Autopoiesis and systems education: Implications for practice

Robert Kay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, I will discuss the application of Maturana and Varela's theories of autopoiesis, cognition and language to the notions of worldview, worldview change and curriculum design. The context for this discussion is the education of systems concepts, thinking and practice. It has been argued that systemic thinking requires the adoption of particular assumptions into the worldview of the student, independent of the systems concepts under study. This raises the question of how best to structure a curriculum to meet this end. It will be argued that autopoietic theory, when applied to systems education has significant implications for curriculum design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-530
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of General Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Autopoietic theory
  • Curriculum design
  • Systems education
  • Systems practice
  • Worldview change


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