Opening the Wondrous World of the Possible for Education: A Generative Complexity Approach

  • Ton Jörg


This contribution is about the opening of a new perspective on education. This possibility is based on new thinking in complexity about the role of complexity in education. The focus is on understanding generative complexity as self-potentiating; that is, on how complexity is actually generated in the real world. Generative complexity offers the possibility of linking complexity to the concept of transition in “the transitory child.” This concept may be linked to the concept of the so-called Zone of Generativity, and be expanded to the Space of Generativity as a multidimensional, dynamic state hyperspace. The challenge is to show how these concepts may be linked to the opening and enlarging of new spaces of possibility for learning and development in education. New ways of thinking are needed to understand the generative complexity involved. This calls for rethinking the concepts of interaction, causality, and the unit of study. It is urgently needed to become explanatory about the nature of (self-) generative principles and (self-) generative mechanisms, being operative in complex generative processes of generative learning and development. Generative learning and the achievement of individual and collective generativity may be viewed as thriving on the full generative power of interaction.


Bootstrapping Mechanisms Deviation Amplifying Mechanisms Direct Causal Effects Emergent Causality Generative Complexity Generative Emergence Indirect Causal Effects Reciprocal Causality Self-enhanced Loop Effects Self-perpetuating Change Self-potentiation Spaces of Generativity Theory of Generative Change Transitional Scaffolds Transitional Psychological Systems Zone of Generativity 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands

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