Learning in a Complex World

Mark Olssen
Vol 30, Number 1, p.11
Today while there exists a multitude of different approaches and research centres across the globe, complexity research is generating a quiet revolution in both the physical and social sciences. One interest in the approach is that it liberates philosophy and social science from the prison-house of a constraining scientific past based on linear determinism, reductionism and methodological individualism. Another is that it presents a view of science that supports the social sciences claims that history and culture are important. This paper will endeavour to introduce complexity as an approach to both the physical and social sciences, presenting its main common features, and having done so, outline and critically assess the implications for learning and education. It will conclude by assessing the implications of complexity perspective for a normative global ethics of education.