Old paradigm, new paradigm
In this chapter, the author presents an overview and flavour of the new approaches of complexity and chaos theory that are moving rapidly beyond traditional linear, mechanistic approaches. He sets out this new complexity approach within the wider sweep of changes in scientific thinking from the eighteenth century scientific and industrial revolutions to developments of more times. The author explores the theoretical bases of possible new approaches to education emerging from what has become known as 'complexity' or 'chaos theory'. Complexity is a young science which is feeling its way cautiously – and sometimes not so cautiously – towards some potentially very exciting new avenues of research and practice. The emerging sciences of complexity help to see educational systems and processes in a new light and to see them as co-evolving with their environments. So far the new thinking has hardly touched schools and educational systems.