ERIC Number: ED346610
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Nonequilibrium Theory: Implications for Educational Systems Undergoing Radical Change in Eastern Europe.
Rust, Val D.
The change processes involving schools that are currently experiencing turbulent social reconstruction in eastern Europe are examined in this paper, which calls for the development of a new paradigm for social change. The first section describes recent educational reform activities and their flaws in three eastern European countries--Russia, Estonia, and East Germany. Limitations of structuralist and Marxist/Leninist theories are discussed next, both of which assume the inherent equilibrium of the social structure. A new paradigm for understanding social and institutional change, based on the concept of dynamic systems, is advocated. The paradigm, based on the "self-organizing" capacity of all open systems, is founded on the concepts of: (1) open systems with respect to the exchange of resources and information; (2) the necessary state of disequilibrium for alive systems; and (3) the autocatalytic characteristics of the forces for development. The next section relates these theoretical concepts to events observed in fieldwork conducted in East Germany at the time of the Berlin wall's demise. Support activities are suggested for the Russian central ministry for the self-organizing transformation of schools. A conclusion is that research should reflect a view of schools as active, changing, and undergoing continual renewal. (19 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: East Germany; Estonia; Europe; Russia