In building a case for grounding art education curricula in complexity theory as one approach to more meaningful art making, this paper is presented as a freestanding literature review. This review is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, but is representative of the literature researched. The main purpose of this paper is to provide new perspectives on complexity theory in education, specifically in art education. In the paper, we discuss complexity theory and how it emerged as a theory for understanding soft sciences. Then we explicate the characteristics of self-organization, bottom-up emergence, decentralized network, short-range relationships, nested organization, and being recursive, non-linear, structurally determined, and far-from-equilibrium, which we posit as most conducive to improved curriculum construction. As a means of situating our paper, we end by illustrating how complexity theory has been addressed sparingly in art education to date.

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