Ecolectual

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An Ecolectual is a person with a highly evolved level of tested and measured value placed upon ecological, economic, political and social factors and the subsequent, developed capacity to enact transformative change for sustainability. [1]. The degree to which a person is deemed an ecolectual is established through the measurement of the ecolectual quotient (EcoQ) which represents a means of qualifying and quantifying, through testing and measuring, the potential for successful sustainable development outcomes to be generated through the implementation of transformative change for sustainability initiatives [2]. One important component of the ecolectual quotient is an analysis of an individual’s capacity for transformative change for sustainability – this has been defined as a person’s Ecolect (EcoI). Ecolect is defined as a person’s tested and measured understanding of ecological, economic, social, and political factors, the interactions between these factors, and ensuing capacity for transformative change for sustainability[3].

Ecolect can be tested and measured by examining Ecolectual Quotient (EcoQ) – A score derived from standardized testing attempting to measure Ecolect (EcoI)[4]. EcoQ scores are shown to correlate with such factors: as water and energy saving, ecologically sustainable development, more sustainable decision-making, and a student’s or teacher’s developing EcoQ. These scores could be used in many contexts: as predictors of environmental attitude and action or special needs; by social scientists who could study the distribution of EcoQ scores in populations and the relationships between EcoQ score and other variables; and, as predictors for ecologically sustainable development and/or transformative change.

The Ecolect is eco-centric, not just ecological or anthropocentric focused. Ecolect is: • values-based; • transdisciplinary; • transformative; • participatory; • action-oriented; and, • quadruple bottom line focused.

A central tool of measurement for the Ecolectual Quotient (refer to the figure below) is the Ecolectual Change Quadrant (EcoCQ) which examines a person’s EcoI as being directly related to the value that they place on change, as well as their capacity to implement transformative change[5].

Ecolectual Quotient.jpg

Transformative Capacity (TC) is defined as the level of relevant knowledge, skills, resources and opportunities that an individual possesses in relation to the ability to perform sustainable behaviours[6].

Transformative Value (TV) is defined as the degree to which an individual values change towards sustainability[7].

The Ecolectual Change Quadrant (EcoCQ) is explained through the following examples: 1) A low Chance of Transformative Change/low Transformative Value = A low chance for change; low chance the change will be successful/perpetual • Not likely an activity/action/system that will have success and perpetuity. • Look at ways to increase Transformative Value for stakeholders and chance of success

2) A high Chance of Transformative Change/Low Transformative Value = High chance for change; low chance the change will be successful/perpetual. • Look at ways to increase the value of the activity/action/system for the stakeholders so that the change will be successful/pertual.

3) A low Chance of Transformative Change/High Transformative Value = Low chance for change; High value placed on the change to occur. • Look at ways to increase the action/activity/systems chance for Transformative Change as its perceived Transfomative Value to stakeholders is high and warrants an attempt at success and perpetuity.

4) A high Chance of Transformative Change/High Transformative Value = High chance of successful/perpetual change • The activity/action/systems high level of percieved/actual Transformative Value and high level of percieved/actual Transformative Change will likely result in further actions/activities/systems that perpetuate Transformative Change for Sustainability.

A Primary Goal is for the Activity/Action to increase perceived/actual Transformative Value for stakeholders and chances for an actual change via a moving from the left side to the right side of the Ecolectual Change Quadrant.

The stronger the impact upon Ecol and EcoQ, the stronger Transformative Value (TV) a person develops,and the higher chance for Transformative Change (TC) to occur. This increase in TV can have an increasing affect upon a persons’ ability to drive Transformative Change.

It is important to reflect upon the ‘futures perspective’ embedded within transformative change for sustainability. ‘The fundamental premise of futures thinking is that the future is not somewhere we are going, but something we are creating [8]. And, that the creation of this future is grounded in the process of change that leads to more sustainable education systems and an inherent capacity to influence a range of possible futures. The Monitoring and Evaluation Framework’s potential to indicate a correlation of Transformative Capacity for Change (TC) to Transformative Value (TV) could be used as a predictor of the future success of EFS Programs, as a driver for selection of appropriate change strategies, and a tool to measure the perceived versus actual success of these strategies. Further research expanding upon the concept of Ecolect examines the degree to which this correlation predicts successful transformative change for sustainability and the development of key indicators that qualify and quantify this change. It is anticipated that, through further testing within the structure of a pilot project, the use of this framework may improve the depth of such processes and inform the development and refinement of future Education for Sustainability (EFS) programs.

In addition to equipping people to make informed choices about the implementation of EfS through the development of holistic and systematic understandings of EfS systems [9], inherent is the focus on developing an attitude of sustainability learning; engaging students with philosophical and tangible opportunities to expand awareness of the field of ecology; increasing levels of individual responsibility and accountability; and, encouraging openness to the rapidly advancing nature of social, political, economic, and environmental issues. ‘Our Capacity to become a sustainable society can only be achieved through education and education is the key to providing both awareness of the problem and, more importantly, the capacity to find solutions’ [10].

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Duggan, M.S., Smith, T.F., and Thomsen, D.C., (2009). A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools. AARE 2009 Conference, Regional Sustainability Research Group, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore
  2. Duggan, M.S., Smith, T.F., and Thomsen, D.C. (2009). A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools. AARE 2009 Conference, Regional Sustainability Research Group, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore
  3. Duggan, M.S., Smith, T.F., and Thomsen, D.C. (2009). A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools. AARE 2009 Conference, Regional Sustainability Research Group, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore
  4. Duggan, M.S., Smith, T.F., and Thomsen, D.C. (2009). A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools. AARE 2009 Conference, Regional Sustainability Research Group, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore
  5. Duggan, M.S., Smith, T.F., and Thomsen, D.C. (2009). A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools. AARE 2009 Conference, Regional Sustainability Research Group, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore
  6. Duggan, M.S., Smith, T.F., and Thomsen, D.C. (2009). A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools. AARE 2009 Conference, Regional Sustainability Research Group, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore
  7. Duggan, M.S., Smith, T.F., and Thomsen, D.C. (2009). A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools. AARE 2009 Conference, Regional Sustainability Research Group, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore
  8. Lowe, I. (2000). ‘Using Futures Techniques for Sustainability’. Available at http://www.tukkk.fi/tutu/vanhat/MeSe2000/mesepapers/lowe.pdf
  9. Kates, R.W., Clark, W.C., Corell, R., and Hall, M. et al. (2001). ‘Sustainability Science’. Science. Apr 27, 292, 5517, pp. 641-642
  10. Educating for a Sustainable Future: A National Environmental Education Statement for Australian Schools’, Australian Government, Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006