Creat ive Educati on
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 35-38
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes ( DO I:10.4236/ce.2012.38b008
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Systems Thinking For Sustainable Design: A Conceptual
Framework of Constructivist Web-Based Learning Environment
Management Using Inquiry Learning Process
Sarinda Jamornmarn, Praweenya Suwannatthachote, Poonarat Pichayapaiboon
Faculty of Education, Chula longkorn U niv ersity, Bangkok, Thailand
Received 20 1 2
This research is study sustainable education development on arts management, arranging the education
with s yste m ap p r oach w hic h i s op er ati ona l meth od t ha t e mpha s iz e on desi gn, i mpl ement at i on and e val ua-
tion of overall process. The systematic thinking has holistic, interaction and networks characteristics. It
has bounda ry and hierar chy of feedb ack-loops with system structure that has pattern and adaptati on. The
format of how to find the knowledge of systematic method is directly related to analysis, synthesis and
opera tional pla n. It is how t o solve the prob lem by using scient ific method. So the educati on must be in-
quiry-based instruction which consists of constructivist theory encouraging learners to create knowledge
by thems elves and lea rning en viro nment on th e networks which i s a combina tion of cons tructi vist learn-
ing s ystem with media t hat has hyperlink , hypert ext or hyp ermedia . The symbolic system of various me-
dia has influence to understanding or systematic thinking of learners while learning by technology that
acts as learning environment for learners to create the knowledge by themselves. The researchers have
realized the importance and study the development of Constructivist Web-Based Learning Environment
Mana gement Using Inq uiry Lea rning Proc ess to Enhanc e Systems Thinking f or Sustai nable Produc t De-
sign of Undergraduate Students.
Key words: Systems Thinking; Constructivist Web-Based Learning Envir onm ent; Sust ainable Design;
Inquiry Learning P rocess
A concept of new development process has changed the de-
velopment method by using peopleas center of the develop-
ment especially support on education according to the meeting
resolution of the United Nations at New York in December,
2002. It has the resolution for the year 2005-2014 to be United
Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
(DESD) which says that Education is the best hope of human-
ity in attaining the target of sustain able development”.
Originally, a design would emphasize on designing to solve a
problem and respond to the need of consumers which is to solve
the problem on some points. It does not consider the whole but
the sustainable development would choose resources that can
be used again affecting en viro nmen t t he least an d th e attempt to
connect people to environment by creating sustainable l ifestyle
and help to solve world’s crisis in various ways. Therefore,
sustainable development is considered as a perfect method in
maintaining quality of life, designed to replace using of non-
environment friendly product. We could say that this sustaina-
ble design is an important process of science and arts of all
fields (Jan is Biakeland , 2002) (Stuart Walker, 2006) (Carlos A.
V. Costa, 2006)
The development of sustainable education in arts-related
education management changes educational format emphasiz-
ing on creative thinking in solving a problem to be systematic
thinking and holistic view in every related parts which is an
important point of systematic thinking (Joanne Tippett, 2004)
(Sandrine Simon, 2005) (Steve Turner, 2008).
The systems approach is directly related to analysis, synthe-
sis and operation plan. It must be related to the operation me-
thod both on the inside and outside, using an open system and
thinking foundation. It is a way that utilizes scientific method
emphasizing on problems solving, understanding and specify-
ing. Also, the method highlights on information collecting,
choices developing, solution and stipulation in solving prob-
lems. Moreover, it evaluates each choice then chooses the best
solution and evaluates the success of choice operation as well.
