THE EMERGING PARADIGM: COMPLEXITY THEORY, COMPOSITION, AND THE NETWORKED WRITING CLASSROOM.
Amanda Inskip Corcoran
Prologue: "Connectionism: A class of behaviors in which the components of the system never quite lock into place, yet never dissolve into turbulence either. These are the systems that are both stable enough to store information, and yet evanescent enough to transmit it. These are the systems that can be organized to perform complex computations, to react to the world, to be spontaneous, adaptive, and alive" (Waldrop 293).
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a piece of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee" John Donne, "Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions" (1624) (Craik 166).
Although the computers and composition field has recently celebrated a decade of growth, the value of networked classrooms is not self-evident to everyone. Instructors within computer-based classrooms find themselves validating the networked instructional perspective to those who do not yet believe in the applicability of computer-mediated communication (or CMC) to the writing classroom. Elizabeth Sommers has noted that "critical misreadings of computer-based literacy programs are commonplace" (43) and that people outside the computers and composition field:
often have no sense that [both literature and computer-based writing instructors] are involved in remotely the same enterprise: teaching language to students . . . [These instructors] typically have little understanding of what we are trying to do: using our professional energies to create programs for students that acknowledge the growing necessity for a computer-based literacy program. [These instructors] frequently seem indifferent to or even afraid of our efforts to integrate computers into the curriculum, as though such efforts are outside their realm as English teachers. Finally, our research, software development projects, and publication directions frequently seem meaningless to other English teachers, pointing to a deep- rooted and disturbing clash in values between humanism and technology (43).
The reason for much of this rejection and doubt of the networked writing environment may be found within the recognized need for an emerging pedagogy specific to the networked writing environment. While the most prevalent pedagogy of today's writing classrooms continues to be current-traditionalism or foundationalism (Berlin 30), more and more instructors within networked classrooms are finding themselves at a loss for terminologies and theories with which to describe accurately and lucidly the interactions occurring within their classrooms.
The most prevalent means of describing, analyzing, and understanding the writing classroom, computer-based or traditional, has been the pedagogy of current-traditionalism (Berlin 30). Highly popular in the field of composition, current-traditionalism remains the most common pedagogy in writing classrooms today. Popularity of a pedagogy, however, does not necessarily mean that that pedagogy is the most apt instructional approach to a particular instructional environment. While current-traditionalism has enjoyed a lengthy popularity within the field of composition, and while its originators include Plato, Richard Whately, Hugh Blair, George Campbell, and John Locke, the metamorphosis of the student population and of the writing instructional environment suggests that this pedagogy may not be the most effective instructional approach to take in the networked writing classroom.
The limitations of a pedagogy based upon eighteenth century instruction may not be too surprising if we consider the changes in the instructional environment since the days of original current-traditionalists. Student populations have changed drastically from the white middle-class male students within the eighteenth century schools. Many writing classrooms today, particularly those of community colleges, offer their instructors a truly multi-cultural instructional experience with students from all over the world.
THE HEGEMONY INHERENT WITHIN CURRENT-TRADITIONALISM:
The physical environment within the writing classroom has also drastically evolved since the eighteenth century. Traditionally, current-traditionalist writing classrooms have been based around the teacher-centered lecture model in which the instructor directs writing activities from the front of the classroom, and the students sit passively in orderly rows facing the instructor. The lecture mode of teaching, an instructional approach which emphasizes "information transfusion" rather than "information creation," emphasizes the role of the instructor as the indubitable source of knowledge and of power, of values (in the form of grades), and of proper behavior (Barker and Kemp 10). Instruction in these hegemonic classrooms tends to take place as lectures or question and answer sessions, instructional methods that reinforce the teacher-centeredness of the proscenium classroom, while de-emphasizing student interactions with, creation of, or appropriation of knowledge.
Interactions within the current-traditionalist writing classroom tend to remain hierarchical; they emanate from the instructor, to the student, and back to the instructor. This hierarchical system of "feedback" emphasizes to students that their writing possesses little evolutionary power since their "writing is not so much to be read as to be evaluated" (Barker 6). Sharon Crowley notes that "current-traditional pedagogy treats writers' purposes as though discourse can be generated in a rhetorical vacuum, isolated from the social or intellectual contexts that ordinarily guide writers' . . . choices" (95). Students in current-traditionalist classrooms therefore rarely understand that they and their writing are part of an interactive communication community with the potential to evolve through its internal dynamics. Instead, these students recognize only that they must please the instructor to pass the course.
