complexity science and physics teaching and learning l.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
Complexity Science and Physics Teaching and Learning PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
Complexity Science and Physics Teaching and Learning

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 45

Complexity Science and Physics Teaching and Learning - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 196 Views
  • Uploaded on

Complexity Science and Physics Teaching and Learning Rachel F. Moll University of British Columbia, Department of Curriculum Studies An Example Learning Context The Physics Olympics

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Complexity Science and Physics Teaching and Learning' - PamelaLan


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
complexity science and physics teaching and learning

Complexity Science and Physics Teaching and Learning

Rachel F. Moll

University of British Columbia, Department of Curriculum Studies

an example learning context
An Example Learning Context

The Physics Olympics

  • Teams of five Grade 11 and 12 students compete in an all day Physics competition with hands on, laboratory based activities
  • Two pre-built designs that students complete before arriving
presentation outline
Presentation Outline

Three Parts:

  • Why study complexity?
  • Qualities of Complex Systems
  • Teaching and Complex Systems
why study complexity
Why study complexity?

“What kind of science had to be taught to brilliant scientists in the 1980s and 1990s?” George A. Cowan, 1983

“Science that can deal with the real messy world, which is not elegant”

Complexity Science!

who is using complexity
Who is using complexity?

Phenomena

  • the collapse of the USSR,
  • trends in a stock market,
  • the rise of life on earth,
  • the evolution of the eye,
  • creativity and intelligence,
  • the emergence of ‘mind’

Fields

  • Cybernetics/Information Science
  • Economics
  • Ecology
  • Biology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Science
  • Physics
current trends in complexity science
Current Trends in Complexity Science

Many of the most popular non fiction books are complexivist in nature. For example:

Collapse (2005) Jared Diamond

The World is Flat (2005)Thomas Friedman

Blink (2005)and The Tipping Point (2000)Malcolm Gladwell

Emergence (2001) Steven Johnson

Descartes’ Error (1994) Antonio Damasio

The Hidden Connections (2002) Fritjof Capra

complexity theory and education
Complexity Theory and Education

Some debates in education:

  • teacher-centred vs. student-centred classrooms
  • individual vs. collective
  • work vs. play
  • nature vs. nurture
  • skills vs. conceptual understanding

What do these have in common?

complexity and education
Complexity and Education

Common Ground

  • Conception of learner —

as solitary, self-contained individual

  • Conception of teaching —

in terms of causal influence

  • Conception of curriculum —

in terms of direct(ed) movement

  • Conception of formal education —

in terms of predetermined outcomes

what is complexity
What is Complexity?

Complexity scientists make a key distinction between complicated and complex phenomena.

complicated vs complex
Complicated vs Complex
  • Adaptive (Darwin)
  • Ecosystem metaphors
  • Cyclical imagery
  • Feedback loops
  • Sufficiency oriented
  • Growth minded
  • Non compressible
  • Mechanical (Newton)
  • Machine metaphors
  • Linear imagery
  • Input/output flows
  • Efficiency oriented
  • Progress minded
  • Reducible
complex systems13
Complex Systems…

… arise in the interactions of many autonomous agents/elements, which collectively manifest properties not exhibited by the agents/elements independently.

…are learning systems.

qualities of complex learning systems
Qualities of Complex (Learning) Systems

self-organizing/emergent,

far-from-equilibrium,

recursively elaborative,

nested,

scale independent.

slide15

Self-Organizing/Emergent

Coherent unities arise without the

need for a centralized controller.

far from equilibrium

Dynamic Equilibrium

Disequilibrium

Far-From-Equilibrium

Complex systems do not operate in balance; equilibrium implies death for such a system.

slide17

An illustration of Far-from-Equilibrium

Severe Congestive Heart Failure

Healthy Heart

Severe Congestive Heart Failure

Cardiac Arrhythmia, Atrial Fibrillation

recursively elaborate
Recursively Elaborate
  • Learning systems do not progress along linear trajectories
  • They unfold by constantly invoking established and new associations
  • Curriculum can be thought of as recursively elaborate, not linear or cyclical
recursive elaboration activity
Recursive Elaboration Activity
  • Choose a specific atom (seed)
  • Situate the atom in a molecule
  • Situate the molecule in a simple organism
  • Describe a structure the organism is a part of
nested and scale independent

Complex forms unfold from and are enfolded in one another.

