Huang Junsong, David
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- PublicationRestrictedLearning innovation diffusion as a complex adaptive system : case studies on developing knowledge about and knowledge in doing for education leaders through cognitive conflicts(2014)Conceiving innovation diffusion as a Complex Adaptive System (CAS) broadens the approaches to foster scalable and sustainable diffusion of innovation in schools. This study adopted an Interpretivist Paradigm through multiple case studies to understand education leaders’ learning with regard to innovation diffusion as a CAS. There were four cases involving eight education leaders learning in four dyads. The purpose was to seek a descriptive and interpretative understanding of their learning processes, which included the knowledge development trajectories and the learning patterns through which the learning activities induced the knowledge development trajectories. Cognitive conflict was engaged as the learning strategy and learning activities included building an agent-based model, simulating the researcher’s model and playing a first-person role-play game. Analogical reasoning was engaged in reflections.
The grounded theory coding and analysis and episodic uptake analysis revealed nonlinearity of the knowledge development trajectories. The findings suggest that, prior to the learning, the dyads maintained ten simple Newtonian knowledge elements. After learning, the dyads made progression in developing ten comprehensive CAS knowledge elements. Analyzing the knowledge development trajectories indicated that the dyads experienced difficulties in constructing the CAS knowledge elements when they maintained prior Newtonian knowledge elements. The development trajectory of each knowledge element was gradual, progressing from conceptualization to comprehension and towards knowledge application in the real world. The development trajectories of the different knowledge elements were intertwined.
Further data analysis on how cognitive conflict enabled the learning processes implied nonlinear learning patterns. Cognitive conflict induced by analogical reasoning helped the dyads conceptualized the first CAS knowledge element, whereas cognitive conflict induced by model building and simulation did not. For the dyads who had conceptualized the first CAS knowledge element through analogical reasoning, the discrepancies generated from model building and simulation, from knowledge incompatibility and from game play induced cognitive conflicts and sustained the intertwined knowledge development trajectories.
There are sources of evidence in this study that could potentially extend the conventional conditions for analogical reasoning and cognitive conflict. The literature of analogical reasoning suggests that effective analogical reasoning requires learners’ adequate knowledge on the analogy and the target domain, and analogy’s sufficient degrees of similarities with the target. The learning patterns in this study seemed to suggest that, when the dyads, who lacked CAS knowledge, were conceptualizing the first CAS knowledge element, they did not learn through analogies that had more degrees of similarities; however, they learnt through analogies that had fewer degrees of similarities. Similarly, the findings may also suggest alternative views about the premises for cognitive conflict. The literature suggests that meaningful cognitive conflict requires discrepancies to be credible and relevant, and learners to have more prior knowledge. In this study, the agent-based models provided by the researcher were direct modeling of innovation diffusion, whereas the analogies used in reflections were from domains different from innovation diffusion and were only plausible to be mapped for the dyads to learn innovation diffusion. While the analogies induced valid discrepancy and meaningful cognitive conflict in this study, the model building and simulation did not. The findings in this study also alluded that salient knowledge that mediates learning Complex Systems is perhaps learner dependent and domain specific. The study thus advocates that research on analogical reasoning and cognitive conflict should focus on understanding learners’ meaning-making processes, rather than conditions for analogical reasoning and cognitive conflict.
Based on the findings, this study also espouses that learning Complex Systems perhaps involves meta-complexity: the learning of individual knowledge elements is complex, and the intertwined knowledge development trajectories also exhibit characteristics similar to scale-free network topologies. The implications of meta-complexity for learning design are also discussed to complement the design principles for learning Complex Systems.
- PublicationOpen AccessSchool leaders’ learning of diffusion of innovation through agent based modeling: Coupling modeling and simulation process with learners’ interaction with diffusion system(2008-10)
; ;Chai, Ching SingChen, Der-ThanqIf school diffusion of innovation is viewed as complex adaptive process, how shall we prepare school leaders to be effective diffusion decision makers? Coming from the epistemological belief that knowledge is subjective and embodied, this paper proposes to use Agent Based Modeling (ABM) for learning by focus on learning to “do” diffusion of innovation rather than learning about diffusion of innovation. We therefore recommend to engage school leaders in iterative agent based model development process and to couple it with their interaction in real world diffusion system. With feedback from real world system used for iterative model calibration and validation, the affordances of the agent based model allow school leaders to participate, experience, appropriate, perform and therefore to learn to make effective diffusion decisions in their schools. 112 74
- PublicationRestrictedInvestigating the generation-first-instruction-later method for its effects on learning and transfer: A proposal to study analogical reasoning as the generation task(Office of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2020)
; ;Lam, RachelManu KapurProductive Failure1,2 studies have shown that working on generative and complex activities prepares students for learning from subsequent instruction (i.e., delayed instruction). Under a delayed instruction setting, this study investigated the degree of freedom of generation and the level of task complexity as two key attributes of a preparatory task. The purpose was to make preliminary exploration on whether there is a boundary at which the benefit of a more generative task over a less generative task, such as compare and contrast, may disappear when the task complexity reduces. 316 11
- PublicationOpen AccessBuilding the science of research management: What can research management learn from education research?Research management is an emerging field of study and its development is significant to the advancement of research enterprise. Developing the science of research management requires investigating social mechanisms involved in research management. Yet, studies on social mechanisms of research management is lacking in the literature. To address this gap, this paper proposes importing methodologies and theories from other social science disciplines to study the social mechanisms of research management and to build the science of research management. The paper first articulates what constitutes the science of research management, then proposes to appropriate Design-Based Research (DBR), a methodology in education research, for building the science of research management while at the same time strengthening the theory-practice nexus. A study of education research is then presented to illustrate how DBR is used to enact the theory of homophily which is imported from sociology. It reveals an opportunity to use social designs to develop social relationships among teachers from different schools for networked learning. Such a research endeavour also has potential to advance theories of relationship-building in sociology. Inferring from the example as an analogue to what is suggested for research management, the paper advocates a way to reciprocally connect research management as an emerging research field with more established social science disciplines at large and to advance both the theory and practice of research management.