THE REDUCTIVENESS OF CURRENT-TRADITIONALISM:
Although the hegemony within current-traditionalism remains problematical, another characteristic of current-traditionalism also questions the applicability of this pedagogy to the computer-based writing classroom. While current-traditionalism rests upon a distinct "chain of command" in its teacher-centeredness, this pedagogy also emphasizes a disassembly of the writing process. Building upon Aristotle's "Art of Rhetoric" with its heavily divisive view of the parts of rhetoric, current-traditionalists John Locke, David Hume, David Hartley, and Francis Bacon all further compartmentalized the mind, the intellect, and the act of writing. In attempting to understand a complex process or series of processes, current-traditionalists have oversimplified or reduced the complex processes of writing and the appropriation/creation of knowledge to a series of discrete steps in a linear hierarchy.
Alvin Toffler, in his foreword to Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers' Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature, notes that we have become very accomplished at "dissection: the split-up of problems into their smallest possible components. We are good at it. So good, we often forget to put the pieces back together again" (xi). Current-traditionalism emphasizes dissection of a whole. Each part of the writing process is examined and re-examined to understand the process of writing. In this examination, however, the fact that writing is a whole, composed of mutually dependent and inseparable processes, seems to get lost. In current-traditionalist classrooms, students learn that writing remains a series of discrete actions, all of which lead to the creation of a text, but none of which seem to affect the others. Current traditionalism isolates the stages of writing; it isolates both writer and reader during the entire writing process; and its emphasis upon sentence-level errors overshadows any concern for the essay written as a whole as the result of a coherent process.
Current-traditionalism applies this dissective emphasis not only to the writing process, but also to the student writing community within the classroom. While emphasizing the value of each part of the writing process (while discounting the value of the writing process as whole), current-traditionalists concurrently emphasizes the work of the individual writer over the interactions that that student may have had with other writers in his/her community. Peer workshops and student discussion do occur within the current-traditionalist classroom, but since the pedagogy views writing as a chain of discrete interactions rather than a systemic whole, students learn that these student-centered collaborations may play a limited role in the creation of knowledge but remain ultimately dispensable. Students share their work, comment on their writing, then return to their desks to work independently upon their documents.
Current-traditionalism therefore does not permit students to recognize nor to benefit from the reaction and feedback inherent within the student-centered writing classroom and necessary for the evolution of student-writers and their documents. The evolution and growth of any interactive community or system depends upon the recognition of the system's elements of their roles as interactive and mutually dependent members of that system. Current-traditionalists limit student writers from recognizing the value of their interactions by limiting valued interactions to teacher-student communications such as grades and written or spoken comments. In current-traditionalist classrooms, students ultimately learn that "writing is not so much to be read as to be evaluated" (Barker 6).
Students in current-traditionalist classrooms therefore rarely understand that they and their writing form part of an interactive learning community with the potential to evolve through its internal dynamics. Instead these students recognize only that they must please the instructor to pass the course. To teach students that their interactions matter, and that they play an important role in the evolution of themselves, their writing, and their writing community, instructors should strive to create student-centered environments offering discussion and collaboration as opportunities for student feedback, reactions leading to the ultimate evolution of the students, their writing, and their knowledge.
THE NETWORKED WRITING ENVIRONMENT:
While these teacher-centered classrooms remain common in writing instruction, an increasing number of writing classes are held in an environment that tends to be more student-centered, more interactive: the networked writing classroom. Physically and pedagogically, these computer classrooms offer students and instructors a vastly different means of communicating with other writers both inside and outside the immediate classroom. Although many computer-based classrooms are arranged with students sitting in the traditional rows (mostly because of the physical limitations of the room), many other networked classrooms are arranged with students sitting in clusters of three or four instead of the more traditional proscenium rows of seats. This clustered seating arrangement encourages students to interact with each other instead of waiting for instructor's input, and as such, clustered seating encourages collaboration between students instead of echoing the teacher-centeredness of the traditional row classroom.
In contrast to the face to face teacher-oriented communication within the proscenium classroom, much of the communication within these computer-based classrooms occurs on the screens of the computer monitors. Much of the discussion in these classrooms originates from the student writers instead of from the instructor, and much of it occurs "on-line" through the computer networks, in such interactive cyber-areas on the local ether-net (in the case of LANs or Local Area Networks) or in such nebulous cyber-arenas as MOOs and MUDs (online areas of synchronous discussion), on listservs and NetNews, on the World Wide Web and on HyperNews. Physically, therefore, these online writing classrooms offer a teaching environment vastly different to the surroundings upon which current-traditionalism was based.
