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Susana Simões Leal, ID 10298566, from MSc in Learning for Sustainability- September 2010.
ABSTRACT: This article will discuss about the need of changing from the educational system and, Key words: consequently, business schools curriculum and methodologies. It purpose change education from
transmissive to a transformative way, introducing new methods and tools of learning. It shows how the organicist paradigms from sustainability could influence the mechanistic culture of business schools. And to reflect about the potential of shifting which it can produces in business world and their consequence in the human actions to minimizing Earth’s ecological and social “ footprint” impacts. Introduction Education is the solution for the current century, not solely to prepare young people for business or careers in the global economy but to encourage people to have critical thinking, creativity, ecological and social awareness ( Orr in Sterling, 2009). This article will discuss about the changing an educational system from transmissive to transformative, introducing tools and new ways of learning. And to reflect about knew paradigms which are shifting from mechanist to holistic paradigms in business schools by transformative learning. From transmissive to transformative education The old educational system has been specially confronted by new paradigms of sustainable education which have a more holistic, practical, democratic and ecological view than the narrowly, instrumental, centralized and standardized way that was chosen by the traditional education (Orr in Sterling, 2009). Sterling (2009) has proposed that a new educational paradigm reflecting upon an important distinction between different orders of changing and learning. The first-order change and learning takes place within adaptive learning that leaves basic values unexamined and unchanged, and does not require examination of values and beliefs . This traditional dimension of learning is basically engaged on formation, ‘to know about’. With a transmissive methodology, the process is more instructive and associated with transfer of information. By contrast, the second-order change and learning involves critical and reflective learning. The learners examine the assumptions that influence first-order learning and going deep to another dimension. It is a way to ‘think about our thinking,
which engages the learner in constructing and owning meaning. Besides this, at a deeper level, is the third-order learning where learners are able to see things differently, into a more creative way, which involves a deep awareness of alternative worldviews and ways of doing things. With a transformative methodology the education is more constructive and participative, respects existing knowledge, recognizing local culture and reality (Sterling, 2009). This way had to be learnt from the failure of more transmissive and imposed methods. Even, such constructive methodologies are more difficult to apply, because they were timeconsuming and unpredictable situations, the changing is owned and notable among participants. It could be called as a real education for change and, therefore more likely to be sustainable. Thus, the sustainable education has to be essentially transformative, constructive, participatory and produce a real changing, concludes Sterling (2009). The educational literature presents a wide variety of methods in transformative learning which tutors could use the three domains of learning – cognitive (head), psychomotor (hands) and affective (heart) to engage learners, according Cotton and Winter (2010). Examples of these strategies could be seen through group discussions, debates, critical reading and writing, stimulus activities, critical incidents, personal development planning and Fieldwork. Between those, it could detach the ‘stimulus actives’ which involve watching critically a documentary video, or looking at pictures or newspaper to extract and initiate a reflection or discussion. Students may even be fostered in producing their own work such as photos or videos taken around their community (Oulton et al, 2004). These documents enable the tutor to bring in wide range of viewpoints for critical analysis, even with large groups. Another good example of experiential pedagogy which has a high potential of students emotional influence is ‘Fieldwork’. This kind of methodology can help learners to
from Sterling (2009) the ecological point of view. requires a paradigm shift toward a systemic and holistic perspective emphasizing collaboration and cooperation). It necessitates a deeper. 2003). That design. over 94 percent of which goes to waste before the product or the service goes to market (Hawken 1997). values. It also requires a new educational system. have been generally shaped into highly specialized areas of knowledge. The complexity theory is pioneering a new language in management which questions the validity of long term planning. Countries such as United States of America the average may not know that for every 100 pounds of product produced there. 317). and provides low capabilities to response a long-established professional requires. As Albert Einstein were told. Learning is fragmented. politics. that the mechanistic paradigm as the root of the world life becoming increasingly untenable. Instructive Instrumental Training Teaching Message communication Interested in behaviour change Information ‘ one size fits all’ Control kept at centre First order change Product oriented ‘Problem-solving’ Rigid Factual knowledge and skill Constructive Instrumental/intrinsic Education Learning (interactive) Meaning construction Interested in mutual transformation Local appropriation knowledge important Local ownership First and second order change Process oriented ‘Problem-reframing’ Responsive/dynamic Conceptual understanding and capacity building EDUCATION POLICIES Imposed Top-down Directed hierarchy Expert-led Pre-determined outcomes Externally inspected & evaluated Time-bound goals Language of deficit and managerialism Participative Bottom-up (often) Democratic networks Everyone may be an expert Open-ended enquiry Internally evaluated through iterative process. resulting in professionals who are ill prepared for cooperatives efforts. the educational system may have to consider what change need to happen in the world context. a new paradigm in Business Education Higher education. traditional disciplines. requires a deeper understanding which goes way beyond a simple ‘add-on’. That example is one. 2009). soul and spirit back into our thinking and practices (Sterling. However. but also for business. . may be could change the current tension between mechanistic and organicist way of thinking which are struggling in Business world. 2009). However. and stresses individual learning and competition. especially in businesses schools. The table below shows contrasting approaches and values between transmissive and transformative education (Sterling. and every day life” (Sterling 2009). there is evidence of an emerging post-modern paradigm. plus external support On-going process Language of appreciation and cooperation The transformative education goes beyond an accommodatory response. learners need a fundamental and transformative shift in thinking. rather than as a machine. According to Capra (1996).understand multiple stakeholder perspectives in situ and promotes broader benefits for learning by encouraging active and reflective learning (Hope. the heavy top-down system and rather understand management as an art to deal with dynamics and relationships. p. The learners are often discouraged from extending their studies beyond other disciplines or for interdisciplinary collaboration (Cortese. for a sustainable human future. 2000. TRANSMISSIVE EDUCATION PRACTICES TRANSFORMATIVE Sustainability. institutions and educators to acquire responsability. “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we used when we created them” (Calaprice. It means putting heart. argues Cortese (2003). which needs to be recognized and widely understood. health care. Ideas are emerging in which businesses are a living system. and action detaching leaders and professionals (Cortese. 2003). and that means a shift from ‘systematic control’ towards ‘systematic learning’. it represents a “new perception of reality which has “profound implications not only for science and philosophy. they move 3. more empathetic response from learners. Therefore. even there is no certainly that will prevail. among many others in our world context which have to be answered by the education system. This example demonstrates. This new paradigm could be seen in the following table suggested by Sterling (2009). 2003).200 pounds of material and energy. To be better and effective.
