Convergent Adaptation in Small Groups: Understanding Professional Development Activities Through a Complex Systems Lens


Understanding the dynamics of individual or group adaptation can provide valuable information for constructing professional development strategies to increase chances of instructional success. This paper reports on an exploratory study that identifies indicators of convergent vs. non-convergent adaptation in two cases of teachers working together on a technology-based curriculum construction activity and explores the relationship between group characteristics and adaptation processes. We have used the core complex systems concept of adaptation as a lens for understanding how and why some teachers are better able to adapt to the educational program requirements. The results show that processes of convergence and non-convergence influenced adaptive outcomes, and that the more similar the teaching characteristic index (TCI) number was among group members, the more likely it was that group dynamics would result in convergent adaptive outcomes.

This article is part of a special issue of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE). 


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Susan Yoon
Lei Liu
Sao-Ee Goh
Journal of Technology and Teacher Education
Teacher Professional Development and Pedagogy
Publication Year
Additional Disciplines
Bioscience - biotechnology
Engineering - nanotechnology