Systems Science (GSS) is
an interdisciplinary, integrated course for high school students,
created by the Lawrence Hall of Science at University of California,
Berkeley. The course emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety
of fields work together to understand significant problems of
In GSS, the "big ideas" of science are stressed, such
as the concept of an interacting system, the coevolution of the
atmosphere and life, the goal of a sustainable world, and the
important role that individuals play in both impacting and protecting
our vulnerable global environment. GSS was developed by a collaborative
team of teachers, scientists, and curriculum developers, so that
it reflects both the cutting edge of modern interdisciplinary
science, and the practical realities of the classroom.
The instructional materials for Global Systems
Science consist of twelve Student Books and Teacher's
Guides. Each focuses on a different aspect of
global environmental change. GSS involves students
actively in learning. They perform investigations
and experiments in the classroom and at home.
They read and discuss historical background materials.
They "meet" a
selection of scientists, both men and women, from
a variety of ethnic and educational backgrounds.
They consider the economic, political, and ethical
issues associated with each problem area.
Collectively, the GSS books constitute a unique combination of
studies in the natural and social sciences through which high
school students may view the global environmental issues that
they will confront within their lifetimes. One of our key goals
is for students to make intelligent, informed decisions that can
translate into personal actions, such as conserving energy, recycling,
and preparing for their role as voting citizens in a modern industrialized
The GSS system can reduce
school textbook costs by an order of magnitude for
schools where a significant number of students are
ready to use e-textbooks in place of the hard copy
See GSS Licensing
Options for details. See also
Strategies for Computer Use with
a part of the
Earth System Education
The GSS project provides the option
of replacing hard copy textbooks with electronic files
(e-books) that students read on computers at home
and/or at school. Here is an interesting article pertinent
to that: "Rates
of Computer and Internet Use By Children in Nursery
School and Students in Kindergarten Through Twelfth
Grade: 2003." National Center for Education
Statistics (NCES). For a considerably more "anti-computer"
perspective, see the article "Fool's
Gold: A Critical Look at Children and Computers -
Alliance for Childhood."
Read also about the GSS convenient "Combined
Online and Hardcopy Design" that makes reading
GSS books very easy in with hard copy or on computer