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Systems thinking for dealing with wicked sustainability problems: beyond functionalist approaches
Chalmers tekniska högskola. (Engineering education research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9667-2044
Chalmers tekniska högskola.
2016 (English)In: New developments in engineering education for sustainable development / [ed] Walter Leal Filho and Susan Nesbit, Springer, 2016, p. 151-160Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Many of the most pressing sustainability issues are not purely technical problems. To work for sustainable development (SD) requires addressing wicked sustainability problems (WSPs), such as climate change, poverty, and resource scarcity. Previous research has shown that addressing WSPs is challenging for engineering students. In particular, students may feel overwhelmed by a WSP if they lack appropriate tools for dealing with the complexity, uncertainty, and value conflicts that are present in the situation. In this paper, we aim to investigate whether systems thinking competence (ST) can provide such a tool in engineering education for sustainable development (EESD). For this purpose, we elaborate on previous descriptions of WSPs, and draw on (E)ESD literature about ST to discuss different approaches to ST and their usefulness for addressing WSPs. We conclude that ST indeed can be valuable for addressing WSPs, but that it is necessary to be clear about how ST is defined. We suggest that mainstream approaches to ST in engineering education (EngE) are not sufficient for addressing WSPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016. p. 151-160
Series
World Sustainability Series
Keywords [en]
systems thinking, wicked problem, engineering education, sustainability
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158224DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-32933-8_14ISBN: 978-3-319-32932-1 (print)ISBN: 978-3-319-32933-8 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158224DiVA, id: diva2:1305420
Available from: 2019-04-16 Created: 2019-04-16 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Lönngren, Johanna

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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