Unfolding potential as dynamic emergence: A view from the theory of , nonlinear dynamic systems

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The process of unfolding learning and developmental potential is discussed from the viewpoint of complex dynamic systems. After a brief overview of the notions of unfolding and potential in the context of development and education, a definition of complex dynamic systems is given, emphasizing the aspects of self-organization and emergence. The concept of nonergodicity is introduced, which implies that statistical relationships between variables applying to samples of independent individuals (the classical methodological setup of educational and developmental research) do not necessarily apply to statistical relationships found in individual time series. The consequences of complexity and nonergodicity for empirical research in education and development are presented in the form of four methodological design steps, with illustrations of usable methods and empirical research focusing on individual educational and developmental trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-356
Number of pages33
JournalThe Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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