More Thoughtful Comments on Constructal Law and The Structure of Education

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More Thoughtful Comments on Constructal Law and The Structure of Education

My reflections on the work by Dr. Adrian Bejan on constructal law and its implications for K-12 school and learning continues to draw comments, both from educators and theorists.  Here are two thoughtful comments to mull over as we think about how a global learning system, the cognitosphere, will evolve in the years and decades to come:

From Holly Chesser at SAIS:

Glad you did the heavy lifting on this theory. With no knowledge of the details, I certainly can see how innovation in schools relates to constructal theory: for a system to live and prosper, it needs to evolve in such a way that provides easier access to the currents (ideas) that flow through it. Schools that, either because of their hierarchies or institutional structures, stifle flow eventually turn sluggish and starve.

I wonder, though, if the reason you struggle with the theory’s application in grade school is that you’re presuming that idea flow was once concentrated in a system of publishers and textbook writers. Was it ever? They determined content and helped create a classroom of consumers, but were they ever producing the flow of ideas or encouraging creation?

And from Nigel Reading at ASYNSIS:

Know thyself. What is education if not a form of Heraclitian logos, of a principle of order and knowledge, of analogy and feedback itself? It’s society recapitulating what it knows about itself and the world it exists within
using historical and oracular reason. A civilisational RAM device.
The beauty of the Constructal law for me is in how it reveals to us that this behaviour is driven by thermodynamics and is fundamentally a physics phenomenon.
Form follows flow. Asynsis principle geometries are often the fractal static and temporal signatures of those behaviours, albeit in idealised form.
Both nature and culture evolve designs to flow energy, matter and information more easily, optimally, analogically from entropy. Given freedom, they will often also do so with greater force, hierachy and resultant complexity.
K-12 seems to be an emergent property of a society increasing in complexity and undergoing rapid change. So as an evolved design to seek equilibrium more easily, K-12 is perhaps a manifestation of a society in flux self-designing a more flexible, decentralised, distributed, dynamically resilient and adaptive mode for education to cope (and flow), more easily with that increased flux.
This too, is no doubt also Constructal law behaviour.

Thanks; this topic sounds obscure, but education cannot hold itself apart from the knowledge we gain in other parts of the physical and intellectual universe.

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By | 2013-01-28T22:49:49+00:00 January 28th, 2013|Innovation in Education|1 Comment

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  1. NigelReading|ASYNSIS (@ASYNSIS) January 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Most kind Grant – thank you,
    From a theorist, educator and practitioner (and to paraphrase the great American architect Louis Kahn):
    The first school? Under a tree, with a teacher who didn’t know he knew and students who didn’t know they didn’t.
    The result? Heuristic Ideals…and Design.

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