Volume 5 · Number 3 · Pages 109–120

< Previous Paper · Next Paper >

Comparing Conceptions of Learning: Pask and Luhmann

Eva Buchinger & Bernard Scott

Download the full text in
PDF (1017 kB)

Abstract

Context: Both Luhmann and Pask have developed detailed theories of social systems that include accounts of the role of learning. Problem: Rather than see the theories as competing, we believe it is worthwhile to seek ways in which a useful synthesis of the two approaches may be developed. Method: We compare the two approaches by identifying key similarities and differences. Results: We show it is possible to make useful mappings between key concepts in the two theories. Implications: We believe it is worthwhile for social scientists to be familiar with the two theories and that it is not a case of “either/or,” rather, it is a case of “both/and.”

Key words: learning, conversation, interaction, expectation, Niklas Luhmann, Gordon Pask

Citation

Buchinger E. & Scott B. (2010) Comparing Conceptions of Learning: Pask and Luhmann. Constructivist Foundations 5(3): 109–120. Available at http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/journal/5/3/109.buchinger

Export article citation data: Plain Text · BibTex · EndNote · Reference Manager (RIS)

References

Ashby W. R. (1956) An introduction to cybernetics. Wiley, New York. << Google Scholar

Boyd G. (1993) Educating symbiotic p-individuals through multi-level conversations. Systems Research 10(3): 113–128. << Google Scholar

Buchinger E. (2006) The sociological concept of autopoiesis: Biological and philosophical basics and governance relevance. Kybernetes 35(3/4): 360–374. << Google Scholar

Buchinger E. (2008) Modelling micro-meso relations: From expectation-driven individual interaction to public governance mechanism. In: Trappl R. (ed.) Cybernetics and systems 08. Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies, Vienna. << Google Scholar

Foerster H. von et al. (eds.) (1974) Cybernetics of cybernetics. BCL Report 73.38, Biological Computer Laboratory, Dept. of Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana. << Google Scholar

Habermas J. (2007) Philosophical discourse of modernity. Polity Press, Cambridge. Originally published in German in 1985. << Google Scholar

Husserl E. (2003) Logical investigations. Volume 1. Routledge, London and New York. Originally published in German in 1901. << Google Scholar

Laing R. D., Phillipson S. & Lee A. R. (1966) Interpersonal perception. London, Tavistock. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. & Schorr E. (1988) Reflexionsprobleme im Erziehungssystem. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. Originally published in 1979. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1977) Differentiation of society. Canadian Journal of Sociology 2: 29–54. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1987) Beiträge zur funktionalen Differenzierung der Gesellschaft SA4. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1989) Individuum, Individualität, Individualismus. In: Luhmann N. (ed.) Gesellschaftsstruktur und Semantik 3. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1990) Die Wissenschaft der Gesellschaft. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1990) Essays on self-reference. Columbia University Press, New York. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1993) Das Recht der Gesellschaft. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1995) Die Soziologie und der Mensch SA6. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1995) Social systems. Stanford University Press, Stanford. Originally published in German in 1984. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (1997) Die Gesellschaft der Gesellschaft. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (2000) Die Politik der Gesellschaft. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (2000) Organisation und Entscheidung. Westdeutscher Verlag, Wiesbaden. << Google Scholar

Luhmann N. (2002) Das Erziehungssystem der Gesellschaft. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt. << Google Scholar

Maturana H. R. & Varela F. J. (1980) Autopoiesis and cognition: The realization of the living. Reidel, Dordrecht. << Google Scholar

Parsons T. (1964) The social system. The Free Press, New York. Originally published in 1951. << Google Scholar

Pask G. & Zeeuw G. de (1989) The right of actors to interact. Systemica 1: 6. << Google Scholar

Pask G. & Zeeuw G. de (1991) Interaction of actors theory. Compiled and edited by R. Glanville. OOC Programme. University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam. << Google Scholar

Pask G. & Zeeuw G. de (1992) A succint summary of novel theories. In: Trappl R. (ed.) Cybernetics and Systems Research ’92. Volume 2. World Scientific, Singapore: 665–672. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1958) Electronic keyboard teaching machines. Journal National Educational Association for Education and Commerce, July 1958. Reprinted in: Glaser R. & Lumsdaine A. (eds.) (1960) Teaching machines and programmed learning. Volume 1. National Educational Association, Washington: 336–349. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1965) The cybernetics of evolutionary processes and of self-organising systems. Proceedings of the third congress of the international association of cybernetics, Namur 1961. Gauthier Villars, Namur: 27–74. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1966) Comments on the cybernetics of ethical, psychological and sociological systems. In: Schadé J. P. (ed.) Norbert Wiener memorial volume. Progress in Biocybernetics 3: 258–260. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1968) Man as a system that needs to learn. In: Stewart D. J. (ed.) Automaton theory and Learning Systems. Academic Press, London: 137–208. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1969) The meaning of cybernetics in the behavioural sciences. In: J Rose J. (ed.) Progress of cybernetics. Volume 1. Gordon and Breach, New York: 15–44. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1973) Models for social systems and their languages. Instructional Science 1: 39–50. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1975) Conversation, cognition and learning. Elsevier, Amsterdam. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1975) The cybernetics of human learning and performance. Hutchinson, London. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1979) A conversation theoretic approach to social systems. Sociocybernetics. In: Geyer F. & van der Zouwen J. (eds.) An actor oriented social systems theory. Martinus Nijhof, Amsterdam: 15–26. << Google Scholar

Pask G. (1982) SAKI, twenty five years of adaptive training into the microprocessor era. International Journal of Man–Machine Studies 17: 69–74 << Google Scholar

Pask G., Kallikourdis D. & Scott B. (1975) The representation of knowables. International Journal of Man–Machine Studies 7: 15–134. << Google Scholar

Scott B. (1976) Cognitive representations and their transformations in the acquisition of keyboard skills. PhD thesis, Department of Cybernetics, Brunel University. << Google Scholar

Scott B. (1987) Human systems, communication and educational psychology. Educational Psychology in Practice 3(2): 4–15. << Google Scholar

Scott B. (1993) Working with Gordon: Developing and applying conversation Theory (1968–1978) Systems Research 10(3): 167–182. << Google Scholar

Scott B. (1997) Inadvertent pathologies of communication in human systems. Kybernetes 26 (6/7): 824–836. << Google Scholar

Scott B. (2001) Cybernetics and the social sciences. Systems Research 18: 411–420. << Google Scholar

Scott B. (2002) A design for the recursive construction of learning communities. International Revue of Sociology 12(2): 257–268. << Google Scholar

Scott B. (2006) Reflexivity revisited: The sociocybernetics of belief, meaning, truth and power. Kybernetes 35(3/4): 308–316. << Google Scholar

Shannon C. E. (1949) A mathematical theory of communication. In: Shannon C. E. & Weaver W. (eds.) The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago: 29–115. << Google Scholar

Stichweh R. (2005) Inklusion in Funktionssysteme der modernen Gesellschaft. In: Stichweh R. (ed.) Inklusion und Exklusion: Studien zur Gesellschaftstheorie. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag. Originally published in 1989. << Google Scholar

Strawson P. F. (1959) Individuals: An essay in descriptive metaphysics. Methuen, London. << Google Scholar

Weaver W. (1949) Some recent contributions to the mathematical theory of communication. In: Shannon C. E. & Weaver W. (eds.) The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago: 1–28. << Google Scholar

Zeeuw G. de (2001) Interaction of actors theory. Kybernetes 30 (5/6): 971–983. << Google Scholar