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Understanding the environment: Learning and communication
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently...
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently dominating society, rooted in unlimited economic growth unperceptive to its social and environmental impact, cannot resolve the converging environmental, social and economic crises we now face. The primary aim of this unit is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- practise a very basic implementation of cybernetic optimisation through the use of the action learning process;
- appreciate the role of visual modes of communication in surfacing and reflecting on personal mental models;
- practise visual modelling and communication as basic skills in systems thinking and practice.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Unit outline
- 2 Section 2 Readings – Learning and communication
- 3 Section 2 Activities
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Understanding the environment: learning and communication
This unit will facilitate your own exploration of key environmental, social and economic threats that will converge to challenge communities in the near future. You will be required to develop this exploration according to three modes of modelling and communication: verbal, visual, and numerical. This multi-mode approach encourages a more holistic exploration of the complexity involving the left and right side of the brain and using a wider range of intelligences. This will hopefully allow you to produce a more appropriate and actionable understanding of complex situations in stark contrast to the conventional logical-analytical approach which is usually taught in educational establishments.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Understanding systems: making use of complexity (T214) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in .
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Environmental Studies courses or view the range of currently available OU Environmental Studies courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 27th July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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