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. Understanding the environment: A systems approach, is a free course whose primary aim is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview. It promotes the shift in perception towards socio-economic systems as dependent upon the finite resources and finite wastes sinks of planet Earth.
This is the introductory session in the 'Understanding the environment' series.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
implement an action learning framework for exploring complex situations
recognise that the way we engage with the world is through partial models of reality, and that these models are limited by different cognitive styles and ‘thinking traps’
understand the need to collaboratively incorporate a blend of cognitive styles and multiple intelligences as the basis for effective systems practice and thinking
appreciate how different modes of communication (verbal, visual and mathematical) affect the way we represent our mental models
develop verbal, visual and mathematical models that explore both social and natural impacts, and reflect on the use of such models to inform thoughts and actions.
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Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
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materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions377 and our FAQs378.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.
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