Cultivating Tipping Points: Network Science in Teaching

  • Catherine Cramer
  • Ralucca Gera
  • Michaela Labriole
  • Hiroki Sayama
  • Lori Sheetz
  • Emma Towlson
  • Stephen Uzzo
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Complexity book series (SPCOM)


Current education systems continue to be based predominantly on reductionist mindsets in which teaching is conducted on a subject-by-subject and module-by-module basis. Improvement is planned and implemented using a linear, causal, independent-problem-to-solution approach, with very little consideration given to the interconnectedness among the various components and ideas involved in these complex knowledge systems. This situation presents a need to think about how understanding these connections can improve the learning of complex ideas. It also constitutes an opportunity to provide a multifaceted intervention for communities of learners, which would, itself, be a coordinated network of collaborative efforts to develop a network literate populace. In this paper, the authors describe addressing these issues through a multi-phase, multi-year approach to professional development with formal and informal educators; the outcomes of this work; and next steps.


Network literacy NGSS Teacher professional development Network science 



The authors would like to acknowledge the National Science Foundation (BCS Award #1027752 and DRL Award #1139478) and the US Army Research Office for supporting this important work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Cramer
    • 1
  • Ralucca Gera
    • 2
  • Michaela Labriole
    • 1
  • Hiroki Sayama
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lori Sheetz
    • 5
  • Emma Towlson
    • 4
  • Stephen Uzzo
    • 1
  1. 1.New York Hall of ScienceQueensUSA
  2. 2.Naval Postgraduate SchoolMontereyUSA
  3. 3.Center for Collective Dynamics of Complex SystemsBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Complex Network ResearchNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  5. 5.Center for Leadership and Diversity in STEMU.S. Military Academy at West PointWest PointUSA

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