Many reform initiatives adopt a reductionist, proceduralized approach to cultural change, assuming that deep changes can be realized by introducing new classroom activities, textbooks, and technological tools. This article elaborates a complex system perspective of learning culture: A learning culture as a complex system involves macro-level properties (e.g., epistemological beliefs, social values, power structures) and micro-level features (e.g., technology, classroom activities). Deep changes in macro-level properties cannot be reduced to any component. This complex system perspective is applied to examining technology-supported educational change in East Asia and analyzing how teachers sustain the knowledge building innovation in different contexts. Working with the macro-micro dynamics in a learning culture requires a principle-based approach to learning innovation that specifies macro-level changes using principle-based instead of procedure-based terms and engages teachers’ deep reflection and creative engagement at both the macro- and the micro-level.
Zhang, Jianwei, "Technology-supported learning innovation in cultural contexts" (2010). Educational Theory and Practice Faculty Scholarship. 9.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9137-6.