Therefore, the arrangement of educational method must em-
phasize on inquiry-based instruction with scientific inquiry that
is necessary for knowledge finding and studying. This discov-
ery is systematic experiment to develop knowledge from crea-
tion of each person, influencing from original knowledge or
experien ce and en viron ment or social cont ext accordin g to con-
struct ivist th eories. These t heori es encour age self-learnin g from
inside thinking of learners as a creators of knowledge from the
relationship with the incident and phenomenon as intellectual
structure on self-knowledge creation theory. Self-knowledge
creation theory is used for learning activity organizing for
learners which encourage learners to create knowledge by
themselves with appropriate l earnin g environment, arran ged b y
instructor. (Mark W. Aull & Bruce M. Shore, 2008) (Biological
Science Curriculum Study, 2006)
The constructivist learning management, characteristics and
symbolic system of the media responding to self-creation
knowledge is web-based learning environment which is the
combination of constructivist theory and media with hyperlink,
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
hypertext or hypermedia. The symbolic system of various me-
dia has influence to understanding or systematic thinking of
learners while learning by using technology as learning envi-
ronment in creating knowledge by themselves. Learners would
act through their own thoughts and could find various answers
(Sumalee Chaicharoen, 2008)
The Theoreti cal Fram e wo rk
Researchers has emphasized on creation of framework, point
of the inspection and analysis of document by using foundation
from education and analyzing theory, research and variables.
We connect the relationship between theory and this research,
then conclude and use as foundation of the study.
Concept 1. The Principle and Theory on Systematic
The thinking method of system theory is the concept on the
foundation of a complex system that has many possibilities. It
considers relationship of various things that it related to. It is a
thinking method that shows how to solve a problem systemati-
cally, e mphasizin g on consid ering at a probl em as a whole. The
format of knowledge finding is directly related to analysis,
synthesis and operation method specification. It must be related
to format on both inside and outside by using an open system as
thinking foundation with the characteristics as follows (Kai
Larsen, 2009) (Learning and people development Institute,
2003).(Bruce Mckenzie,2009) (Pornpan Poompu,2007) (Garry
F. Hoban,2002) (Capra Fritjof,1997) (The Center for Ecolite-
racy,2009) (Wattana Leungleu,2009) (Donella H. Mea-
dows,2008) (Schoderbek,Peter P.and Others,1990)
1) Holistic thinking or wholeness: is an component of the
situation or problem condition of work unit evaluation in the
overall picture.
2) Networks thinking: is the interactive thinking with vari-
ous systems composed as a network of thinking system with
interaction between systems, minor systems and the large sys-
tem with the environment.
3) Hierarchy thi nking: is a system that may originate fro m
the assemble of minor systems which relate to many parts of
system component with boundary.
4) Feedback-Loops thinking: is thinking in loops rather
than linear. Every part is connected directly and indirectly.
5) P at ter n thi n king : the system must be stable in order to be
a principle so that every work process will not deviate from the
overall target of the system. This is a thinking method with
system structure. Each part has its individuality and indepen-
dence but properly connects with each other and performs its
function with other parts in order to achieve the overall system
6) Thinking with adaptation: the various systems will be
adapt ed and tried to create and maintain that bal ance.
Concept 2. The Principle and Theory Relating to
Inquiry Learning Process
7-step cycle learning management using metacognitive moves
means one of learning processes that emphasizes on learners
practice inquiry method by using metacognitive moves includ-
ing intelligibility, plausibility and wide-applicability in teaching
method so that learners can learn to think and develop their
thinking at high level. Each step uses metacognitive moves to
show the ability to think rationally and can evaluate one's own
understanding. (Eisenkraft, 2003) (Bransford, Brown and
Cocking, 2000)(Sumalee Chaicharoen, 2008).
1) Elicitation phase: is to establish a question in order to
stimulate showing of original knowledge for teaching planning.
2) Engagement Phase: is a process of creating and devel-
oping overall thinking, process and skill by conducting survey
and search, exchanging knowledge, inspection or gathering data
on overall thinking which can connect to observation, differen-
tiate variable and questions rel ating to the incident.
3) Exploration Phase: is planning and specifying a way to
survey, inspect, set hypothesis, specify possibility and take
action for information gathering or various phenomenon. The
insp ection method can be don e by many means such as experi-
ment, field activity, using computer to help create simulation
and st udy data from reference and vari ous sources
4) Explanat i on Phas e: is t o an alyze, in terp ret , concl ude data
and propose the result in various forms such as conclusion,
creating of model etc.
5) Expansion Phase/ Elaboration Phase: is to connect the
created knowledge with the original knowledge or the concept
that has been added, utilize the model or summary used in cir-
cumstance or other incidents explanation and help connect with
the various stories and create wider feeling.
