This article considers the challenge of sustainable change and development in education from the perspective of complexity theory. Complexity theory’s concept of emergence implies that, given a significant degree of complexity in a particular environment, new properties and behaviours emerge that are not necessarily contained in the essence of the constituent elements, or easily able to be predicted from a knowledge of initial conditions. These concepts of emergent phenomena from a critical mass, associated with notions of lock-in, path dependence, and inertial momentum, contribute to a perspective on continuity and change that indicates what conditions might need to be in place for the emergence of sustainable, positive, system-wide change and development in education. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier.
CitationMason, M. (2009). Making educational development and change sustainable: Insights from complexity theory. International Journal of Educational Development, 29(2), 117-124.
- Educational development
- Educational change
- Complexity theory