- PublicationRestrictedMulti-Level ICT integration for diffusing complex technology-mediated pedagogical innovationsThis research seeks contemporary understanding of how we can develop teachers' Technological-Pedagogical-Content Knowledge (TPACK) when scaling pedagogical innovation to different contextual situations. Teaching with technology has long been a wicked problem as the nature of technology is ''protean'' (used in versatile ways), ''unstable'' (rapidly changing) and ''opaque'' (elusive backend mechanisms), resulting in multifarious complexities which are exacerbated when its use is scaled and situated within the broader socio-cultural context of diverse learning ecologies. Scaling innovations to new contexts is rarely a mere supplanting of what works at the seeding school to new pedagogic sites with less hospitable conditions. It entails the perpetual marshalling of resources to mitigate the enfolding tensions that can emanate from many incompatibilities at the new site. Herein lies the tensions of diffusion: the conflation between fidelity adherence and localised accommodation. The purpose of this research then is to study how teachers' three knowledge bases - technology, pedagogy and content - can be holistically developed so that the core ingredients of success at the seeding school can be sustained and not ''amputated'' at new innovation sites. Informed by complexity theory, the qualitative case study will employ the complexity constructs of ''distribution'', ''enaction'' and ''emergence'' to examine how teachers' epistemic resources are distributed during the knowledge creation process and how teachers leverage on TPACK to enact co-designed lessons or improvise their lessons in-situ. More importantly, by studying the diffusion process of Seamless Science Learning project from the seeding FutureSchool (ICT prototype school) to another non-affiliated mainstream primary school, the study aims to articulate how teachers' reified TPACK can emerge through feedback loops between components of TPACK and interaction with other actors in an ecological complex adaptive system. The study will also articulate the implications of such interaction on the translations of teachers' professional learning and the conceptual model related to challenges of nurturing readiness. It has the potential to inform policymakers on the theoretical principles of professional learning support which may culminate into ensuing successful uptake of innovations. By inter-meshing three domains: complexity theory, TPACK and scaling, this project can provide novel methodological perspective to how the inter-locking influences underpinning teacher's TPACK can be studied. Through cross-case analysis, the proposed study aims to reify both ''local divergence'' and the ''noncontextually bounded'' theoretical principles about scaling school-based intervention.
- PublicationOpen AccessCultivating laterality in learning communities – Scaling of innovation through a networked learning community
- PublicationOpen AccessJourneys in the learning sciences: The Singapore experienceThis article provides an overview of research in the Learning Sciences from a Design Research perspective, as it has been framed in Singapore by the National Institute of Education (NIE). The initial research agenda is considered in the light of challenges and the subsequent re-casting of objectives, based on the working out of a tripartite relationship between the NIE, the Ministry of Education, and local schools. A conceptual model is proposed as an attempt to provide structure for new research interventions going forward.
- PublicationOpen AccessLearning innovation diffusion as complex adaptive systems through model building, simulation, game play and reflections(2012-07)
;Manu KapurTo effectively foster innovation diffusion, school leaders need to learn innovation diffusion as Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS). In this study, two school leaders formed a dyad to learn both the knowledge about innovation diffusion and the knowledge in fostering innovation diffusion. Agent-based model building, model simulation, game play of a simulation game and reflections were designed as learning activities in this study. In the learning process, the learners developed the following understanding in innovation diffusion: teachers’ adoption decisions are based on limited rationality and local information; teachers have nonlinear influence on each other through social networks; teachers are heterogonous agents; and diffusion is a process of emergence. The learners also learnt to leverage on social networks to foster effective innovation diffusion. While agent-based model building faces challenges for learning CAS in the social science domain, this study shows that engaging learners in reflection activities helps to overcome the challenges. 289 317
- PublicationOpen Access