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Understanding Complex Systems: Some Core Challenges

Understanding Complex Systems: Some Core Challenges THE JOURNAL OF THE LEARNING SCIENCES, 15(1), 53–61 Copyright © 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Understanding Complex Systems: Some Core Challenges Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver Department of Educational Psychology Rutgers University Roger Azevedo Department of Human Development University of Maryland Complex systems have a hierarchical nature and have multiple interacting levels (Wilensky & Resnick, 1999). In complex systems, the aggregate nature of the system is not predictable from isolated components but occurs through the interaction of multiple components. For example, the human body is composed of multiple sub- systems and may be understood anatomically and physiologically. Only with experi- ence and expertise do we come to understand how different levels of a complex sys- tem are related. There are some deep principles that underlie many complex systems, some of which Jacobson and Wilensky (this issue) discussed, such as structure- behavior-function (SBF) and emergence (see Goldstone & Sakamoto, 2003, for oth- ers). What differentiates these complex systems from complicated systems such as pulley systems is the heterogeneity of components and their multiple levels of orga- nization. For example, a pulley system is made up of several pulleys, perhaps of dif- ferent sizes and orientation, but they are fundamentally the same. Compare http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Learning Sciences Taylor & Francis

Understanding Complex Systems: Some Core Challenges

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References (43)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1532-7809
eISSN
1050-8406
DOI
10.1207/s15327809jls1501_7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE JOURNAL OF THE LEARNING SCIENCES, 15(1), 53–61 Copyright © 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Understanding Complex Systems: Some Core Challenges Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver Department of Educational Psychology Rutgers University Roger Azevedo Department of Human Development University of Maryland Complex systems have a hierarchical nature and have multiple interacting levels (Wilensky & Resnick, 1999). In complex systems, the aggregate nature of the system is not predictable from isolated components but occurs through the interaction of multiple components. For example, the human body is composed of multiple sub- systems and may be understood anatomically and physiologically. Only with experi- ence and expertise do we come to understand how different levels of a complex sys- tem are related. There are some deep principles that underlie many complex systems, some of which Jacobson and Wilensky (this issue) discussed, such as structure- behavior-function (SBF) and emergence (see Goldstone & Sakamoto, 2003, for oth- ers). What differentiates these complex systems from complicated systems such as pulley systems is the heterogeneity of components and their multiple levels of orga- nization. For example, a pulley system is made up of several pulleys, perhaps of dif- ferent sizes and orientation, but they are fundamentally the same. Compare

Journal

Journal of the Learning SciencesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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