The IOP Nonlinear and Complex Physics Group and the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Philosophy of Education Special Interest Group co-hosted a one day conference on complexity and education. It took place on Wednesday 26th July 2017, in Room 828, UCL Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL
Further details can be found here: https://www.bera.ac.uk/event/complexity-and-education
The event attracted more than 40 people from across disciplines and from across Europe, and a broad range of issues was discussed, in education and beyond.
The submitted papers can be found here. Please note that speakers went beyond these papers in the seminar however.
Anyone familiar with education knows that it is a complex undertaking, involving the interaction of myriad influences and concerns. Over the last few decades however, the term ‘complex’ has taken on new meaning in both the natural and social sciences, denoting how the interplay of dynamic elements results in the emergence of patterns and meanings that cannot be predicted by considering those elements in isolation.
|13.00||Welcome and introductions, refreshments|
|13.20||Paper 1: An Introduction – The Case for Complexity in
Education, followed by 10 mins initial questions
|14.00||Paper 2: Curriculum and Complexity: A Different
Imaginary, followed by 10 mins initial questions
|15.10||Paper 3: Complexity and the Characterisation of Learning Complexity and the Characterisation of Learning,
followed by 10 mins initial questions
|15.50||Paper 4: Assessment Policy, ‘ Readiness for School ’ and a
Complexity View of Time, followed by initial questions
|16.30||Chaired questions and discussion|
|17.55||Completion of evaluation forms|
|18.00||Wine reception and networking event|
|20.00||Close of event|
A number of delegates have asked about further reading in complexity in education, and in the social sciences more broadly. Some good starting places might be:
Complexity in Education
Cilliers, P. (1998) Complexity and postmodernism: understanding complex systems. London: Routledge. (available as a pdf here) – Paul was a key figure in bringing together complexity and insights from social discourses.
Stacey, R. (2003) Complexity and Group Processes. Hove: Brunner-Routledge. – Ralph Stacey is a leading figure in the consideration of complexity in organisations.
[I would propose that there are subtle differences in the way that Cilliers, Byrne and Stacey have interpreted complexity in social systems, and these different strands are reflected in contemporary research].
The E: Co Journal is an open access journal which hosts a wide ranging discussion about the applications of complexity theory to organisations: https://journal.emergentpublications.com/