…In contrast complex systems are based on relationships, and their properties of self-organisation, interconnectedness, and evolution. They cannot be understood solely by simple or complex approaches to evidence, policy, planning and management. The metaphor that Glauberman and Zimmerman uses for complex system is like raising a child. Formulae have little application. Raising a child provides experience but do not assure success with the next. Every child is unique and must be understood as such. Outcomes are uncertain. You can not separate the parts from the whole. The solution to problems most of the times emerge from within the family and involve values. In complicated systems we can build their parts and then put them together in order to create the system. They are often engineered. Instead we cannot create a complex adaptive system (CAS) from scratch and expect to turn out just how we expected.
I am trying to find the theoretical framework for my research project. Education, which is my main interest is not an easy construct to define. If the construct is not clear the research outcomes, the findings are not clear either. In the search of a compelling definition that includes the organic part of it I found “Complexity” a possible candidate to frame my research with.
Some readings so forth:
The complexity of learning I
The complexity of learning II
And to complement lets see what is science for some interesting scientists?
From Maria Popova in Brainpickings
All of science is uncertain and subject to revision. The glory of science is to imagine more than we can prove.
The scientist is not a persona who gives the right answers, he is one who asks the right questions.
Science does not purvey absolute truth, science is a mechanism. It’s a system for testing your knowledge of nature, it’s a system for testing your thoughts against the universe and seeing whether they match.
Thinking about trying to find answer to my RQ with a new methodology. In some way being original could be sorting out a new methodology. As I am looking into a complex ecosystem of many particular cases, using lots of resources, acting and interacting influenced by their particular character and also with different teachers, it would be very much in favour of the research to look at the data with a complexity framework. Working in a social domain, not a scientific one.
Looking into the paper: Leslye Kuhn (2008). Complexity and educational research. A critical reflexion. Educational Philosophy and Theory, Vol. 40, No. 1. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-5812.2007.00398.x. University of Western Sidney.
Complexity offers a way to envisaging and working with complex phenomena.
‘Nothing is without being in relation, and that every thing is the way that it is -in terms and virtue of rationality. The author is bringing to life a complexity approach to social inquiry.
Her usage, complexity constitutes an umbrella description under which researchers have grouped a set of new scientific theories sharing the idea that while certain phenomena appear to be chaotic or random, they are actually part of a larger coherent process (see also Wolfram, 2002; Kauffman, 1995). So the particular case may seem chaotic but the general process which serves as an umbrella could be a coherent process.
Complexity has been brought to many fields, among them, education (Morin, 2001)
The nature of research:
A researcher seeks to be: Clearly focussed, rigorous, ethically defensible, and valid; research is never neutral and totally objective.
Underpinning our research are basic assumptions: What is the nature of reality? What can we know ? (ontology), How can we know it? (epistemology) . Beliefs, values and aspirations are also in this list.
If one believes that knowledge about the world can be objective, then research is taken as generating foundational knowledge. Instead, if we take research as an activity done by socially interacting individuals employing various frames of reference that orient meaningful activity, research is constituted by discourse and embedded within it creating identifiable cultures of inquiry–> What is that??
She speaks of the quiet revolution of qualitative research.
She says: In contrast, in more recent years, (‘now’) it seems researchers: d) Identify the discourse with which they wish to place their research approach; e) Demonstrate coherence between their ontological, epistemological and axiological (values) assumptions; and, f) Take for granted the ‘primacy of practice’ (Ulrich, 1994), where the situation under investigation is taken as guiding the choice of research methodology/methods/ techniques, rather than a desire to attain and maintain methodological purity.
Doing so involves depth of thinking, whereby a number of significant questions may be asked: Why do I prefer these research conversations above others? What ethos or disposition do I champion? What form of life do I exemplify or contribute to?
Complexity offers metaphor that can explain or allow the researcher to make sense without being bound with linearity or certainty (Kuhn, 2005). The habit of thought desired in complexity includes a recognition of complex causality or more specifically an eco-auto-causality where autocausality means recursive causality in which the organising process elaborates the products, actions, and effects necessary for its creation or regeneration (Morin, 1992, pp. 130–131).
In other words, complexity recognises a tightly bound, mutually inducing, pairing of cause and effect.
Cause and effect are mutually induced. ??? The nature of the world and sense-making are dynamic and emergent. Complexity depicts the world as self-organising , non linear, sensitive to initial conditions and influenced by many sets of rules. Human evolution is radically unpredictable. Humans beings are depicted as self-referential and reflexive, and human enterprise as responsive and participatory.
Complexity and education can be brought together because educational endeavour are complex and dynamic. Individual human beings (students, teacher, administrators) various associations of individuals (School, universities, ed association) and human endeavour (ed. research) are multidimensional, non-linear, interconnected, far from equilibrium and unpredictable. A research methodology in an educational endeavour must acknowledge such complexity.
In 1871, E.B.Taylor defined culture or civilisation as the complex whole that includes knowledge, beliefs, art, moral, law custom and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of a society.
A complexity view is that ‘in human beings, as in other living creatures, the whole is present within the parts; every cell of a multicellular organism contains the totality of its genetic patrimony, and society inasmuch as a whole is present within every individual in his language, knowledge, obligations and standards’ (Morin, 2001, p. 31).
In human beings the whole is present within the parts. Every cell contains the totality of its genetic patrimony. Society as a whole is present within every individual in his language, knowledge, obligations and standards. GOOD IDEA!!!
Semetsky (2005): Not by breadth alone: imagining a self organising classroom.
She argues that no matter how the classroom functions, self-organising is the normal state of the affairs.
[…]To not confuse ‘is and ought’ would be to ask something like, ‘
If we conceive of a classroom as self-organising, how might we participate to promote better coherence between the self-organisation of the students and the aims of the educative institution?’.
Still to understand better and I think to look for more references.
Here is one to start with: About the outdated Newtonian paradigm in education and complexity and a complexity science of learning: How far are we from a paradigm shift?
How can the learning science inform the design of 21st century learning environments?
What should teaching, schooling and learning look like in the rapidly changing world? At the same time empirical research on how people learn, how the mind and brain develop, how interests form and how people differ in all these has expanded. This science of learning . Schools should in all times leverage knowledge about learning, the future generation will more likely become the powerful learner, skilled workers and engaged citizens a society needs. This booklet provides guidance to do that. It provides a powerful knowledge base for the design of learning environments for the 21st century.
This document can offer effective guidelines to designers of learning spaces.