Perspectives on Rethinking and Reforming Education

The Emergence of Complexity

Rethinking Education as a Social Science

Authors: Hager, Paul, Beckett, David

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  • Provides new understandings of current debates around the nature of practice, agency and expertise 
  • An innovative and timely analysis of relational perspectives as exemplified by complexity and emergence   
  • Provokes new ways of thinking about organizational learning, professional learning and lifelong learning
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Hardcover $109.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-31837-6
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About this book

This book centres on a broadened view of complexity that will enrich engagement with complexity in the social sciences. The key idea is to employ complexity theory to develop a holistic account of practice, agency and expertise. In doing so, the book acknowledges and builds upon the relational character of reductive accounts. It draws upon recent theoretical work on complexity, emergence and relationality to develop a novel account of practice, agency and expertise in and for workplaces. Biological, psychological and social aspects of these are integrated. This novel account overcomes problems in current views of practice, agency and expertise, which suffer from reductive, or fragmented, analyses, based upon individuals, groups, or networks. In retrieving the experiential richness of human activity – often esteemed as the basis of generative and creative life – this book shows how complexity both emerges from, and is, a non-reductive feature of, human experience, especially in daily work.

“…an ambitiously wide-ranging volume, questioning the key tenets of respected approaches ….. and offering ….. ‘novel accounts’, which draw on features of complexity thinking…. …But they go further than any of us in their argument that: ‘whatever reductive moves are made, they ‘flow’ from holistic accounts of relationality which have already affectively engaged the purposes of a co-present group.’ This is the intellectual contribution that is built consistently and persuasively across the chapters.” 
Professor Emerita Anne Edwards, Oxford University

"Hager and Beckett have written a book that will challenge more commonly held notions of agency, practice, skills, and learning. Centering their argument on complexity theory or, as they prefer, complexity thinking, Hager and Beckett argue that it is through relations that we raise questions about, gather data from, and make working sense of the complexity that surrounds us. Groups then, particularly small groups, hold and implement agentive power. And what the authors call co-present groups—ones in which holistic relationality occurs socially, and affectively in distinctive places—“draw us closer to each other, and harness our normativity by enabling negotiability and reason-giving.” If your field of study involves anything remotely sociocultural in nature or if you are just interested in the complex ways we engage as humans with our worlds, you should find a place for this book in your library."
Bob Fecho, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York NY, USA

About the authors

Paul Hager is Emeritus Professor of Education at University of Technology, Sydney. His books include Beckett & Hager (2002) Life, Work and Learning: Practice in Postmodernity (Routledge), Hager & Halliday (2006) Recovering Informal Learning: Wisdom, Judgement and Community (Springer), Hager & Holland (eds.) (2006) Graduate Attributes, Learning and Employability (Springer), and Hager, Lee & Reich (eds.) (2012) Practice, Learning and Change: Practice-theory Perspectives on Professional Learning. Professional and Practice-based Learning book series Vol. 8 (Springer). Paul is a Fellow of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia. In 2013 Educational Philosophy and Theory published a special issue celebrating his work.

David Beckett retired at the end of 2017 from The University of Melbourne, where he was most recently a Professor, and Deputy Dean, in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. As well as the 2002 book with Paul Hager, in 2010, Educational Research: Creative Thinking and Doing (O’Toole and Beckett) was published by Oxford University Press, with a second edition in 2013. He is a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders, and a Fellow of the Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-31839-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-31837-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Emergence of Complexity
Book Subtitle
Rethinking Education as a Social Science
Authors
Series Title
Perspectives on Rethinking and Reforming Education
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-31839-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-31839-0
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-31837-6
Series ISSN
2366-1658
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 280
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics