Ecological thinking is based on holism and epistemology, it relies on a community of small contributors to find a solution or answer to a problem. Thinking ecologically is to think connectively, taking account of multiple aspects and testing randomly to achieve the best solution possible. This system of thinking is ‘simple, flexible and robust’ according to Mitchel Resnick. The philosophy behind this way of thinking consists of breaking down complicated algorithms, evaluating situations, finding options and combining the best of those to “breed” into the greatest option possible. Based on that information, the next step of the process is to elect and choose the best direction in which to move. This process is based off of Mitchel Resnick’s TREE strategy (Test Randomly, Evaluate, Elect).
Ecological Thinking goes further than serving the biological world, this system of thinking is useful in the world of design management, organizational structure and solving mathematical problems. In a sense, ecological thinking is a reaction against the metaphors of Newton’s physics which have been dominating the science world. Newton’s theories make us view the world as a mechanism, ruled by cause and effect whereas ecological thinking turns our view on objects as ecosystems.
In brief, ecological thinking is to produce and adjust new solutions that are tuned to new conditions, it is about adapting and changing our mindset, working collectively instead of assuming a leader and keeping the grand picture in mind.
Resnick, Mitchel, “Thinking Like a Tree (And other Forms of Ecological Thinking)”
Ulrich, Werner, “Difficulties of Ecological Thinking”
Pine, Lila, “What is Ecological Thinking” https://mpm17fall2009friday.wordpress.com/
Ning, Ted, “Can’t Buy me Love” http://blog.lohas.com/blog/ecological-thinking
Code, Lorraine, “Ecological Thinking; The Politics of Epistemic Location”
Keni, Shoshanah, “Ecological Thinking; a new approach to educational change”
Duarte, Eduardo, “Conservative Education, Ecological Thinking”