This evolved online environment does not automatically result in a more student-centered classroom, however. As with any classroom, the atmosphere and learning available depends almost exclusively upon the pedagogy of the instructor. Gail Hawisher and Cynthia Selfe note that "in many English composition classes, computer use simply reinforces those traditional notions of education that permeate our culture . . . teachers talk, students listen; teachers' contributions are privileged; students respond in predictable, teacher-pleasing ways" ("Rhetoric" 55). Computers, therefore, if used in certain ways, can work to strengthen the teacher-privileging holds current- traditionalist pedagogy already has upon the field of composition. Although networked computers can encourage the integration of collaborative pedagogy, a technology cannot "guarantee" any behavior alone "simply by its nature alone" (Foucault 245). Hawisher and Selfe have observed instructors using computers as giant overhead projectors, used to discuss errors within a student paper magnified upon a screen. Agreed, in this case the computer was being used to "promote sharing," but the sharing was certainly weighted in terms of the maintenance of the teacher's power differential ("Rhetoric" 61).
Other researchers have noted that computers have the potential to enhance the teacher-centeredness of current-traditionalist classrooms. Russell Spears and Martin Lea have noted that computer-based classrooms may both "reinforce and relieve power relations" within the classroom, and that "relational and informational features of CMC [computer-mediated communication] can increase surveillance and control as well as democracy and equality" (428). Hawisher and Selfe have observed online instructors using networked computers as opportunities for "surveillance" of and disciplining of their students. For example, by reposting messages from networked discussion to act as examples of effective or ineffective discourse, instructors "are employing electronic conferences to discipline, to shape the conversations and academic discourse of their students" ("Rhetoric" 63).
This means of electronic surveillance reflects Michel Foucalt's panopticon (Discipline), a mechanism used in prisons to maintain control through continual observation. In the panopticon, prisoners are unable to see each other, and therefore cannot interact. At the same time, however, these prisoners remain continually visible to the warden. This continual visibility or at least "the mere knowledge of surveillance of the subordinate other, whether or not it is actually exercised, is enough to induce obedience and conformity" amongst the participants (Spears 438). Parallels between the computer-mediated communication and Foucalt's panopticon undeniably exist; with computer-mediated communication, individuals sits isolated at their terminals, aware that their posted messages are broadcast to others, yet unable to see their readers. Certainly, Hawisher and Selfe's example of an instructor holding up student online communication for class critique qualifies as a panoptical warning for online instructors. The gatekeeper concept inherent within the online panopticon reflects the informational gatekeeper role of the current-traditionalist instructor.
Despite their apparent compatibility with online technologies, however, current-traditionalist pedagogies do not present the most effective means of teaching in the online environment. The online connectivity between both writing and writers inherent within the networked writing classroom suggests that current-traditionalist instructors, in attempting to adhere to the isolationistic tendencies of their pedagogy, would be forced to spend a great deal of time and effort "separating" both the students and the collaborative aspects of writing from each other -- hence the classroom power struggles revealed within Hawisher's and Selfe's examples above. Instructors should therefore be aware that a variety of pedagogies, student-centered or otherwise, may be integrated into the networked writing classroom.
In attempting to remain aware of both the "paradox and promise" of electronic classrooms (Hawisher "Rhetoric" 62), however, instructors, both current-traditionalist and others, should also be aware of the paradox and promise of their own pedagogies. Lillian Bridwell-Bowles has noted that instructors should consider, not only how the classroom shapes instruction, but also how "our view of teaching and of how students learn invariably shapes our behavior in the classroom" (64). Bridwell-Bowles' observation about the interdependence of pedagogy and behavior reflects Fred Kemp's "User-Friendly Fallacy" (Kemp 32). This "fallacy" suggests that some instructors, upon their entrance to the networked classroom, attempt to integrate, without adaptation, pedagogies, human behavior and evaluative interactions that occur in a non-computer classroom ("User" 32).
