SEAE Seminar Series: 5 October 2022. Complexity thinking and understanding for everyone: a patterns-based approach

Dr Shae Brown, Researcher, Southern Cross University


Complexity thinking and understanding is a fundamental skill required in the 21st century. To assist students to be prepared for the challenges now and ahead, such as climate change and other global problems, education needs to include this skill. This work contributes an effective approach to the teaching and learning of complexity thinking, understanding and acting, all together described as complexity competence. Providing a language, conceptual framework, and practical strategy, Complexity Patterning supports students to engage effectively with complex phenomena. It is an embodied and experiential approach that can begin with students’ own lives and experience as the complex phenomenon of focus, aligning with recent pedagogical research stating that using a familiar phenomenon is most effective. Complexity Patterning engages a relational perspective of the world’s coming-into-being, and the co-generativity of our participation in emerging futures.


The success of implementing Complexity Patterning with secondary students inspired Dr. Shae Brown to undertake doctoral inquiry. With a passion to contribute to new paradigm education for the 21st century, Shae brings extensive experience teaching and learning in a wide range of educational settings. Having recently graduated with her doctorate, and attracting an award for her work with the International Society of Systems Science, Shae is currently exploring the most appropriate way to broaden access to this work. In the meantime, Shae is engaged in teaching, research assisting, and student advocacy at Southern Cross University.

The Sustainability, Environment, the Arts and Education (SEAE) Research Cluster is globally recognised for enacting profound change in/through transdisciplinary environmental and Arts education research that disrupts and generates new ways of being and becoming, which provokes dynamic responses to critical local-global calamities.  Find out more about SEAE.

Frontify banner for SEAE seminar Shae Brown

Date and time

From: Wednesday, October 5, 2022 4:00 PM - NSW time To: Wednesday, October 5, 2022 5:00 AM - NSW time