OER Professional Development Series: Sharing by Dr Diana Fisher

OER Professional Development Series: Sharing by Dr Diana Fisher

Monday, 20 March 2017

Children tend to think about the world and the problems that they face holistically. What can educators do to strengthen this disposition and equip students to deal with future challenges?

On 20th February 2017, the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice (CRPP) of the Office of Education Research (OER) hosted Dr Diana Fisher, Adjunct Professor from Portland State University, who gave a sharing on how teachers can cultivate students’ abilities to grasp complex issues.

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Dr Fisher describing what Systems Dynamics is about.

 Dr Fisher’s expertise lies in Systems Dynamics – an approach to examining complex systems using computer simulation models to illustrate how structures and patterns within a system can create problems and unintended consequences.

Titled “Empowering Students to Analyse Complex Systems”, Dr Fisher’s presentation centered on how Systems Dynamics can help students to develop an in-depth understanding of global phenomena such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and income inequality.

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Dr Fisher explaining how Systems Dynamics can be incorporated into the classroom.

During her presentation, Dr Fisher highlighted that in the United States, educators who utilised Systems Dynamics as a teaching tool observed that students could grasp academic concepts more easily as they could see their relevance to the real world. She also pointed out that students began to think about issues in greater depth and became more adept at recognising interconnections among elements of a complex system.

In the Q&A session that followed, attendees posed questions to Dr Fisher regarding the applicability of Systems Dynamics to the teaching of languages and other subjects. They also queried Dr Fisher on the challenges involved in using Systems Dynamics as a teaching tool as well as how more educators in the Asia-Pacific region can be encouraged to use Systems Dynamics in the classroom.