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Roger Packham. Pathways To Self-Discovery As A Component Of Education For Systems Thinking For Governance . Aim is to help Victorian State government participants to improve the complex situations confronting them in their everyday work Science searches for solutions to answerable puzzles

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a course run by the systemic development institute sdi

Aim is to help Victorian State government participants to improve the complex situations confronting them in their everyday work

Science searches for solutions to answerable puzzles

Engineers focus on solving solvable problems

These are called “Tame Problems”

A Course run by the Systemic Development Institute (SDI)
wicked issues problems

Wicked issues include nearly all public policy issues – such as the location of a freeway, the adjustment of a tax rate, the modification of school curricula, the confrontation of crime, the development of responsible policy for Clean Energy and Security, etc.etc.

They appreciate and accommodate complexity, contingency, uncertaintyandcontestability

“wicked” Issues (problems)
slide4

These are what might be termed systemic matters involving inter-relatedness , wholeness and surprise, and a key aspect of the courses is to consider what ‘systems thinking’ means

Wicked issues do not yield to categorical certainty, but require the capacity to articulate what we feel to be most worthy - what constitutes a ‘better’ way forward, an ‘improvement’ - and how this is defined and by whom?

slide5

This is achieved by seeking pathways to self discovery within the participants

The courses emphasise that values are knowingly or unknowingly always used to make decisions

As such Sathya Sai EHV principles are an ideal guide when developing and presenting these programmes.

science systems and values

Traditionally, science takes an ‘objective’ view of Truth

This view strives to be ‘value-free’ by relying on ‘evidence’, generally using statistical tests of significance.

This approach dates back to the scientific revolution developed from the time of Galileo onwards

“Quantities” became important and “Qualities” were seen as secondary

Systemic thinking moves beyond this to also incorporate a focus on quality, and to included intuition and values as key aspects of learning

Science, Systems and Values
being systemic

Inter-relatedness, Wholeness and Surprise

A concern for interactions between the parts – circular rather than linear thinking – leading to negative feedback (balance) or positive feedback (change)

Looking at issues in context – not as isolated entities as is traditional in standard science

Systems are made up of systems, and are parts of wider systems, and at each hierarchical level emergence (surprise) appears that cannot be predicted from a knowledge of the parts

Being Systemic
slide8

Systemic acts of development

for

sustainable inclusive well-being

demand the

epistemic(intellectual + moral) development

of all of

the stakeholders

who need to be engaged in them

slide9

Epistemic Development involves the ‘maturation’ of four sets of beliefs:

  • The Nature of Nature
  • (Ontologies)
  • The Nature of Knowledge
  • (Epistemologies)
  • The Nature of Human Nature
  • (Axiologies - aesthetics and ethics)
  • The Nature of Human Inquiry
  • (Methodologies)
slide10

The way that each of us ‘acts’in this world reflects the way that we ‘see’it.

The competencies that we express in our everyday lives reflect the worldviews – the epistemic assumptions–that we hold!

slide11

‘SEEING’ = MAKING SENSE out of our experiences

Worldviews – “Windows on the World”

ABSTRACT CONCEPTUALIZATIONS

CONCRETE EXPERIENCES

Competencies – “Bag of Tricks”

‘DOING’ = TAKING ACTION to change the situation

slide12

Worldview Window as an Epistemic Matrix

HOLISM

CONTEXTUALISM

OBJECTIVISM

REDUCTIONISM

slide14

Epistemic Development from Techno-centricity to Holo-centricity

Thinking

Experiencing

Planning

Acting

Thinking

Experiencing

Planning

Acting

slide15

Learning about the epistemic limits to learning

Thinking

Experiencing

Thinking

Experiencing

Learning about learning about the matter to hand

Thinking

Experiencing

Learning about the matter to hand

Planning

Acting

Planning

Acting

Planning

Acting

slide16

SPIRITUAL CONCEPTUAL SENSUAL

Innate insights

Concrete experiences

slide17

A CRITICAL LEARNING SYSTEM

Thinking

Experiencing

EMOTIONS

Thinking

Experiencing

Accepting Re-engaging

Thinking

Experiencing

Meditating Disengaging

Planning

Acting

Planning

Acting

DISPOSITIONS

Planning

Acting

ethics and values

Often ignored in science

  • These add to the model through a third dimension
  • They are critical to how we see the world, and what we decide to do in the world
  • Different ethical systems can be identified:
    • Consequentialism (utilitarian)
    • Deontological (Rights-based)
    • Virtueethics
Ethics and Values
deontological ethics

Sometimes referred to as duty ethics, as it places the emphasis on following rules, or doing one's "duty"

Which rules to follow? is often a point of contention

Deontology also postulates the existence of moral absolutes that make an action moral

Based on the work of Immanuel Kant.

deontological ethics
consequentialism utilitarian

Here the morality of an action is based upon the consequences of the outcome

Instead of saying that one has a moral duty to abstain from murder, a consequentialist would say that we should abstain from murder because it causes some undesirable effect

The Greatest Happiness Principle of John Stuart Mill is one of the most commonly adopted criterion

Consequentialism (Utilitarian)
virtue ethics

While deontology focuses on following rules

And consequentialism focuses on the outcomes of actions

Virtue ethics differs in that the focus is instead upon being rather than doing

Virtue ethics identifies virtues as desirable characteristics which the moral or virtuous person embodies

Possessing these virtues are what makes one moral

A virtue is a habit or quality that allows the bearer to succeed at his or her purpose

Virtue ethics
slide22

Action cannot be used as a demarcation of morality, because a virtue encompasses more than just a simple selection of action

Instead, it is about a way of being that would cause the person exhibiting the virtue to make a certain "virtuous" choice consistently in each situation

There is a great deal of disagreement within virtue ethics over what are virtues and what are not. There are also difficulties in identifying what is the "virtuous" action to take in all circumstances, and how does one define a virtue?

sathya sai ehv can inform virtue ethics

A system of virtue theory is only intelligible if it includes an account of the purpose of human life, the meaning of life: Swami’s teachings give us this

He tells us that our actions should be governed by the principles of Love, Peace, Truth, Right Action, Non-Violence

These are not “rules” but ideal principles for each of us to incorporate into our ‘way of being’ to become virtuous

Sathya Sai EHV can inform Virtue ethics
conclusion

From the standpoint of Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings, I believe that the cornerstone of the course that I have outlined encourages the drawing out of the inherent values that are within all the participants

Thereby helping the participants to find pathways to self discovery that will lead to improvements in their lives, as well as an improved – a better - society

Conclusion