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.
In the book, I describe how a language school in Greece attempted to reform its curriculum some years ago. I also discuss why this effort did not work out exactly as planned.
The main thesis of the book is that we can think of the school as a complex dynamic system. I suggest that complex systems theory can help us to phenomena in language education that are neither completely predictable nor entirely random.
The description of the school contains four substantive parts. In the book, I argue that these parts must be present in every description of a complex system. These are:
- 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 appear in posts that I have published in this blog. You can read these below.