A Language School as a Complex System

A Language School as a Complex System is a monograph based on my doctoral thesis. In this book, I suggest that complex systems theory can help us think about language education. To make this point, I conducted a major research project, which followed a language school through a period of transition, and I used complex systems theory to describe my findings. The book was published by Peter Lang in 2018.

Photo of the book, A Language School as a Complex System, among other books on a shelp
A Language School as a Complex System

Overview

In the book, I describe how a language school in Greece attempted to reform its curriculum, and why this effort did not work out exactly as planned. Using this case study as an example, I suggest that complex systems theory can help us to understand aspects of language education that are neither completely predictable nor entirely random.

The description of the school contains four substantive parts, which I argue must be present whenever a complex system is described:

Using a language school in Greece as an example, I suggest we can think of the school as a complex dynamic system. I then go on to present such a description, which I argue should contain four components:

  • a delineation of all the forms of teaching and learning conceivably available to the school (its state space);
  • a description of the forms of teaching and learning that are more likely, taking into account the resources available (or affordances);
  • an overview of the main motivational drivers that in the school (the intentionalities); and finally,
  • a presentation of the forms of teaching and learning that actually take place (the attractors).

More to explore

Many of the core ideas in the book have been used as the basis for posts that I have published in this blog. You can read these by clinking on the link below.

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