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Huang, J. S. & Manu Kapur. (2012, July). Learning innovation diffusion as complex adaptive systems through model building, simulation, game play and reflections. Paper presented at the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), Sydney, Australia.
To 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.
This paper was presented at the 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences (ICLS), held in Sydney, Australia from 2 - 6 Jul 2012
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