Teaching as an emergent process in the context of learning and development

Patrick Bradbery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


Developmental models of learning have not received the degree of attention they deserve, particularly in their implications for teaching. Although developmental models date back to Piaget, and were developed further by Bateson, it is only in more recent times that these theories of learning have come back into focus as important tools in understanding learning. In part, this is thanks to the insights provided by investigation of the phenomenon of the learning organisation. One of the important implications of a developmental approach to learning is that deep learning is an emergent process, rather than a mechanistic process. Although at early stages of development of the learner, learning is and probably needs to be bounded, as the learner develops to maturity as a learner, these boundaries need to become more porous and eventually disappear. If the teacher is to respond appropriately to the changing needs of the developing learner, then they need to embrace teaching as an emergent process, rather than the traditional, structured process that serves well enough for the learner at earlier stages of development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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