Kemp's fallacy helps us to understand why current-traditionalist instructors might try to integrate a teacher-centered pedagogy into a student-centered teaching environment. While it may not seem surprising that a 200 year old pedagogy such as current-traditionalism remains mostly incompatible with the networked writing classroom, it is helpful to remember Hawisher's and Pemberton's warning that "tradition and convention have more effect on our behavior as writing instructors than we are sometimes willing to admit" ("Integrating" 44).
RECOGNIZED NEED FOR A NEW EMERGENT PEDAGOGY:
While "tradition and convention" may limit our ability at times to see clearly a pedagogical situation, the need for a new emergent pedagogy within the networked environment has not gone unheeded. The fact that the composition field, particularly the field of computers and writing, has moved away from current-traditionalist pedagogy has been widely noted. James Berlin observes first, that "it is discouraging that generations after Freud and Einstein, college students are encouraged to embrace a view of reality based on a mechanistic physics and a naive faculty psychology -- and all in the name of convenient pedagogy" ("Contemporary" 771). Berlin also notes that, fortunately, new pedagogies have emerged in direct "reaction to the inadequacy of the Current-Traditional Rhetoric" and in direct reaction to the changing writing environment ("Contemporary" 777).
The movement away from current-traditionalist pedagogy may be largely due to the changing physical classroom. Trent Batson suggests that networked computer classrooms create "entirely new pedagogical dynamics" (32). Another composition researcher, Nancy Kaplin, notes that, although researchers in composition are still investigating the principle production of writing, "the rhetorical conventions of electronic text are not the conventions of printed text and demand new ways to talk about writing" (Hawisher and Le Blanc xiv). The metamorphosis from manuscript to monitor, from pen and ink to keyboard, from isolation to collaboration suggests that "along with our understanding of the very act of writing, our terminology regarding discursive practices must change to account for phenomena that are foreign to our notions of paperbound products" (Hawisher and LeBlanc xv). Fred Kemp and Thomas Barker note the changes in the composition environment in recent years: the increasingly multicultural emphasis within our classrooms; the fact that our students, exposed to the world of video and television, come from primarily oral strata, and respond most effectively to a pedagogical model of "shared knowledge" in contrast to the elitist closed system of the current-traditional classroom (3). Barker and Kemp emphasize that this changing instructional environment consequently calls for "a pedagogy adapted to the demands of our time" (5).
The calls for change from Barker, Kemp, Batson, and Berlin echo the call for change from Maxine Hairston who records our educational adaptations as we moved from product to process writing approaches. The current adaptation in our educational paradigm within the networked writing classrooms, from isolationist to collaborative pedagogy, echoes changes within the product/process pedagogical revolution. Indeed, Geoffrey Chase suggests that "We have watched the emphasis in composition studies swing from product to process. . . Now another shift seems to be underway, one toward an emphasis on discourse communities" (13). Hairston notes that these paradigmatic revolutions occur "as the result of breakdowns in intellectual systems, breakdowns that occur when old methods won't solve new problems" (76). The "breakdown" in the "intellectual system" in the field of computers and writing rests upon the inability of current- traditionalism to explain the collaboration inherent within the computer-based classroom. While complexity theory does not allow us to predict the evolution of our students, their documents, our pedagogies, and our instructional environments, this theory does offer us a theoretical framework through which to analyze these behaviors in order to understand them further. What is more important, complexity theory allows us the language, with the support of a multidisciplinary foundation, to describe, to analyze, and to validate the teaching of writing in these networked writing environments. Using this emergent pedagogy to validate networked writing classrooms will facilitate our questioning colleagues' understanding of the value and dynamics of online writing environments.
THE ALTERNATIVE PEDAGOGIES TO CURRENT-TRADITIONALISM:
Although foundationalism or current-traditionalism offers the writing instructor only a reductionist approach to writing, this pedagogy remains an instructional means that, despite its limitations, faces few pedagogical alternatives.
LIBERATORY PEDAGOGY: A DIRECT REACTION TO CURRENT-TRADITIONALISM:
Current-traditionalism originally had democratic goals because it offered education to a social class heretofore excluded from the economic benefits of a good education. These economically equalizing aspects, however, also qualified this pedagogy as a mechanism of oppression. Since many of the people in powerful positions shared similar economic/educational backgrounds, they saw little reason to change the educational status quo, even when the economic inequality of current-traditionalist schools became evident (Berlin Rhetoric 36-37).
