Understanding Learning Systems: Mathematics Education and Complexity Science

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  • 1 University of Alberta, Canada

Complexity science may be described as the science of learning systems, where learning is understood in terms of the adaptive behaviors of phenomena that arise in the interactions of multiple agents. Through two examples of complex learning systems, we explore some of the possible contributions of complexity science to discussions of the teaching of mathematics. We focus on two matters in particular: the use of the vocabulary of complexity in the redescription of mathematical communities and the application of principles of complexity to the teaching of mathematics. Through the course of this writing, we attempt to highlight compatible and complementary discussions that are already represented in the mathematics education literature.

Contributor Notes

Brent Davis, Department of Secondary Education, Faculty of Education, 341 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, T6G 2G5; brent.davis@ualberta.ca

Elaine Simmt, Department of Secondary Education, Faculty of Education, 341 Education South, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, T6G 2G5; elaine.simmt@ualberta.ca

(Corresponding author is Davis brent.davis@ualberta.ca)(Corresponding author is Simmt elaine.simmt@ualberta.ca)
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

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