Exploring the Integration of Systems Thinking: Participatory Professional Development (ExIST)

Lead Staff:
Michael Cassidy
Gillian Puttick
Debra Bernstein
Project Staff:
Santiago Gasca

Project Summary

The ExIST Project is a teacher professional development model that supports middle school biology teachers to adapt curriculum by integrating game design to enhance biological systems learning and skills in systems thinking from constructionist and participatory perspectives.

The ExIST Project PD model aims to broaden opportunities for teachers to learn with students by integrating systems with participatory practices in two ways:

  1. by including co-design with students during PD, and
  2. approaching instruction in a way that distributes expertise.

The project team believes that using systems as a crosscutting concept will enable teachers to support systems thinking in biology while empowering students to become knowledge producers through game design.