Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 14, Iss. 1, January, 2010, pp. 47-68
@2010 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


How Nonlinear Systems Inform Meaning and Early Education

Doris Pronin Fromberg, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Abstract: This paper contends that educators need to prepare young learners to function with the predictable unpredictability of life in this century by participating in the kind of education that is transformational and adaptive to the ways in which children acquire meaning. When teachers implement a dynamic-themes theory of early education they can help children younger than nine years of age to integrate meaning. The isomorphic relationships apparent within each of several theories - script theory, Theory of Mind as metacognition, and chaos and complexity theory - together can provide evidence for the nature of meaning and its relationship to the nonlinear early education of children. The transformational-generative characteristics of these theories, that include constructed learning, inform dynamic early educational practice. Play, as one condition for meaningful early learning, also has particular significance in early education by affording an environment for assessing learning.

Keywords: nonlinear dynamic systems, chaos theory, complexity theory, isomorphism, meaning, play, early education, bifurcation, phase transition