A Systems Thinking Approach to E-Learning on Climate Change: Capacity-Building for Junior High School Teachers in the Philippines

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A mixed-method study was performed to determine the impact of integrating systems thinking (ST) into an electronic learning module for junior high school teachers in the Philippines. The study aims to assess how an ST approach to pedagogy compared against a conventional approach in terms of contribution to the participants’ global climate change content knowledge, holistic thinking and depth and accuracy of knowledge and reasoning.


The study implemented e-learning modules using an ST approach versus a conventional approach in teaching climate science to junior high school teachers. The paper presents quantitative data obtained from pre and posttests results of the 20 teacher-participants and qualitative data obtained during the focus-group discussion (FGD) after the implementation of the study.


The results from the statistical analysis indicated that the ST group obtained a significant increase in their assessment scores compared to the non-ST group, according to predetermined criteria. Content knowledge, depth and accuracy of knowledge and reasoning increased the most. The participants mentioned during the FGD that the module helped deepen their understanding of climate change.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to 20 teacher-participants, but it has relevance for public school teachers in the country given that participants had raised concerns regarding the lack of training in their schools for teaching climate science. They admitted that they lacked critical information to include in climate change topics in their classes.


This paper shows how the ST approach can be used to teach climate change to junior high students. The e-learning module can provide teachers with better understanding, knowledge and reasoning to teach climate change to high school students more effectively.