This subject contains a 2 day Compulsory Residential School.
The residential school is run in conjunction with AGR353 in order to (a) cover the concepts that are common to both subjects, and (b) assure that a critical number of students are present in the class for interactive sessions.
On this basis the Residential School has overlapping objectives with what is stated in AGR353. They are to:
- Acquaint students with the language of holism and systems thinking in the context of an ecological approach.
- Explain the various models that constitute an ecological approach and to engage in debate on aspects of them.
- Engage in in-the-field work regarding observational skills that are part of the subject's major assignment.
- Explore imagination and creativity in an experiential manner in the context of an ecological approach.
In addition the school will:
- Explain the language of change management re personal change, community change, and organisational change.
- Explain the language and methodology of soft systems and its role in interpreting complex issues.
Activities to include:
- An outline of the models and theories pertaining to sustainability based around the writings of Ken Wilber and Brian Swimme.
- Basing the framework of the model to explore sustainability in a practical exercise and to introduce the new language of holarchy and holons which assists in the interpretation of sustainability.
- Using Hoffman's methodology to develop observational skills as part of the students 2nd Person engagement with the environment.
- Introducing a visual exercise in the context of the main assignment re the writings of Laura Sewall and her principles of ecological thinking.
- Using a three dimensional model the Gregory Bateson model of learning is explained and used to create debate around holism and sustainability.
- A practical exercise on values based on the Brian Hall model and the significance of values in impacting on systems thinking and imagination development.
- Using the thoughts of philosopher Henri Bortoft to explain holism: an interactive session
- The use of videos to set the context for issues mentioned above.
- Reflection on the success of the Residential School to challenge students' thinking and the assumptions that drive thinking and therefore decision-making.
Additional exercises include:
- The methodology of soft systems and its application to a conflict issue.
- The models of change and their application to management decision making.