Observation

This stage was about surveying my learning and teaching experience as well as the permaculture educational landscape in the UK. I also continued to develop my research into learning started in my Action Learning Pathway. I began to develop my vision for the kind of learning environment I would like to develop.

My learning and teaching experience

I made use of the observations of my own learning in my Diploma Pathway: my learning ‘base map’.

I have worked as a teacher for many years in the following roles:

  • freelance tutor at Sussex University for the course, Introduction to Social and Political Thought
  • English language tutor at a language school in Germany and then as a freelancer in Germany and China
  • qigong teacher
  • home educator for my sons

Permaculture Education in the UK

Permaculture is very much a global educational movement.

It was clear to me that the first stage of the pathway would be observation of permaculture courses and I took opportunities in my local area to observe and support on permaculture courses even before the final design was complete.

Permaculture is taught by a growing network of permaculture designers around the country. Some teach independently and many are associated with the British Permaculture Association. I looked at the PA’s policies (current as of 2012).

I discovered the history of permaculture education in mainstream educational establishments.

Currently permaculture education is carried out in a variety of ways, more formally as:

  • the Introduction to Permaculture
  • the Permaculture Design Course
  • the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design

There are also specialist courses such as forest gardening, permaculture gardening. I surveyed different examples of these courses.

There are many networks of learning support, design support, diploma support, action learning guilds, volunteers and amazing permaculture projects.

Learning Research

I continued to develop my research into different models of learning.