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Title: Understanding How Learners Grapple with Wicked Problems in Environmental Science
Authors: Slattery, Brian
Dasgupta, Chandan
Shelley, Tia
Lyons, Leilah
Minor, Emily
Zellner, Moira
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Publisher: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Citation: Slattery, B., Dasgupta, C., Shelley, T., Lyons, L., Minor, E., & Zellner, M. (2012). Understanding How Learners Grapple with Wicked Problems in Environmental Science. In van Aalst, J., Thompson, K., Jacobson, M. J., & Reimann, P. (Eds.), The Future of Learning: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS 2012) – Volume 1, Full Papers (pp. 9-16). Sydney, NSW, AUSTRALIA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Environmental science standards are calling for a perspective that highlights how social and natural systems interact. In order to properly deal with the "wicked problems" arising from this interaction, learners must recognize that there is "no right answer", since solutions require compromise. They must also use spatial concepts instrumentally to reason about these systems. We propose to address these challenges by adapting authentic complex human-natural systems models into collaborative learning experiences. To do so, we need to better understand the challenges learners face as they use simulations to link spatial reasoning with dynamic processes. This paper presents two cases where we examine learners' spatial and problem-solving strategies as they interact with a modified stormwater management model. We show that learners require support for core spatial reasoning skills and for problem solving around wicked problems. We then recommend forms of scaffolding and further development.
Appears in Collections:ICLS 2012

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