Rosemary Hipkins uses dynamic complexity theory to explain teacher professional learning and leadership.
Rose is chief researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Here we present her paper in which she draws on dynamic complexity theory to describe how teachers learned collaborativey and pioneered new approaches to curriculum which stimulate deep learning and engagement.
Schools in the Curriculum Implementation Exploratory Studies (CIES) project evolved effective ways for teachers to learn together as they gave effect to The New Zealand Curriculum. Some common patterns were found in the ways learning networks formed within schools and evolved over time as curriculum understanding deepened and learning needs shifted. Ideas about dynamic complexity suggest specific factors to keep in mind as networks of learners are strategically shaped and guided to maximise the chances of learning “in the spaces between” the individuals involved. Awareness of what these complex learning dynamics looked like as they played out in the CIES schools could help other school leaders leverage the impact that can be gained when professionals learn as a collective.