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Applying Chaos Theory to school reform

Richard Wertheimer (Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. E‐mail:;
Mario Zinga (Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. E‐mail:;

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 May 1998



This paper is a case study of the ideology, strategies and process of the Common Knowledge: Pittsburgh project in its attempt at school reform in an urban school district. The paper reflects on the project’s activities, looks at its efforts from the literature of school reform, and uses its experience to develop a conceptual framework for discussing such reform efforts. The conceptual framework is based on Chaos Theory (Gleick, 1987). The objectives of this paper are to apply Chaos Theory, as developed in mathematics and science to educational organizations and present a conceptual model for school reform consistent with this theory.



Wertheimer, R. and Zinga, M. (1998), "Applying Chaos Theory to school reform", Internet Research, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 101-114.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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