Focusing on Function: Thinking Below the Surface of Complex Natural Systems

by: Marylee Demeter, Spencer Rugaber, Swaroop Vattam, Ashok Goel, Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver, Rebecca Jordan, Lei Liu, and Steven Gray

Structure-Behavior-Function (SBF) thinking considers the different levels of a system in terms of structures, behaviors, and functions, and how these are interconnected (Goel et al. 1996). This article presents an example of helping middle school students use SBF thinking to learn about ecosystems using an aquarium. Students can use an aquarium as a model for natural systems and through the use of questions and simulations—students can use SBF thinking to develop their systems understanding.


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 7/1/2008Stock # ss08_031_09_27Volume 031Issue 09

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