Complexity of education

Generative effects of complex causal dynamics of interaction offers a new lens to view the field of learning and education as a very complex field, with learners as real-world entities in their interaction, showing complex dynamics of generative change, with discontinuities of learning and development.


  1. Vygotsky, 1978[…]''learning is that it creates the zone of proximal development, that is, the learning awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers’
  2. Creation of developmental processes through learning, enabled through interaction with people, with peers
  3. The zone of proximal development (ZPD) here is a dynamic zone to be created through learning
  4. Summary: the learning generates the zone of proximal development as a dynamic zone of change: that is, of generative change. This generative change depends on the interaction with others. It is from the interpersonal relations with others that the intrapersonal processes of development within the ZPD may take place. 
  5. In his own words: “[A]n interpersonal process is transformed into an intrapersonal one” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 57; emphasis in original). This process describes the transfer inward, which is “linked with changes in the laws governing their activity; they are incorporated into a new system with its own laws” (ibid., p. 57).
  6. These[…]''concluded that the focus should be more on how the processes are actually generated within these causal-dynamic relations. The processes of development may now be described as complexly generative processes, taking place within these dynamic, causal relations, thriving on the generative power of interaction within the internal relations of the intellectual processes.
  7. From the above modelling of interaction within causal loops, it will now be possible to understand how these changes may be facilitated through interaction: 
  8. by generative processes which may lead to generative emergence within the ZPD
  9. by the possibility of multiplier effects in this interaction may turn the concept of ZPD into a nonlinear concept, with potential generative change and generative emergence of nonlinear effects.

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