I’ve been chewing over Borderland’s post on Emergence, in which he makes the point that the classroom is a complex system.

A good (long and crunchy) introduction to complexity theory can be found here.

Another blog I frequent that’s intensely interested in complex systems is Dave Pollard’s How to Save the World, and, as it happens, he’s also recently put up a post on emergence.

I remember the importance of systems thinking first hitting me when I read Peter Senge’s Fifth Discipline. His book Schools That Learn has been sitting on my “to finish” bookshelf forever. The big takeaway I remember is the importance of finding and (gingerly) applying points of leverage — with the attitude that living, breathing dynamic systems are like spinning plates, requiring constant observation, reflection, and vigilance.

Important to remember as I put together my grandiose plans for the year. You prep and prep, think and think, but then you just have to let it fly and let it go.


2 thoughts on “Emergence

  1. Tom, amazing how many of my key interests you hit on in that short a paragraph. Senge was a big part of influencing my thinking too, after I learned about Systems Thinking from Daniel Quinn initially. And the concept of emergence is what I’m all about too, so much so I named my company, Emergent Associates. I use a lot of Systems Thinking concepts in my work with that. You might like my page on Systems Thinking too. Great stuff, my friend.


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