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Books on social learning

This page provides a gateway to books from amazon.com. The books featured here are ones that have interested me, and that are in keeping with the aims and topics on this site. There are, of course, an enormous number of good books out there, so please use the search box below and look around. If you do find really good books, please e-mail and let me know.

Negotiated Learning: Collaborative Monitoring for Forest Resource Management

Negotiated Learning is edited by Irene Guijt and draws on the first-hand experiences of researchers and development professionals in eleven countries in Africa, Asia, and South America to critically examine how monitoring can be an effective tool in participatory resource management. Collective monitoring shifts the emphasis of development and conservation professionals from externally defined programs to a locally relevant process. It focuses on community participation in the selection of the indicators to be monitored as well as in the learning and application of knowledge from the data that are collected. As with other aspects of collaborative management, collaborative monitoring emphasizes building local capacity.

The cases in Negotiated Learning highlight best practices but stress that collaborative monitoring is a relatively new area of theory and practice. The cases focus on four themes: the challenge of data-driven monitoring in forest systems that supply multiple products and serve diverse functions and stakeholders; the importance of building upon existing dialogue and learning systems; the need to better understand social and political differences among local users and other stakeholders; and the need to ensure the continuing adaptiveness of monitoring systems. This book is a co-publication with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Leonardo's Vision: A Guide to Collective Thinking and Action

In this rich treasure trove of historical inspiration, contemporary ideas, and future-oriented how-to's, Valerie Brown has brought together a lifetime of work synthesizing science, participatory processes, and action for sustainability. A key part of the message in "Leonardo's Vision" is the opportunity to understand and apply principles and actions underpinning collective action to address complex problems - none more complex than working towards a sustainable future! The author describes how traditional Western organisations (including governments and educational institutions) have tended to divide their activities into professional specialisations as a way of operating (and indeed communicating). For example, even in the area of sustainability there are social, economic and environmental aspects of reality severed from each other! And while triple bottom line accounting promised much, the systemic way in which it has been applied by most organisations has tended to reinforce this divide. Thus, cross-disciplinary approaches which seek to apply single bottom line accounting, such as those being undertaken by some enlighened local governments, are one method by which collective action can be taken for a sustainable future. And, while grappling with these ways to make the Single Bottom Line work will not be easy, they can help to move collective goals further towards a shared ideal or vision. This is a thought provoking book including theoretical bases to underpin thought and action and an invitation to adopt Leonardo's courage to act, as well as a range of good practice examples already in use for collective action for change and options to assist those actions. Highly recommended!

Social Learning in Environmental Management: Building a sustainable future

This book edited by Meg Keen, Valerie A. Brown and Rob Dyball explores and expands the approaches to collective learning most needed to help individuals, communities, experts and governments work together to achieve greater social and ecological sustainability. It provides practical frameworks and case studies to assist environmental managers in building partnerships that can support learning and action on issues arising from human impacts on the life-support systems of our planet.

In this book, social learning frameworks and case studies address in detail the three areas of collaboration, of community, government and professional, in some detail. The resulting guidelines and their practical applications provide key source material for undergraduate and postgraduate professional education in the fields of social and environmental sciences, political science, planning, geography and urban studies, and also for professionals in environmental management.

Learning to Manage Global Environmental Risks, Vol. 1: A Comparative History of Social Responses to Climate Change, Ozone Depletion, and Acid Rain (Politics, Science, and the Environment)

This two-volume book examines how the interplay of ideas and actions applied to environmental problems has laid the foundations for global environmental management. It looks at how ideas, interests, and institutions affect management practice; how management capabilities in other areas affect the ability to deal with specific environmental issues; and how learning affects society's approach to the global environment. Developed by Social Learning Group (Author), William C. Clark (Foreword), Jill Jaeger (Author), Josee van Eijndhoven (Author), Nancy Dickson (Author)

The book focuses on efforts to deal with climate change, ozone depletion, and acid rain from 1957 (The International Geophysical Year) through 1992 (the UN Conference on Environment and Development). The settings include Canada, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the former Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, and international environmental organizations. Topics include problem framing, agenda setting, issue attention, risk assessment, monitoring, option assessment, goal and strategy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. Volume 1 provides an overview of the project, of global environmental management in general, and of the three central environmental issues studied; it also contains the individual country studies. Volume 2 contains the management function studies and the book's conclusion.

How Institutions Change: Perspectives on Social Learning in Global and Local Environmental Contexts

The essays in this book provide an array of perspectives to help us understand the prospects and problems of social learning in a number of settings. The authors of these essays do not offer uncritical endorsement of social learning, nor do they seek to throw cold water on the rising expectations surrounding social learning. Rather they endeavour to asses both the nature of social learning as a process of institutional change operating in a number of environmental contexts and the factors that determine the extent to which we can rely on social learning as a mechanism to maximise the performance of environmental institutions through intentional and collective change.