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Understanding the environment: Learning and communication

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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 free course, Understanding the environment: Learning and communication, is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview.

After studying this course, 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.

By: The Open University

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Understanding the environment: learning and communication


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This course 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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 2 study in Environment & Development [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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