Complexity in Education

From Horror to Passion

  • Cok Bakker
  • Nicolina Montesano Montessori

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. By Way of Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Cok Bakker, Nicolina Montesano Montessori
      Pages 3-8
    3. Cok Bakker, Nicolina Montesano Montessori
      Pages 31-51
  3. The Core Chapters of the Book

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 53-53
    2. Anouk Zuurmond
      Pages 55-73
    3. Gertie Blaauwendraad
      Pages 75-96
    4. Rob Gertsen
      Pages 97-119
    5. Edwin van der Zande
      Pages 121-146
    6. Dian Fluijt
      Pages 147-167
    7. Ton Zondervan
      Pages 211-234
    8. Dick de Haan
      Pages 235-257
  4. Final Reflections

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 259-259
    2. Nicolina Montesano Montessori
      Pages 261-282
    3. Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Cok Bakker
      Pages 283-294
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 295-298

About this book


"This volume, the result of four years of work performed by the combined research groups of Utrecht University (Faculty of Humanities) and the HU Utrecht University of Applied Sciences (Faculty of Education), focuses on the central theme of ‘Normative Professionalization’.

Drawing on a wide variety of scholars including Hannah Arendt, Gert Biesta, Harry Kunneman, Donald Schön and Chris Argyris, and engaging with professionalism, ethics, virtue and morality, this book builds the argument that learning to deal with complexity supports not only education but the personal development of teachers and the improvement of society and democracy as well. This volume presents research on a broad range of topics such as worldview education, co-teaching, moral authorship, traditional-reform perspectives on education, the discourse on citizenship, teacher education, and the question how to link religion and education. The research chapters explain the theoretical lenses and methodological approaches which have been employed to get a grip on complexity. The results have been interpreted in light of the concepts of horror complexitatis, amor complexitatis and dolor complexitatis. Guided by detailed research accounts of worldview descriptions provided by students and teachers, this framework has been enriched with the notion of a passio complexitatis. In the concluding chapters, the book advocates for an improved balance between the normative and instrumental professionalization of teachers, in order to create space for the improvement of pedagogical relations and processes and to reintroduce the moral dimensions of education. The claim throughout this book is that allowing for complexity in education – even going so far as to embrace it – is vital for the improvement of education, and a prerequisite for more authentic relationships (on the micro level) and the maintenance of a well-functioning democracy and a balanced society (on the macro level). 

This book is of interest to researchers and educators who are interested in normative professionalization, to qualitative and practice oriented researchers, to teachers and managers in primary, secondary and professional education, and to the wider public which is concerned with the significance of education for the development of a stable and sustainable society."


teacher education complexity worldview education normative professionalization quality of education practical wisdom craftsmanship morality

Editors and affiliations

  • Cok Bakker
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nicolina Montesano Montessori
    • 3
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands
  2. 2.Utrecht University of Applied SciencesUtrechtNetherlands
  3. 3.Utrecht University of Applied SciencesUtrechtNetherlands

Bibliographic information