Using Complexity Theory to Support Curricular, Pedagogical and Professional Developments in Scottish Physical Education

Michael Jess, Matthew Atencio, Malcolm Thorburn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper describes how complexity theory principles relating to self-emergence and connectivity have been employed to inform our recent developmental work in Scottish physical education. We suggest that these complexity principles have purchase in postmodern times characterised by uncertainty, multiplicity, and contradiction (Fernandez-Balboa, 1997). We cite examples from the development and delivery of a Developmental Physical Education Programme in Scotland to assert that complex learning principles (Light, 2008; Morrison, 2008) can be employed to structure curriculum and pedagogy endeavours. These examples from practice highlight the ways in which a complexity-oriented learning approach provides a challenge to hierarchical, reductionist, and
behaviourist notions of learning which have long held a strong foothold in the field of physical education (Light, 2008). At the same time, we pay attention to critical questions which have been raised regarding the practicality of structuring educational practice with emerging theories such as complexity theory (Davis & Sumara, 2006).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAustralian Association for Research in Education 2008 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 30 Nov 20084 Dec 2008

Conference

ConferenceAustralian Association for Research in Education 2008
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityBrisbane
Period30/11/084/12/08

Keywords

  • Complexity Theory
  • Ecological Theory
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Social Constructivism
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy
  • Physical Education

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