Our workshop focuses on how we teach plant science concepts and processes in undergraduate classrooms. Plants are integral to atmospheric cycles, energy and biomass flow through systems, and belowground processes. As a central hub for multiple interacting systems, including human systems, it is important to frame plants as part of a complex system. This workshop seeks to train educators at all levels on how to leverage a Systems Thinking framework for teaching and learning.
Incorporating Systems Thinking into instruction can help students relate new information to their previous knowledge and experiences and deepen their understanding of scientific concepts and processes. By guiding students through the complex systems where plants are fundamental to their function, students can gain a deeper understanding of how plants impact biology, the environment, and human lives.
As part of the workshop, participants will learn about Systems Thinking (ST) as an approach to instruction, how to incorporate ST into their courses, and practice framing course concepts as part of a system with many interacting parts. Participants will also be invited to join a collaborative online learning community of instructors interested in Plant Science & Systems Thinking (PSST). By the end of the workshop, instructors should feel confident in their ability to transform their courses to improve student learning outcomes, provide equitable instruction for all students, and discuss pedagogical techniques with fellow instructors from around the world.