Stasis and change…

The paper I am presenting at the LTE event in early June is (tentatively) titled Stasis and Change: conceptualising ELT as a complex dynamical system. The paper was originally written for the New Dynamics conference in Finland, where it will be presented as ‘Places for Pedagogy, Spaces for Innovation: the emergence of eclectic pedagogy in ELT settings‘.

The paper reports on my ongoing study in a language school in Greece. What I am trying to do in this study is to record the beliefs, attitudes and practices at the school,  and synthesise them in a complex dynamical system. A complex dynamical system, simply put, is a set of interconnected entities that display some sort of collective behaviour, which we cannot not directly attribute to any one constituent.

In this paper, I will attempt to demonstrate that such a conceptualisation is descriptively powerful, and that it can help us understand why certain pedagogical patterns emerge. Using examples from the data, I will show why the language school seems, at times, to resist communicative influences, and why other aspects of teaching and learning seem poised for the emergence of eclectic pedagogy.

Feedback is very welcome, especially with regard to the persuasiveness of the account.