Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 20, Iss. 3, July, 2016, pp. 401-422
@2016 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Addressing the Policy Churn in Public Education in the United States

Matthijs Koopmans, Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY

Abstract: Educational organizations, public schools in particular, are seen as being notoriously inert and resistant to change. While school reform efforts are widespread, educational outcomes such as high school graduation rates and achievement in reading and math continue to show disparity between socio-economic groups. Why is educational change so hard to accomplish? This article approaches the question from two perspectives: the school reform literature that identifies the factors inhibiting change in school systems, and the literature on complex dynamical systems (CDS), which facilitates understanding of the dynamics underlying inertia and transformation. The need is articulated for empirical research that focuses on reform as an implementation process, to provide further insight in what we know about its impact on educational outcomes.

Keywords: complexity, emergence, school reform, nonlinear change