This year I will focus my efforts on the design of learning environments that are complex – adaptive, emergent, self-organizing, chaotic and personal. As a project description at TU Delft states:
In these situations system content, system structure and system boundaries shift and evolve without any global or central coordinator. Instead, order and regularity emerge from widely distributed bottom-up interactions of subsystems, some with centralized control and others fully distributed.
I am particularly interested in complex adaptive systems in the context of learning because I think that is how learning really is. Somewhere in this area is hidden Illich’s “institutional inverse”, the need to combat Friere’s “culture of silence”, to think of learning as making connections and knowledge as the network. Somewhere in this exercise is the continued feeling of being “continually inspired to change”, the mnemonic for a revolution. Many memes will form part of this discussion.
One such meme shall be open-ness. This will relate to both the extent and nature of open-ness within the system as well that outside the system, and specific mechanisms to initiate, alter or transition to a state of “open-ness”. Another meme shall be self-organization. Equally important will be the meme of “evolution’ – of people, ideas and networks.
I shall also investigate the meme of “flexible boundaries” – boundaries that allow dynamic reconfiguration of the contours of, well everything. Closely related will be the memes of “control” and “structure”.
An important meme shall be that of “language” – the language of learning itself. I think a new vocabulary is definitely required if we are to think afresh. And there may be more that I may discover or abandon as I go along.