Social Ecology for Educators
Meaningful Teaching & Learning: A Social Ecology Perspective – 2016 – Penrith – UG Social Ecology, Western Sydney University
This session will focus on developing and working with an ‘ecological consciousness’ … implications for choices and priorities day-to-day in work place, community and relationship/family settings. This will involve considering the processes involved, including active/empathic listening, communication, collaboration, working with complexity, a radical approach to visioning (based on ‘lying’!), deep leadership and ways to manage associated resistance, conflict, celebration, active reflection …examples of doing this in communities and in one’s life; including issues involving power, gender, difference, design to prevent (rather that solutions to solve) ‘problems’ (consider as’ indicators’, not ‘enemies’!) - All based on a foundational understanding of knowledge, wisdom, psychology, ecology, social ecology, transformational learning, development and change; followed by workshop activities to personalise the participants’ learning and commitment.
Implications for choices and priorities day-to-day:
- in work place,
- relationship/family settings.
This will involve considering the processes involved, including:
- active/empathic listening,
- working with complexity,
- a radical approach to visioning (based on ‘lying’!),
- deep leadership
ways to manage associated:
- active reflection …
examples of doing this in:
- one’s life
including issues involving:
- design to prevent (rather that solutions to solve) ‘problems’ (consider as’ indicators’, not ‘enemies’!)
All based on a foundational understanding of:
- social ecology,
- transformational learning,
Followed by workshop activities to personalise the participants’ learning and commitment.
TESTING QUESTIONS FOR ‘GENUINE’ PROGRESS & IMPROVEMENT - To what extent, and in what ways, do the initiatives (policies, programmes, plans, regulations, decisions, initiatives, etc.) support the sustainable wellbeing of all, in relation to the following four main areas?
- Building and maintaining personal capital – personal sustainability: empowerment, awareness, creative visioning, values and worldview clarification, acquisition of essential literacies and competencies, responsibility, wellbeing and health maintenance, vitality and spontaneity?
- Home and ecosystem maintenance: caring, loving, responsible, mutualistic, negentropic (capital building) relationships with diverse others (valuing equity & social justice), other species, place and planet? [‘negentropic’ is the opposite of ‘entropic’: breaking down]
- Lifelong learning: positive total life-cycle personal development and ‘progressive’ change?
- Building and maintaining social capital – cultural [including economic] sustainability: trust, accessible, collaborative, responsible, creative, celebrational, life-promoting community and political structures and processes?
- Inter-cultural and interpersonal capital: the valuing of ‘functional’ high cultural diversity, mutually beneficial relationships and the required competencies?
- Co-evolutionary change: positive cultural development and co-evolutionary change that benefits all involved?
- Building and maintaining natural capital: effective ecosystem functioning, resilience and ecological sustainability?
- ‘Functional’ high biodiversity, and prioritised use and conservation of resources?
- Positive ecosystem development and co-evolutionary change?
- Proactive (vs. reactive) design/redesign (vs. just efficiency & substitution) and small meaningful collaborative initiatives that one can guarantee to carry through to completion (vs. heroic, Olympic-scale, exclusive, high-risk ones), and public celebration at each stage – to facilitate the spread of initiatives – thereby making wellbeing and environmental caring ‘contagious’?
- A focus on key opportunities and windows for change (contextually unique change ‘moments’ & places)?
- Effective evaluation and monitoring: (broad, long-term, as well as specific & short-term) by identifying and using integrator indicators and testing questions, and by being attentive to all feedback and outcomes (& redesigning future actions & initiatives accordingly)?