from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Life: InsectsTuesday, 9th February 2016 05:00 - Eden EdenYou think there's a lot of people? There's a lot more insects. Read more: Life: Insects
The London Markets: The Fruit And Veg Market: Inside New SpitafieldsAvailable until Sunday, 13th March 2016 00:40The fruit and veg trade in England was once a closed world dominated by traditional British costermonger families.... Read more: The London Markets: The Fruit And Veg Market: Inside New Spitafields
Thinking Allowed 2016: Consumerism, Work-life balanceAvailable for over a year
More or Less: E-cigs, politics, school and birthdaysAvailable for over a year
The Bottom Line: Winter 2015-16: Renewable EnergyAvailable for over a year
The Open University at 45: What can we learn from Britain's distance educatio...This month sees the 50th anniversary of the government ‘White Paper’ which launched the OU in... Read more: The Open University at 45: What can we learn from Britain's distance education pioneer?
OpenLearn Live: 9th February 2016The king who saw a tree bend and embraced peace and the day when pancakes are centre stage. Free... Read more: OpenLearn Live: 9th February 2016
Landschaftliche VielfaltGerman regions and landscapes, local traditions and the notion of Heimat are at the centre of... Try: Landschaftliche Vielfalt now
Start writing fictionHave you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course,... Try: Start writing fiction now
This free course, Nature matters: Systems thinking and experts, explores conceptual tools for assisting our thinking and deliberation on what matters. The notion of 'framing' nature is introduced and three readings provide an understanding of systems thinking for explicitly framing issues of environmental responsibility.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- understand why systems thinking might be useful and know something about how it can be applied in the context of environmental responsibility;
- describe the significance of environmental pragmatism and cognitive justice as tools for supporting environmental policy and action.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Framing nature matters: from language to systems thinking
- 1.1 Framing nature using language tools
- 1.2 A framing paradox: experiencing nature with cognitive tools
- 1.3 Framing nature matters as systems
- 1.4 Nature matters in terms of a critical systems literacy
- 2 Supporting environmental conversation: policy and action
- 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!
Nature matters: systems thinking and experts
This unit explores conceptual tools for assisting our thinking and deliberation on what matters. In Section 1, a reading by Ronald Moore introduces the notion of 'framing' nature, raising the perceived paradox of inevitably devaluing an aesthetically pleasing unframed entity. Three further readings, two from Fritjof Capra and one from Werner Ulrick (all of which are quite short and markedly reduced from their original courses), provide an understanding of systems thinking for explicitly framing issues of environmental responsibility. The development of systems literacy (referred to by Capra in terms of ecoliteracy and by Ulrich in terms of critical systems thinking) is explored to counter the sometimes debilitating dualistic positioning on environmental matters alluded to by writers such as Talbott, Light and Higgs amongst many others.
Section 2 focuses more on how conceptual tools can help to inform better policy and action regarding environmental matters. Here, a reading by Robyn Eckersley critically explores the importance and limitations of environmental pragmatism for informing policy. Finally, ideas of cognitive justice are explored in a reading by Shiv Visvanathan, who suggests a need for continually developing constructive space between scientific experts and lay experts in order to inform policy and action on what matters that reflects a wider constituency, and that is more specific to eco-cultural circumstances.
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 26th July 2011
Last updated on: 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 and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.