Despite the pedagogy's emphasis upon social homogeneity, this pedagogy also presents ideas that, at first glance, seem liberatory. James Berlin notes that the current-traditionalists' emphasis upon isolation also offers a liberatory writing environment, free from the society's invidious influences and the current-traditionalists' belief that "[w]hen the individual is freed from the biases of language, society, or history, the senses provide a mental faculties with a clear and distinct image of the world" (Berlin, "Contemporary" 770).
However, the emphasis upon isolation, rather than freeing student writers, imposes limiting factors upon writers and their writing. Isolation limits the interchange necessary to explore ideas fully. Foucalt's panoptical isolation illustrates some of the potential problems of hyper-isolation with its omnipotent surveillance of isolated individuals. The isolation of writers within a current-traditionalist classroom not only applied to writers, but also to their writing. Current-traditionalist pedagogy does not advocate the sharing of knowledge (outside of the teacher-student hierarchy) nor of the sharing of texts through collaboration. Sharon Crowley observes:
As Plato complained thousands of years ago, written discourses have the habit of floating all over the place and of getting into the wrong hands unless some means of control is established over who will write and who will read it. Current-traditionalism was the control developed by the academy. When students were instructed in it, all concerned could rest assured that few students would produce writing that demanded to be read and heeded (153).
James Berlin notes that "in teaching writing, we are tacitly teaching a version of reality and the student's place and mode of operation in it" ("Contemporary" 766). Since the most acceptable topics and beliefs are those acceptable to the current-traditionalist instructor, the students' previous lives, beliefs, and communities remain irrelevant to their writings. Instead of pulling from their own experiences for their writing and sharing those experiences within the classroom community, students in current-traditionalist classrooms should strive to adopt the beliefs, modus operandi, and reductive writing methods of the instructor. In short, if, "to teach writing is to argue for a version of reality" (Berlin "Contemporary" 766), the "reality" exposed within current-traditional classrooms is the reality of oppressed voices and limited ideas within a classist system.
Liberatory pedagogy offers writing instructors a pedagogy emphasizing student over instructor, democracy over hegemony. The emphasis of liberatory pedagogy upon student collaboration and voice appears antithetical to the isolationist, reductivist leanings of the current-traditionalist pedagogy. Lester Faigley notes that current-traditionalism provides writing instructors with "an exercise of disciplinary power" (165) and suggests that networked classrooms offer instructors the "utopian dream of an equitable sharing of classroom authority, at least during the duration of a class discussion" (167). The equitable leanings of this pedagogical approach, however, provide not only the strengths of this pedagogy but also its limitations.
The ideology underlying current-traditionalism assumes that the classroom remains an oppressive arena, an environment in which student voices are quashed and student ideas discouraged. This view of an oppressive learning environment, however, does not allow for the cooperative student-centered and instructor-facilitated discussions so common within the networked writing classroom. Faigley notes that this "equality of participation" does not necessarily lead to "community-building," but "theorizes just the opposite, that conversation is inherently agonistic and to speak is to fight" (185). Although few instructors will argue that the networked writing classroom provides a perfectly democratic environment, most networked instructors will agree that this on-line environment emphasizes the value of student collaboration, rather than encouraging student confrontation, within the networked writing process. Many liberatory pedagogues, however, fear that this cooperative discussion will too quickly metamorphose into an all-encompassing and stifling consensus. The networked writing classroom, however, thrives on difference rather than similarity, dissensus rather than consensus -- and these characteristics are achieved most successfully through cooperative rather than combative on-line interactions. The networked writing classroom, therefore, with its cooperative discursive characteristics, is not fully compatible with the agonistic views of liberatory pedagogy.
COMPLEXITY THEORY: THE EMERGENT PEDAGOGY :
Another alternative to current-traditionalism rests upon the theoretical framework offered within the multidisciplinary theory of complexity. Complexity theorists such as Heinz Pagels, Roger Lewin, M. Mitchell Waldrop, and Ilya Prigogine all describe complex system systems as systems or groups consisting of individual autocatalytic elements, each seeking evolution through interaction.
