October 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Table of Contents (PDF)
Why is the education system so resistant to change? How does change in education occur? When change does happen, what does it take to make it sustainable? Social scientists, and social and education policy makers, are beginning to frame their understanding of these questions in terms of complexity theory. Developed initially as an approach to the fields of physics, biology, chemistry and economics, complexity theory is now being applied more broadly to the social sciences and to the study of education.
Complexity theory takes the view that complex systems are best regarded in their entirety-as wholes. It is a theory that engages with dynamic systems or ecologies, with the complex web of interrelated and contingent factors that contribute to particular outcomes or phenomena.
This volume provides an accessible theoretical introduction to the topic of complexity theory while considering its broader implications for educational change. Essays from a distinguished group of experts illuminate the contributions of complexity theory to the philosophy of education, curriculum theory and practice, and educational research. The book will challenge many prevailing viewpoints in education and provide new insights into our understanding of education.