Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

pp 901-904

Cybernetic Principles of Learning

  • Joy MurrayAffiliated withSchool of Physics, University of Sydney Email author 


Constructivist learning principles; Feedback systems in learning; Learning as effective action


The cybernetic principles of learning are drawn from the implications of applying to learning the insights into the behavior of living systems provided by the study of cybernetics. Cybernetics is underpinned by the notion of circularity and feedback between a system and its environment. Maturana and Varela (1987) say that both a living system and an environment are structurally determined and therefore, through recurrent interactions and feedback, both will change congruently according to their structure as they interact, each contributing to the creation of the world by living in it. This process they call co-ontogenic structural drift. The change that occurs through this process they call learning. Rather than knowledge being something static that is taken in from the outside by the senses and stored somewhere, it is a process of knowing that results from ...

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