Despite the apparent inapplicability of current-traditionalism in networked writing environments, the origins of current-traditionalism echo the origins of the pedagogy of complexity theory. Both current-traditionalist pedagogy and complexity theory (as a pedagogy) originated in direct reaction to the perceived lack of applicability of the previous prevalent instructional approaches. Current-traditionalists reacted against the perceived inapplicability of the classical rhetors in the "modern" classroom; complexity pedagogues subscribe to complexity theory in reaction to the perceived inapplicability of current-traditionalism in the postmodern online classroom. Both pedagogies originate in the empirical fields of science and mathematics in an effort to teach students more effectively. Current-traditionalists chose the reductionist scientific approach with its divisionary, disassembly methodology; complexity theorists, on the other hand, pull from the (postmodern) systemic approach within quantum physics and chaos theory. Both pedagogies reflect the scientific interests of their temporal context, and both pedagogies evolved in direct response to the perceived inability of a current pedagogy to meet a changing instructional environment.
Unlike current-traditionalism, however, complexity theory embraces and advances the collaborative pedagogies so common within networked writing classrooms. Founded upon the idea that interaction provides the most effective means of evolution for a dynamic system or community, complexity theory reflects Lev Vygotsky's "zone of proximal development," Julia Kristeva's "intertextuality," Kenneth Bruffee's social construction, Wolfgang Iser's "multi-axes" approach to meaning, and Mikhail Bakhtin's "discourse communities."
Some may suggest that a scientific theory so similar to our current pedagogy offers little of value in the way of new approaches to teaching writing. Complexity theory offers the field more than just new jargon, however; this theory offers us a feasibly analytical means of explaining the student-centered collaboration so particularly common within networked writing classrooms. Perhaps more importantly, complexity theory also offers the field an intelligible and shareable framework in which to view, describe, analyze, and understand the field's movement away from reductionist pedagogy to the currently favored collaborative approach to teaching writing.
SYSTEMIC VIEW OF COMPLEXITY THEORY:
James Gleick notes that both chaos and complexity theory are based in part upon ecology or the science of treating populations as dynamical systems instead of a random series of interactions (59). Since a system may be defined as "an assemblage or combination of parts forming a complex whole," the networked classroom qualifies with its various interactive agents (writers, instructors, documents, ideas) and their shared goal of intellectual evolution.
To be absolutely sure, however, that complexity theory remains applicable to the "system" of the networked classroom, we should contrast complex vs simple systems, and apply the characteristics of the networked writing classroom to the characteristics of a complex system.
CURRENT-TRADITIONALISM AS A SIMPLE SYSTEM:
John L. Casti notes that simple systems generally exhibit the following characteristics, characteristics fulfilled by current-traditionalist writing classrooms:
**fewer feedback/feedforward opportunities:
NETWORKED WRITING CLASSROOMS AS COMPLEX SYSTEMS:
In contrast, networked writing classrooms fulfill the Casti's characteristics of complexity systems:
**diffusion of real authority:
M. Michell Waldrop's final characteristic of complexsystems, self-organization, provides a final support for defining networked writing classrooms as complex systems. According to Waldrop, a self-organizing system is one whose elements react in an organized yet spontaneous fashion to adapt to changes within their internal/external environment. This "organized spontaneity" is most clearly visible in the online instructional environment in the constantly adapted FAQs (or Frequently Asked Questions) of any unmoderated listserv discussion group and in the constant adaptation of syllabi to recent technological developments.
While complexity theory, as an emerging pedagogy, does not provide a panacea for all ills in the field of composition, this adaptive instructional approach provides networked writing instructors with the theoretical framework and terminology to describe, analyze, and facilitate the move in the field of computers and writing from current-traditionalism toward collaboration, from hegemony to a student-centeredness.
The similarities of complexity theory to the current theories accepted within the field of computers and writing suggest that complexity theory would be readily understood by instructors not yet sure of the validity of the networked classroom. Perhaps the most persuasive reason to accept a pedagogy based upon complexity theory is one that even the most ardent current-traditionalist would accept. Echoing the current-traditionalist's early emphasis upon natural science, complexity pedagogue William E. Doll suggests that we integrate complexity theory into our classrooms because it reflects the world as it really is: "reality is not simple, spiritual, and uniform; it is complex, temporal, and multiple. We need an [evolutionary] educational model to fit this reality. We need a transformative, not a [reductionist] pedagogy" (16).
a) Suggested articles specific to composition, computers, and complexity theory. URL: http://www.arc.losrios.cc.ca.us/~corcora/complr.ajc
b) Glossary of terms associated with complexity theory. URL: http://www.arc.losrios.cc.ca.us/~corcora/complg.html
c) Links for more theoretical readings on complexity theory, chaos theory, and nonlinear dynamics. URL: http//www.arc.losrios.cc.ca.us/~corcora/compl.html
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