Complex Systems And Educational Change: Towards A New Research Agenda


Lemke, J. L., & Sabelli, N. H. (2008). Complex Systems and Educational Change: Towards a new research agenda. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 40 (1), 118-129.


How might we usefully apply concepts and procedures derived from the study of other complex dynamical systems to analyzing systemic change in education? In this article we begin to define possible agendas for research toward developing systematic frameworks and shared terminology for such a project. We illustrate the plausibility of defining such frameworks and raise the question of the relation between such frameworks and the crucial task of aggregating data across ‘systemic experiments’, such as those conducted under the Urban Systemic Initiative sponsored by the US National Science Foundation. Our discussion includes a review of key issues identified by groups of researchers regarding (1) Defining the System, (2) Structural Analysis, (3) Relationships Among Subsystems and Levels, (4) Drivers for Change, and (5) Modeling Methods.

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