6) Evaluation Phase: is to evaluate the study by using vari-
ous processes which lead to knowledge applying in other fields.
7) Extension Phase: is to prepare opportunity for students to
implement the thing that they have learned to gain the highest
benefit i n daily life and u se that knowledge to create the kn ow-
ledge called “learning transfer”.
Concept 3. The Principle and Theory fo r Sustainable
1) Evaluation of environmental impact: The evaluation of
enviro nmental impact is related to p roduct or servi ce. The main
objective of environmental evaluation is to specify the part that
has the most environmental impact in order to solve this prob-
lem for th e entire design process.
2) Resear ch: Product data includes rough details of product,
function and important components, design and characteristics
of production, history of product and development in the past,
production and sources of all compon ents, n ame list of material
used in the product and production process. Important characte-
ristics of products such as association usage, beauty and quality
of product that is environmentally friendly
3) Operation on thinki ng operation: The operational work
can be used to create syste mat ic thinking and vari ous strat egi es
4) Choosing design strategy: According to the foundation
of all this information including environmental evaluation,
analysis of general product and work operation review, design
strategy can be chosen to find conclusion for the beginning of
the design.
5) The actual design process: Regarding the various steps
which include preparation of principle, design details, produc-
tion of model, test and last step of the design after completing
each step, this process would combine the evaluation from the
beginning of the design including potential need, environmental
objective, production point and cost.
Concept 4. The Principle and Theory on Web-Based
Constructivist Learning Env i r onment
Constructivist theory is a theory of active knowing which
emphasi zes on learn ing enviro nments. Learn ing is act ive. It is a
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
process that learners integrate new information with existing
experience or original knowledge of learners. Learning envi-
ronment and diverse concepts are valuable and necessary.
Learners must create their own thinking. Learning is to create
meaning from learners from the thing that learners see or hear
which might be or might not be according to the objective of
instructor. The created meaning from learners has greatly re-
ceived the influence from original knowledge. So it can be
concluded that according to constructivism theory, knowledge
and learning would happen by oneself through interpreting the
things in real world both object and event on the foundation of
experience and knowledge that each person has to create
meaning in the mind. Creating of meaning is continuous
process and a person performs this process. In the learning
situation, learners would establish a hypothesis, inspect and
might change hypothesis while interacting with phenomenon
with other people (Jaithip Na Songkhla, 2007; Sumalee Chai-
charoen, 2008(
Learning environment according to constructivist concept
would use technology as a foundation to create interaction of
learners with the meaning. The important thing is that learners
would interpret and create meaning from experience and inte-
raction with themself. Therefore, if students will apply this
method they must adjust learning strategy to participate in that
project with more meaning and activity that must encourage
survey, test, creation, cooperation learning and result reflect
after the study at the core of constructivist which is learners
must do by themselv es called Active learneror stud ent cen-
tered”. The learning will encourage learners to have the most
experien ce ( J onassen, 1999.(
Jonassen (1999) has proposed the principle in designing
learning environment which is called Constructivist Learning
Environments (CLEs). The principle emphasizes on ability to
solve a problem with complicated structure that highlight on
learning from complicated problem, question or project. The
problem or objective is from active learning. Learning from
experience provides convenience for creating knowledge, ex-
citin g l ear ning and emph as izing on reality.
CLEs principle has concept on arranging problematic envi-
ronment project in various context. It is a force for learners who
want to learn by arranging a case study relating to that problem
so that learners can relate the knowledge from that sample and
adjust it to a problematic condition. There is data source for
learners to study and understand the problem and then propose
the result that might happen and use cognitive tool to help
learners interpret and act with the problem which would pro-
vide convenience to learners in solving a problem. Moreover,
there is still cooperation tool to solve a problem that learners
can communicate and help managing the structure of problem
with meani ng in o rd er to create l earn in g soci ety and arr ange for
social supporting source that has condition of context in a real
life. So that learn ers would learn with meanin g and can be used
in real life. The main features of the web-based constructivist
learning environment are as follows:
1) Context: The context including
Authentic Contexts: Maintain context in real life that has
perfect situation from a viewpoint of designer who must ar-
range environment of learning center that give an opportu-
nity to learners to reflect on thoughts or various viewpoints
Authentic Activities: Give an opportunity to learners to
search and find news source, related information. The cha-
racteristics of the said mission can integrate into different
fields to reflect the complication and related characteristics,
connection and relation (ill structure nature) with the prob-
lem that happens in r eal life.
