Global Systems Science (GSS) is an interdisciplinary, integrated course for high school
students, based at 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 co-evolution 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
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 society.
Self-Organizing Systems (SOS) is a resource created by the originators of GSS (Richard Golden and Cary Sneider). It is a valuable concept to help students achieve a coherent view of the world/universe, an understanding of connections throughout nature, and an appreciation the unity of all scientific endeavor. Systems is a theme that all national science education reform programs embrace. To explore how these ideas can be easily woven into your teaching, read the article by Richard and Cary and visit the SOS website.
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.
This 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 books.
See GSS Licensing Options for details.
See also Strategies for Computer Use with GSS
See also about the GSS convenient Combined Online and Hardcopy Design that makes reading GSS books very easy in with hard copy or on computer displays.
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
For a considerably more "anti-computer" perspective, see the article "
Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Children and Computers - Alliance for Childhood."