Whether magnified or reduced, complex forms maintain a constant bumpiness of detail.

Nested and Scale Independent
an example nested system learners

Complex forms unfold from and are enfolded in one another.

Whether magnified or reduced, complex forms maintain a constant bumpiness of detail.

An example nested system: Learners
complexity and teaching
Complexity and Teaching

Some qualities of complex systems offer suggestions for pedagogy.

  • Diversity and redundancy
  • Neighbour interactions and Decentralization
  • Feedback Loops
  • Enabling Constraints
diversity
Diversity
  • All complex collectives have abundant diversity.
  • Diversity is the source of a system’s flexible response—its intelligence.
  • It may be necessary to create conditions for the expression of diversity.
  • Teachers have to think through how diversity will be expressed and preserved.
  • The diversity of responses from the collective will exceed those of any individual.
  • Favorite methods to represent diverse interpretations on posters, whiteboards or clickers.
redundancy
Redundancy
  • Possibility for collective coherence requires commonalities among participants.
  • Contributes to a system’s robustness.

In the classroom:

  • The teacher must ask, “What common experiences are needed for this to work?”
  • Formal schooling turns out to be really good at ensuring redundancy among agents …
  • … because it’s been the principal (and often the exclusive) focus for centuries.
neighbour interactions
Neighbour Interactions
  • The agents of the system need to “bump up” against one another.
  • In a knowledge-producing system, the “agents” aren’t people, but ideas.
  • There has to be a “critical mass” of ideas/agents in order to start a reaction.
slide33

Decentralized Control

Theorists have identified three types of networks:

DECENTRALIZED

DISTRIBUTED

CENTRALIZED

slide34

DecentralizedControl

Theorists have identified three types of networks:

The centralized network has

the advantage of efficient

communication,

but the disadvantage of not

being very robust.

CENTRALIZED

slide35

Decentralized Control

Theorists have identified three types of networks:

The distributed network has

the advantage of being very

robust,

but the disadvantage of poor

communication.

DISTRIBUTED

slide36

Decentralized Control

Theorists have identified three types of networks:

… balancing efficient communication with a robust structure …

… especially when weak links are figured in.

The decentralized network is the “fingerprint” of a complex (learning) system/collective.

It’s “just right” …

DECENTRALIZED

feedback loops
Feedback Loops
  • Recursive processes that either amplify (positive) or dampen (negative)
  • Nonlinear -- i.e., not to be confused with behavioral psychology’s “feedback” conditioning mechanisms
  • Two examples of positive feedback in classrooms are wait time, emotioning and expectations.
positive feedback loops wait time

Initial Prompt

Positive Feedback Loops – Wait Time

Suitable Pause

Deeper Question

Deeper Response

Further Thought

positive feedback loops wait time39
Positive Feedback Loops – Wait Time

Suitable Pause

Deeper Question

Deeper Response

Further Thought

positive feedback loops emotioning

Teacher Enthusiasm

Teacher Mirroring

Student Mirroring

Student

Enthusiasm

Positive Feedback Loops –Emotioning
enabling constraints
Enabling Constraints
  • Pedagogically they are about imposing sufficient limits to orient learners and sufficient freedom to allow for the emergence of the unexpected
  • Examples:

Design activities

Physics Olympics

Problem Based Learning

teaching complexity
Teaching Complexity
  • Free software available for modeling complex systems
  • NetLogo
  • Traffic systems, ants, ecosystems, turbulence, etc…
  • Can design your own or use existing models.
complexity and education43
Complexity and Education
  • Conception of learner — as solitary, self-contained individual
  • Conception of learner —an ever adaptive unity
  • Conception of teaching — in terms of causal influence
  • Conception of teaching — as consciousness of that unity
  • Conception of curriculum — in terms of direct(ed) movement
  • Conception of curriculum — as recursively elaborative
  • Conception of formal education — in terms of predetermined outcomes
  • Conception of formal education — expanding the space of the possible
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Complexity thinking is different way to look at and think about teaching and learning
  • Can be used as a research tool
  • Has pragmatic recommendations for both curriculum and pedagogy
thank you
Thank You

For more information, references and reading list please pick up a handout.

rfmoll@gmail.com

www.complexityandeducation.ualberta.ca