Examples of an introduction course can be found in the two entries below:
English: Introductory Course Description
The Permaculture Educators’ Course (Permaculture Teachers’ Training) is held at Friland eco-village in Denmark by Andy Goldring.
It is an 8 day teacher training for permaculture educators. It takes you through learning and teaching theory, a lot of practice on microteach sessions, lots of games, fun, interaction, excursions and how to design and convene courses, how to create your own teacher pathway – and much more.
The timetable below allows you to see the context and flow of topics. Clicking on a topic will open the session plan for this topic in a separate window. More resources to support the course are available below.
The Scheme of Work for the course is available here.
Playback theatre (PT) is a tool to share personal stories that are performed by PT actors. Audience and stage are at the same level and the link between them is the conductor/facilitator who creates a safe/welcoming atmosphere and invites people to share their stories. Main goal of PT is building community but is can be used also with other aims (therapeutical, problem solving, arising conciousness about a particular issue and so forth). On “stage” there are always coloured scarfs and boxes to be used by actors as props and one or two musicians who, as actors, improvise during the performance of the story to complement the main feeling/atmosphere that the group wants to convey.
I think this is a good method in a permacultural frame to give life to people’s stories or feelings referred to their learning process, group experiences and so forth.
Founder of playback theatre explaining what it is in a TED talk
During the third of the seven EPT meetings held at Quinta do Vale da Lama in Algarve, Portugal, teachers from all over Europe extensively discussed various course formats for teaching Permaculture to beginners:
There are also advanced training opportunities for Permaculturalists (who have a PDC):
Micro lessons are great opportunities to present sample “snapshots” of what/how you teach and to get some feedback from colleagues about how it was received. It’s a chance to try teaching strategies that the teacher may not use regularly. It’s a good, safe time to experiment with something new and get feedback on technique. (…)
For more information, go to http://www.microteachings.com/
(excerpt from Wikipedia)
York Introduction to Permaculture Course
17-18 April 2004
Tutor: Andy Goldring
We will start promptly at 10am on both days, please try to arrive around 9.30 so we have time to settle in before we start. Bring food to share for lunch, magazines, books or other materials of interest, and warm clothes as we will be going for a walk on Saturday.
9.30 Arrivals, tea and settle in.
10.0 Opening circle – introductions, welcome, housekeeping, timetable, expectations.
10.30 Permaculture in a nutshell – overview and starting points.
11.20 Ethics and principles (including a game and small group work)
2.20 Observational walk – ‘everything is a gift’
3.0 Video – ‘In grave danger of falling food’
4.0 Questions and answers
4.30 Thinking piece for evening contemplation – ‘Me, my greatest asset’.
4.45 Closing round
By the end of the session the students will be able to:
Duration: 30 min
What is needed?
Just a group of permies, yourself and a place to explore. You can also use cards with the principles. If so, you will need at least one card per person.
This activity is one of the easiest ways of teaching principles through active learning. It is perhaps best to be used right after introducing the design principles (Holmgren or Mollison). Everyone is given a card with at least one principle. The whole group is invited to walk around in silence and in their own, and think about the principle, trying to find it represented in nature. After that, the group meets and shares in a round what they have seen. Then they should be given some more minutes to think about how they can apply these principles to a personal design. They can write it down or share it in a round, depending on the time left.
See a video of a similar session given by Rakesh at the Spain meeting.
Once the group is built, you can invite them to some relaxing activity such as massage.
This one includes some dancing also, so you will need some music and a comfortable place where the students can lie down.
This activity is especially effective when the work has been too focused on the mind.
Split the group in to threes. One of them should lie down, face up, while the other two follow your instructions. Suggest that they start massaging, one to each foot, just moving it gently and softly with the rhythm of nice music. Then the two massagers should move the whole leg, taking care of the knee, not letting it fall or forcing it. Once both legs have been ‘danced’, the massagers should softly leave the leg on the ground and move to the hands. They can do the same with the whole body (arms and head), leaving their mate to rest and recover. When the person on the floor is ready, they can change places with one of the other two in the group and dance again (and repeat).
In this article I offer a “junior teacher’s” perspective to selecting content and methods for a two day introductory course. I also asked Graham Bell, one of the most experienced permaculture teachers, his take on designing a full Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course.
See a separate article with timetable, core curriculum and Graham Bell’s thoughts, here.
I see the intro as a taster, as a way to get people together and get inspired to learn more. The content for an Intro isn’t “regulated” whereas the curriculum of a PDC is based on Bill Mollison’s book Permaculture – A Designer’s Manual.
Teachers, designing and preparing a course, may find these resources helpful:
Cultivate in Ireland issue a questionnaire (or ‘Training Needs Assessment‘) to participants in order to help facilitate and provide for their needs. Download the Word doc that has a protected form. Go to Tools / Unprotect to make it your own. Protect it again as a ‘form’ so that your participants only add data.
Permaculture students come from all walks of life and everyone has their own way of receiving and processing the new information, skills and ideas. On Rosemary Morrow’s teacher training courses an essential part of the content is familiarising with Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory and the four different styles of how people learn that he’s identified.
Kolb proposed that learning is a combination of both how we approach a task and how we respond to and assimilate the experience. In approaching a task (processing) we have a preference for either doing or watching, and in responding to the experience we have a preference for either feeling or thinking. The combination of these preferences creates four main learning styles.
Session Length: 90 min
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
Posters of cycles, paper and colourful pens, poster of S-curve, poster of some ecological principles, safety pins, big red round cushion.
For details on how to run this session please download the following pdf: Session Plan Ecology Basics Kirsty Heron-1
Session length: 90 minutes
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
Posters, big paper and pens, flipcharts with drawings on, handout microclimate study copies 1 per pair
Please download the following pdf for details on how to run this session SessionPlan Microclimates Kirsty Heron-1
Session length 90 min.
By the end of the session, participants will be able to
For details on how the session is run, please download the following pdf Session Plan Zone 4 Kirsty Heron-1
Session Plans are needed to structure the time available with students and to become clear about outcomes and activities.
To learn more about how to fill in such a template, please refer to the microteach session by Cat: How to Create a Session Plan.
If you have session plans that you would be prepared to share with the EPT-network, please send them to email@example.com
Andy Goldring, UK Permaculture Association, has shared seven lessons plans:
Monika Frank, France, has shared some lessons plans:
A 90 minute session
2. A Ballgame
A Simple Fun Game to be used as Energiser
Some more interesting material by Aranya, with acknowledgements to Victoria Chislett (see contact info at the end of the article). Enjoy!
VAK Learning Styles Self-Assessment Questionnaire
Circle or tick the answer that most represents how you generally behave.
(It’s best to complete the questionnaire before reading the accompanying explanation.)
1. When I operate new equipment I generally:
1. read the instructions first
2. listen to an explanation from someone who has used it before
3. go ahead and have a go, I can figure it out as I use it
Here some very interesting material by Aranya. Enjoy!
Training or learning? Modern principles of effective training and development
Focus on learning, not training
As a teacher, you may talk about learning, not training, thus focusing on the person (from the inside out, not the outside in), and offer relevant learning in as many ways as you can.
‘Training’ suggests putting stuff into people, when actually we should be developing people from the inside out so that they achieve their own individual potential, which is linked to what they love and enjoy, what they are most capable of, and strong at doing, rather than what we try to make them be. ‘Learning’ far better expresses this than ‘training’.