North Carolina State University


Jayne Fleener, Ph.D., has over 30 years of professional education experience in K-12 and higher education. She has a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Indiana University and three graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including her Ph.D. in mathematics education and Masters’ degree in philosophy. Before going to North Carolina State University as Dean of the College of Education, she was Dean of the College of Education at Louisiana State University where she also held an endowed chair. She also served as Associate Dean at the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Fleener has been recognized as one of the 125 Transformational Women of NC State and serves on numerous professional and community boards. Dr. Fleener utilizes philosophical inquiry and chaos and complexity theory dynamics to explore complex problems in education. She has published over 100 articles, including two books, and has extensive international experience.

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Addressing educations’ most intractable problems:
Volume: 18, Issue 3-4
Education's most intractable, perennial problems go unresolved not because policy makers and teachers lack the will to address them but because the challenges result from the interconnectedness and complexities of education, creating social problems seemingly beyond reach for systemic, sustained solutions to be attempted. The purpose of this paper is to examine and apply a Futures Inquiry approach and rethink the challenges of school reform from a complex adaptive systems perspective to address the case of perennially low performing schools. The Futures Inquiry approach is a multidimensional approach to deconstructing educational issues that takes advantage of patterned solutions without artificially over-simplifying or prematurely reducing problems while also keeping in mind creating sustainable, adaptive educational futures. This approach is particularly valuable as a solution-pathway during times of rapid change, reduced resources, and social upheaval. The Futures Inquiry approach presented herein is essential for addressing the challenges of systemic educational inequalities to ensure full participation of all of our future citizens in a rapidly changing, global society. Futures Inquiry as a problem-solving tool, provides the basis for transforming education as a fundamental social institution.