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How is the body’s systemic nature manifested amongst high school biology students?
This study follows two groups of students (67 in all) through the 3 years of their high school biology education and examines the development of their systems thinking - specifically their models of the human body as a system. Both groups were composed of biology majors, but the students in one group also participated in a PBLbased extension program called “Medical Systems”. Data was gathered by means of concept maps, which the students completed at four strategic stages of the learning process: beginning of 10th grade, end of 10th grade, end of 11th grade and end of 12th grade. At the end of the 3 year learning process, the students’ showed more complex system models. They included a wider range of concepts in their maps, spanning hierarchy levels ranging from the molecular and cellular to the system level. We also found an increase in references to dynamic interactions, but this did not encourage the students to use cellular level processes when explaining phenomena that occur at the systems level. The impact of the PBL teaching method was strongly evident in the complexity of the Medical Systems program students’ concept maps, which heavily emphasized “hierarchy” and “diseases” as system characteristics.
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The main function of the circulatory system is to transport nutrients and gasses to cells and tissues throughout the body. This is accomplished by the circulation of blood. Two components of this system are the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems.
The cardiovascular system is comprised of the heart, blood, and blood vessels. The beating of the heart drives the cardiac cycle which pumps blood throughout the body.
The lymphatic system is a vascular network of tubules and ducts that collect, filter and return lymph to blood circulation. As a component of the immune system, the lymphatic system produces and circulates immune cells called lymphocytes. The lymphatic organs include the lymph vessels, lymph nodes, thymus, spleen, and tonsils.