Papers & Workshops



Classrooms: Complex Adaptive Systems


Martin Keogh

Principal, St. Joseph's School, Orbost, Victoria, Australia

As the education community struggles to come to terms with the multiplicity of issues for both the profession and those we seek to educate, it is becoming apparent that teachers require new ways to represent their work. The current/predominant manner in which teachers describe their work is steeped in a scientific method characterised by impersonal and lineal descriptions. As a result many teachers are predisposed to thinking and conceptualising their work within a framework that is not appropriate in a postmodernist era in which student identities and experiences are informed by local, nationalist, corporate and global information. As the science of chaos and complexity has developed, its applicability to educative sites seems to have increased. Complexity and connectionism create practical opportunities for one to describe and plan 'possibilities' within the social system of a classroom. In pedagogical terms this may provide a conceptual springboard from which teachers might transcend constricting practices that dominate the administration of curriculum.
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000