Learning Participation as Systems Practice

Ison, Ray; Blackmore, Chris and Armson, Rosalind (2007). Learning Participation as Systems Practice. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 13(3) pp. 209–225.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13892240701427599


Learning participation only makes sense if it is purposeful. From our perspective its primary purpose is to achieve more effective managing in situations of complexity and change. We describe our evolving understandings and practices (a praxeology) for Systems Practice for managing complexity, built on 30 years of developing supported open learning opportunities in the area of Systems within the curriculum of The Open University (UK). We ground this description in two specific examples of how notions of participation are incorporated conceptually and practically into a learner's programme of study by considering: i) the postgraduate course 'Environmental Decision Making. A Systems Approach' (T860) and ii) the undergraduate course 'Managing Complexity. A Systems Approach' (T306). From these courses, as well as a historical review of teaching practice, we identify nine pedagogic design features of our practice. Metaphorically all of the elements of our praxeology can be understood through the lens of the practitioner as chorographer (a systematic describer and analyst of regions) and choreographer (one versed in creating a dance of the emotions).

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