Encyclopedia of Educational Innovation

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael A. Peters, Richard Heraud

Teaching on the Edge

  • Mike JessEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2262-4_99-1


In this entry, learning is presented as a complex, emergent, and nonlinear process: a process that has its foundation in the self-organizing capacity of learners to negotiate inside, around, and beyond the boundaries they meet as they engage with different tasks on an everyday basis. It specifically explores how the relationship between self-organization and boundaries acts as the basis for an innovative approach to teaching: an approach that embraces the nonlinear and decentered nature of learning. As a starting point in this shift toward innovative complexity-informed teaching, the entry will discuss how there is a need for teachers to acknowledge learners as self-organizers and not simply as passive recipients of knowledge. Self-organization is defined as a process where some degree of order emerges as neighboring parts of a complex system interact. Unlike the modernist perspective that has long dominated our thinking about learning, this self-organizing process is a...

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  1. Cilliers, P. (2001). Boundaries, Hierarchies and Networks in Complex Systems. International Journal of Innovation Management, 5(2), 135–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Davis, B., Sumara, D. J., & Luce-Kempler, R. (2008). Engaging Minds: Changing Teaching in Complex Times. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Khalil, E. L., & Boulding, K. E. (Eds.). (1996). Evolution, order and complexity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alan Ovens
    • 1
  • Kathryn Strom
  1. 1.School of Curriculum and PedagogyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand