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Title: Nonlinear pedagogy: Learning design for self-organizing neurobiological systems
Authors: Chow, Jia Yi
Davids, Keith
Hristovski, Robert
Araújo, Duarte
Passos, Pedro
Keywords: Neurobiological learning
Ecological constraints
Nonlinear dynamics
Skill acquisition
Self-organization and emergence
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Chow, J. Y., Davids, K., Hristovski, R., Araújo, D., & Passos, P. (2011). Nonlinear pedagogy: Learning design for self-organizing neurobiological systems. New Ideas in Psychology, 29(2), 189-200.
Abstract: In this paper, key concepts in ecological psychology and nonlinear dynamics exemplify how learning design can be shaped by ideas of self-organization, meta-stability and self-organized criticality in complex neurobiological systems. Through interactions with specific ecological constraints in learning environments, cognition, decision making and action emerge. An important design strategy is the use of different types of noise to channel the learning process into meta-stable regions of the “learner-learning environment” system to encourage adaptive behaviors. Here learners can be exposed to many functional and creative performance solutions during training. Data from studies in the performance context of sports are used to illustrate how these theoretical ideas can underpin learning design. Based on these insights a nonlinear pedagogy is proposed in which the role of coaches or trainers alters from a more traditional, prescriptive stance to the mode of manipulating key interacting task constraints including information, space and equipment to facilitate learning.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in New Ideas in Psychology. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 1873-3522
Other Identifiers: 10.1016/j.newideapsych.2010.10.001
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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