The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Thinking Allowed 2016: 'Queer' wars, Nigerian beauty pageantsMonday, 30th May 2016 00:15 - BBC Radio 4Laurie Taylor and guests looks at the international polarisation over sexual rights and beauty contests in a... Read more: Thinking Allowed 2016: 'Queer' wars, Nigerian beauty pageants
The Educators: Series 2: Character LessonsMonday, 30th May 2016 23:30 - BBC Radio 4
Life - with David Attenborough: Creatures of the DeepTuesday, 31st May 2016 09:00 - Eden
Life - with David Attenborough: PlantsTuesday, 31st May 2016 10:00 - Eden
The Educators: Series 2: Character LessonsAvailable for over a yearCan character education really improve someone's chances in life? Read more: The Educators: Series 2: Character Lessons
Thinking Allowed 2016: 'Queer' wars, Nigerian beauty pageantsAvailable for over a year
Old School With The Hairy Bikers: EPISODE 3Available until Sunday, 26th June 2016 20:00
Life - with David AttenboroughDavid Attenborough explores the vibrant mix of life found on our plant - where it comes from, and... Read more: Life - with David Attenborough
Instructions for installing the Learn to Code for Data Analysis free course s...Use these instructions to install, run and test the appropriate software for the free course... Read more: Instructions for installing the Learn to Code for Data Analysis free course software
Una lengua en movimientoThis free course will develop your knowledge and understanding of the societies and cultures of... Try: Una lengua en movimiento now
Introduction to bookkeeping and accountingLearn about the essential numerical skills required for accounting and bookkeeping. This free... Try: Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting 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.
After studying this 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 OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course TD866.
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.
- 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*.
- Word (1.8 MB)
- PDF (3.7 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (15.5 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (1.4 MB)
- Kindle (515 KB)
- RSS (379 KB)
- HTML (15.2 MB)
- SCORM (15.2 MB)
- OUXML Package (51 KB)
- OUXML File (153 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
- Moodle backup (56.3 MB)
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.