Cognition, Complexity, and Teacher Education
Harvard Educational Review
Brent Davis, Dennis J. Sumara
Drawing on recent developments in complexity theory, ecology, and hermeneutics, Brent Davis and Dennis Sumara present an "enactivist" model of cognition and contrast it to popular notions of what it means to learn and think that pervade formal education. They illustrate their model by drawing from their experiences during a year-long study in a small, inner-city elementary school. According to this model, cognition does not occur in individual minds or brains, but in the possibility for shared action. An enactivist theory of cognition, the authors suggest, requires teachers and teacher educators to reconceive the practice of teaching by blurring the lines between knower and known, teacher and student, school and community.