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Co-Designing Science Education: A systemic redesign approach for inclusive change

Format: Papers, RSD12, RSD12 Papers Pre-release

Connie Svabo, Gitte Miller Balslev, Chunfang Zhou, Maiken Svendsen and Katrine Bergkvist
In our research, we aim to contribute to the systemic redesign of science education in Denmark across various educational levels. Our focus is on innovating science education and driving meaningful transformation in tertiary education. To achieve this, we draw on participatory and co-design approaches, including design thinking, systems thinking, cybernetics and educational innovation. We systematically use systemic design and co-design approaches in our research center and we specifically explore the role of co-design in creating inclusive change processes in science education. Throughout our research, we engage stakeholders and end-users, including university professors, teacher educators, and teachers, in the systemic design process. However, we acknowledge that navigating a resistant system poses significant challenges. Overcoming these challenges requires addressing the resistance to change within educational institutions and toxic elements in academic working culture. We emphasize the importance of recognizing and appreciating the contributions of all individuals to foster a healthy and thriving academic community. For this reason, we take this opportunity to reflect on our own involvement in the system and the potential influence it has on our efforts, as we rely on it for resources and career opportunities. In our presentation, we provide a brief introduction to our work and then provide findings from utilizing the Systemic Design Toolkit and the workbook “Design Journeys through Complex Systems: Practice Tools for Systemic Design” as a mirror to reflect with during 2-3 internal collaborative meetings on co-designing science education.
We share our research findings, key insights, and takeaways. Additionally, we critically examine the framing of co-design as problem-solving and question its suitability for addressing complex systemic issues. Recognizing the inherent complexity and wicked nature of such challenges, we advocate for pragmatic approaches that embrace complexity and encourage persistence through difficulties. Our aim is to develop standpoints that enhance our agency and self-positioning, while maintaining motivation and a sense of purposefulness in our activities. Participating in the Systemic Design Research annual conference provides an opportunity for meta-reflection and meaningful discussions with fellow scholars. We invite others to join us in exploring the challenges, opportunities, and ethical considerations of co-designing science education. Together, we can work for transformative change.
Keywords: Higher Education
Science Education
Systemic Design for Change
Educational Innovation




Citation Data

Author(s): Connie Svabo, Gitte Miller Balslev, Chunfang Zhou, Maiken Svendsen and Katrine Bergkvist
Year: 2023
Title: Co-Designing Science Education: A systemic redesign approach for inclusive change
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD12

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