. The above leads to interesting challenges, the most pressing of which is how to teach systems thinking effectively in a multidisciplinary classroom, while enabling knowledge building to take place. This paper will demonstrate the strategies that a systems thinking course taught at RC4, 'Systems Pioneers' uses to meet these challenges, aligning with the theoretical frameworks of Scardamalia and Bereiter's Knowledge Building, as well as Vygotsky's principles of active learning. Its contribution to the field of systems thinking is in the development of innovative strategies that have empowered students to navigate the complexities of the 21st century.