Tag Archives: widening participation

A Stranger in a Strange Land: Working Successfully Abroad

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With Rico Zook, International  Permaculture Teacher
OCTOBER 23rd – 25th,  2015 (only opportunity in Europe in 2015)

Rico-teachingToday many people want to help others to live on our planet in a better way. All over the globe people of the majority world are starting to realize that the industrial model has serious flaws. They’re looking for sustainable and regenerative answers that are culturally and environmentally appropriate. Us in the minority world have the money, time and desire to be of assistance; however, good intentions are not enough.
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Weeds or Wisdom? Latvian Eco-Health Farmers on the Road to Resilience

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by Guntra A. Aistara, Central European University

July 4, 2014

Condensed summary of chapter published in Environmental
Anthropology Engaging Ecotopian Imaginaries: Bioregionalism, Permaculture, and Ecovillages for a Sustainable Future,
Berghahn Books, 2013.

On a tour of organic farms in Austria in 2006, one farmer proudly showed off her raised garden beds brimming with a diversity of herbs, medicinal plants and vegetables, explaining that these were permaculture beds, whereby plants reseeded themselves, grew where they “felt best,” and worked in ecological systems with neighboring plants. Some of the Latvian organic farmers on the tour were shocked and amused, however, by their first encounter with permaculture, and what they described as “farming amidst weeds.” “Well, in that case I have permaculture everywhere in my farm…” muttered one farmer. Another commented that it all depends on how you present things to visitors: “When you come visit me, and I explain to you that this is permakultūra…don’t criticize it, because it comes from Eiropa (Europe).” Others insisted that permaculture meant farming as wisely as nature does, and that we might learn from it. Continue reading Weeds or Wisdom? Latvian Eco-Health Farmers on the Road to Resilience

Strategies to Widen Participation : Survey Results

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For this small survey, responses were given by only eight EPT partner countries (ES, GE, FR, BG, SLO, CZ, NL), whose educational activities are conducted in more than 17 countries in Europe and other parts of the world. Spain is exceptional in this case with reaching people in 4 continents through on-line teaching.

Educational activities are mostly focused on urban and suburban environments with rural context represented rarely. The activities mostly take form as a short workshop (e.g. 0,5-1 day long), public talks and PDC courses. Not so often as longer (e.g. 2 days long) permaculture courses, diploma pathways and other forms as property development, full vocational. Academic permaculture education school establishment, spreading of printed info, environmental awareness activities, FETAC students in Ireland etc.

The questionnaire asked each responder to describe the strategy they use in the specific country and to answer the questions: ‘Which target groups is this strategy designed for?’ and ‘Which groups of society this strategy does not reach?’ The summary of results shows that the most popular target groups are:

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Widening Participation – Course Formats

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When designing a Permaculture course we have to consider many aspects, one of the most crucial being “Widening Participation”.

The main consideration is our target market. Different target groups will require a differently formatted course. Mentally and physically challenged students may need different approaches and the use of different pedagogies. People also learn in different ways, some prefer self-directed learning, others need a  driven group.

The constraints of money, time and availability are other points for consideration. There is a need to tailor courses for the needs of the potential participants. For example weekend courses are ideal for time constrained situations, or courses offered for local teachers to keep the cost down.

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Third Day at Friland Meeting

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Sandra Campe
Sandra Campe

Like every morning, we formed the opening circle to start off the day, where everyone shared something learned the day before.

The morning was dedicated to working on widening participation when designing permaculture courses. The aim is to reach different audiences that are not usually represented in permaculture courses. The topics were chosen from a survey that had been passed among the members of the partnership. The topics covered in the session were: Continue reading Third Day at Friland Meeting