Conceptualizing Complexities of Curriculum: Developing a Lexicon for Ecojustice and the Transdisciplinarity of Bodies

Darren Stanley, Kelly Young


In this paper, we consider how the theoretical framework and hermeneutic lens known as complexity science might inform a view of ecojustice. Specifically, we examine certain underlying principles of complexity science as organizational invariances that arise within and without all relationally-embedded organizational bodies"”physiological, biological, psychological, social, cultural, political, and ecological. To this end, we consider important principles and notions like diversity and variability, redundancy, self-organization and emergence, relationships and connections, distributed leadership and governance, and organizational health and learning. By way of examples, we draw from our own experiences as educators and citizens of the world to show how an attention to many different scales is required to articulate an ecojustice pedagogy. To help us, we turn our attention to Nature for guidance in the way that life self-organizes and for a new set of images and metaphors to frame and describe ecojustice. In doing so, we show that while the substance of organizations may be different, beneath each deeply entangled and embedded organization is a set of underlying principles that prompt and give shape to healthy, sustainable, democratic organizations.

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JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing, and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

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ISSN: 1942-2563