critical and creative learning Self-evaluation with support Qualitative and quantitative indicators Design Open In conclusion. studies have indicated that humans need to live in a fundamentally participative world.M. people also will be more aware of the consequences of their actions to humans and other living species. pp411-423 Orr. M. (2003). Va. environment and the human prospect. vol 26. Reston.(1983) The Turning Point:Science. Sterling.: National Wildlife Federation. It can be affirmed that.2001).(1994) Earth in Mind: on education. Cacciola.MECHANISTIC ECOLOGICAL STYLE OF MANAGEMENT professionals. Wildwood House .Dillon. 40–53. Consequently. Clermont. J. and J. Ed. which it has an urgent challenge to change the educational system using a transformative way of learning. J. Moreover through a way of working and living people. REFERENCES: Capra. The Expanded Quotable Einstein.education can serve as a model of sustainability by fully integrating all aspects of campus life. Cotton. and where wastes go. vol 3. and Sterling.Perspectives and Practices Across Higher Education. from the World Wide Web: ww. Schumacher Briefings. 2002. However. A. M. consumption and constant economic growth. Earthscan. J. waste and have done this in a developing world. March/April.The Critical Role of Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable Future Higher . K. Retrieved December 1. chapter 3.. and Grace. as well population is needed. Washington Sterling. 2000. A.D. It could mean all professionals and business people understanding their connections to the natural world and to other humans. in spite of the struggle between the older modernist scientific paradigm and the new sciences of complexity.C. to accelerate the process.nwf.D.cfm. Mother Jones. Oulton.Earthcan. London Calaprice. It is necessary a mind-set changing to achieve this view and a long-term effort to transform business education at all levels (McIntosh et al.. Island Press. a fundamental transformative shift in thinking. the dream is that all current and future generations are able to have meaningful work and opportunity to realize their full human potential both personally and socially.C.. ed. S. and the sustainable approaching calls for fundamental change of the structures from the modern capitalism is apparent. Ed Green Books Ltd Foxhole. International Journal of Science Education. S(2009) Sustainable Education – re-visioning learning and change. vol 06. Paula Jones.org/campusecology/ stateofthecampusenvironment . 1997. Dartington.. no 2. Keniry. Princeton: Princeton University Press. will have reduced dramatically resource consumption. London EFFECTS ON SYSTEM (TENDENCES) Standardization Homogenization Dependency Externally directed Dysfunctional emergent properties Poor ability to respond to change Unsustainability Diversity and innovation Heterogeneity but coherence Interdependency at all levels Self-organization Healthy emergent properties Flexibility and responsiveness Greater sustaniability The ideological struggle between sustainability concepts and businesses management views based upon competitiveness. people really knowing where products and services come from. Devon. pp169-182 McIntosh. State of the Campus Environment: A National Report Card on Environmental Performance and Sustainability in Higher Education. As Cortese (2003) argued. and of how to minimize their Earth’s ecological and social “ footprint” impacts.(2004) ’Reconceptualising the teaching of controversial issues’. Journal of Geography in Higher Education.(2009) ‘The importance of direct experience: A philosophical defense of field-work in humageography’. Natural Capitalism.. and action all of society’s leaders and . He also argues that this dream is shared by a vast majority of people whom agree with these ideals. of these ideas and create this future. David Selby and Stephen Sterling. values. as the general Goal oriented Product oriented Controlling change Focus on single variables & parts Aware of casual relationship Power-based hierarchy Command and control Vertical structures Intervention from ‘outside’ system Interested in prediction Problem solving Adaptative learning External evaluation Quantitative indicators Planning Closed Direction oriented Process oriented Facilitating change Focus on sets of relations and the whole Aware of emergence Leadership and self-ma nagement at all levels Democratic and participative Flatter and integrated structures Working with and from inside system Interested in possibility Problem reframing and situation improvement Adaptative. no 4. 2001. London Hawken. Cortese. and Winter. S Education for Sustainability. pollution. The same path could to be followed by Business Schools to assume a more humanistic and ecological paradigm in their values and practices through education for sustainability. Totnes. ‘Its Not Just Bits of Papeand Light Bulbs’:A Review of Sustainability Pedagogies and Their Potencial for Use in Higher Education: Sustainability Education. S(21996) Education in Change in Huckle. Society and the Rising Culture. P. According to Cortese (2003).F. (2010). Hope.
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