This research paper assesses the effectiveness of a remote garden-based learning curriculum in teaching elementary students’ basic systems thinking concepts. Five remote lessons were designed, covering different garden topics, and in order to integrate systems thinking concepts, the Systems Thinking Hierarchical Model was used. This model includes eight emergent characteristics of systems thinking necessary for developing systems thinking competency. Five students were given the remote garden-based learning lessons. Student work was evaluated for systems thinking understanding and student outcomes were compared to anticipated learning outcomes. Results suggest that elementary students are able to understand basic systems thinking concepts because student work met anticipated outcomes for four systems thinking characteristics and exceeded anticipated outcomes for one characteristic. These results are significant because they further confirm that elementary-aged students do have the ability to understand systems thinking and they contribute to a growing movement to integrate sustainability education into elementary curriculum.
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