Judgements concerning proper or appropriate educational endeavour, methods of investigation and philosophising about education necessarily implicate perspectives, values, assumptions and beliefs. In recent years ideas from the complexity sciences have been utilised in many domains including psychology, economics, architecture, social science and education. This paper addresses questions concerning the appropriateness of utilising complexity science in educational research as well as issues relating to the ways in which complexity might be engaged. I suggest that, just like all human endeavour, approaches to research emerge out of discursive communities and can be understood as self-organising, dynamic and emergent over time. In this formulation, complexity represents one such newly emergent approach. I argue that it is important that researchers partake in critical and reﬂective discourse about the nature of education and conceptual frameworks, as well as about impacts and legacies of utilising complexity, so as to participate in and influence the ongoing emergence of educational endeavour. I conclude by suggesting a series of caveats for researchers considering using complexity in educational research.
Research Professor on society, culture, art, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, neuroscience, autopoiesis, self-organization, complexity, systems, networks, rhizomes, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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