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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.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 course outline
- 2 Section 2 Readings – Learning and communication
- 3 Section 2 Activities
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Understanding the environment: learning and communication
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
This free course includes adapted extracts 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: Thursday, 17th March 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 17th March 2016
- 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 and our FAQs section.
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