Structural Coupling as a Foundation for Instructional Design

Structural Coupling as a Foundation for Instructional Design

Jeanette Bopry (National Institute of Education, Nayang Technological University, Singapore) and Donald J. Cunningham (USF St. Petersburg, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-774-4.ch023
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In this chapter, we describe an alternative to the cognitive and neo-behavioral views of learning that currently dominate the field of instructional design and development. Founded in the work of Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, this view questions the fundamental notions that the environment can actually be “instructive” and that instruction can be prescribed to change learners in predictable ways. Instead we offer a proscriptive model of instructional design, one that embeds the process in the basic foundation that learners are organizationally closed, structurally determined, and coupled with their environment. Instead of threatening the field of instructional design, as some writers have expressed, we argue that this approach actually “sets it free”!

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