2) Resource: It is a source for various materials that supports
learning, starting from electronic media such as database, CAI
and video to printing materials such as books, texts, general
information, magazine, article and including people such as
experts and a group of friend. While the media on the network,
is a place that can gather diverse resource.
3) Tool: Processing Tool including
Seeking Tool: helps inquiry and choose related inform a tion
Collecting tool: learners gather sources according to their
target. This tool will support by helping on collecting, ga-
therin g potential information which can be reached easily.
Organization Tool: helps learners to propose relationship
between various concepts.
Integrating Tool: helps learners to connect new information
with existing knowledge.
Generation tool: would stimulate learners to create some-
thing for develop the design.
Manipulation tool: is a tool that is used to test validity or
survey the power of explanation in order to promote the ad-
justment of format structure used for understanding.
Communication tool: would help encourage learners trying
to be creative and exchange between learners, teachers and
4) Scaffolding: It is the process which supported learning
can segregate the difference by functional mechanism and the
mechanical operational syste m which would emphasize on method
or principle. The scaffolding would propose when the working
system emphasize an objective, scaffolding format as follows
Conceptual scaffolding: will be arranged from learners when
a studying problem has been specified which is to externally
impose or to bring into the context when a problem and
scope has been specified. It might be possible to use a
principle that has been learnt before as necessary thing in
content scope wanted to study. To separate the knowledge,
it is important that overall thinking relating to the problem
or creating of structure by separating into important overall
concept relating to a problem or structure, would be divided
into categorizatio n of overall concep t
Metacognitive Scaffolding: would help the process relating
to knowledge management of each person. This scaffolding
would manage the thinking concept during learning of me-
tacogni tive scaffolding. It might stimulate learners to reflect
the target or connect to resource with the tool when the con-
text is known and would deal with the problem or necessity
in the operation of the problem.
Procedural Scaffolding: is a way to use existing resource
and tool that will be related to characteristics of system and
operation. Moreover, it would give advice to learners during
Strategic S caffoldin g: is a way th at emphasizes on a method
that might prove to be beneficial. Strategic Scaffolding
would support analytical thinking, planning, strategy creat-
ing, decision-making. Strategy during an open learning
would emphasize on the method to specify and choose in-
formation that needed to evaluate acquired resource and
connect relationship with existing knowledge.
The learning method according to constructivist theory will
not only help respond to contemporary learning and expand the
learnin g sco pe ever ywhere b u t also h elp expand the ed ucat ional
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
opportunity from data source on the network and stimulate
learners to communicate in society. Characteristics of multi-
dimensional media can connect with other learning sources
widely. It can find answers diversely to solve problems during
learning with clear target and to learning on both time and non-
time coordination by using resource and potential of the media
in order to make learners learn with meaning through learning
strategy of creating knowledge. Learning with meaning is im-
portant and technology will be used in coordination and support
one another. In other words, technology is like context or envi-
ronment for learning. Those environments would be supported
from technology in a way of cognitive learning that enhances
thinking of learners which would affect the learning of learner.
Technology would support activity that would help learners to
learn with meaning.
Management of the teaching of arts in university level has
specified the necessity in producing a graduate who has skill in
specific profession and can search knowledge by themselves
continuously. The graduate should emphasize on design to
solve market, social o r environ mental p roblem and be a design-
er who is responsible for society. However, in the arts council
nowadays, it still lacks of clarity in this aspect. From that rea-
son and importance, the study and enhancement of teaching
method for sustainable development by using inquiry learning
process according to the constructivist learning environment
managemen t in order to devel op web-based s ystematic th inking
skill in arts design work for students in bachelor degree level. It
has to use learning process of student as a center to design a
web -based learning environment that can be used as a medium
to develop systematic thinking skill. This finding will lead to a
development quality of student in Applied Art Design creating
their work in a sustainable way.
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