Complexity Theory and the Philosophy of Education

Complexity as an approach to knowledge and knowledge systems now recognizes both the growth of global systems architectures in (tele)communications and information with the development of open knowledge production systems that increasingly rest not only on the establishment of new and better platforms , the semantic web, new search algorithms and processes of digitization but also social processes and policies that foster  openness as an overriding value as evidenced in the growth of open source, open access and open education and their convergences that characterize global knowledge communities that transcend borders of the nation-state.

Complexity theory offers some useful insights into the nature of continuity and change, and is thus of considerable interest in both the philosophical and practical understanding of educational and institutional change. Complexity theory’s notion of  emergence  implies that, given a significant degree of complexity in a particular environment, or  critical mass, new properties and behaviours emerge that are not contained in the essence of the constituent elements, or able to be predicted from a knowledge of initial conditions. These concepts of emergent phenomena from a critical mass, associated with notions of  lock-in,  path dependence, and  inertial momentum, contribute to an understanding of continuity and change that has not hitherto been readily available in other theories of or perspectives on change.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
This entry was posted in Complexity, Complexity & change, Complexity & education, Complexity & learning, Complexity theory, Education and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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