Problems/Solutions to Permaculture Design Course Formats

problem-solution-pdcThe original Permaculture Design Course format was three weeks long. The first two weeks taught the bulk content of the course and the last week was filled with networking (this was even before fax). Since then the course has had many re-formats and in it’s most advertised form is held as a two week intensive which works exceptionally well when hosted at an already established permaculture site that attracts students from all over the globe like Zaytuna Farm or The Yoga Forest. However still, a lot of students can not afford the airfare, the cost of the course, two weeks off of work, or find a baby sitter for that length of time.
Nicholas Burtner of School of Permaculture has re-arranged, edited, and combined previously existing PDC formats, while at the same time designing and inputting fresh new delivery methods, ideas, and options to produce a new “on site” permaculture design course format which harmonizes with students to work with their financial, time, and other obligation commitments to make learning permaculture and taking a permaculture design course, with hands on experience, truly accessible. This is “the problem is the solution” thinking!
Click Here to view complete format details of the course set up.
SOME OF THE IMMEDIATE PERKS:
Come When You Can
This course will integrate into your daily life as it runs twice, continuously throughout the year. We shoot for every third weekend of the month but may change which weekends in presence of a major event or holiday. This allows for a “Come When You Can” model where you are never under any pressure to feel rushed or crammed to fit the course into your daily life.
The course runs in it’s entirety 2 times a year. One starts in January and the other in July. Take as long as you want to finish the course (years if needed but not recommended) and come any day of the course. If you cannot start on day 1, then a Free Intro Into Permaculture Class (that is given every Friday evening before each weekend of the course) is necessary to start on any other day of the course.
Flexible Payment – Pay Course Entirety or Per Day
No longer will you HAVE to come up with all of the funds to pay for the Permaculture Design Course all at once. This Permaculture Design Course format lifts the burden off of us (on certain levels) which in turn will lift the financial burden off of you. If you have the funds all at once – great pay the course in full. If you would like to pay by the day that is great too!
Build Relationships
Most Permaculture Design Courses run for 2 weeks straight. This is a great submersion experience and we still offer these kinds of courses. However, what they lack is the long term relationships that are made with seeing the same faces and making strong connections with your peers and teachers. Permaculture IS about relationships and this format harnesses that power.
Kids Come Free
We would love to run day care but we just are not staffed to do so. But your child/children age 12-17 can come for free. Our staff may interview your kid/s too to help in making our Permaculture for Orphans Program the best it can be. You never know they might learn something too.
*As as bonus we are developing a diploma format, that will follow this format which will have extra courses and hours on both rural and urban sites, will be available for 2-3 year serious students that want to take their permaculture learning/career path to a whole new level. Let us know you are hungry!
Visit Permaculture Design Course Page to see complete format.
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2 Comments

  • Brett

    September 16, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    As someone who first taught the full PDC over twenty years ago I have seen a lot of variation appear in how it is taught. One big movement has been the inclusion of lots of practical based gardening and homesteading units. This is great knowledge to impart, but sometimes the design side can get sidelined a bit. I spend at least two days just on the permaculture ethics and principles, and teach the 18 Mollison principles (from the Designer’s Manual) as well as the 12 Holmgren ones. I then spend another two days on the design methids used in permaculture, and link them with the relevant principles. I have also run both these two-day sessions as stand alone courses, and also combined as a five day course that included a day of design work. I have thought about the difficulty some people have accessing a PDC, due to cost and time committments. I developing a PDC that will involve four days face-to-face covering the principles and design methods, with the remainder of the PDC done via distance education. I am currently working on the exercises for the first group of students with their assistance and feedback, in line with peer education and adult learning strategies. In future I will probably run the contact part of the course over two weekends, then have expected dates for submission of exercises and the final design. What I don’t want to do is make them sit through hours of videos like most online courses, especially ones of me in front of a white board. It would be easy to do but SO BORING 🙂 I will be getting them to watch certain youtube videos but most of the work will be exercises where they have to think, and where I can assess they have learnt the information. Some of the exercises will be practical, such as joining your local LETS and making a trade. The advantages of this format for the students are they do not have to outlay as much money and do not have to find a two week block of time just when a course is running. It will be about a third the cost of many PDCs, and I will go to communities that want to organise the two concurrent weekends for me to teach the face-to-face units. I will probably allow four months for the external units, which is about three hours a week, but also allow students who don’t complete to submit when I run the next course. This format will give students an opportunity to meet and link up with like minded people from their area, while also having the flexibility and cost reductions associated with online PDC courses.

  • Brett

    September 16, 2014 - 6:29 pm

    As someone who first taught the full PDC over twenty years ago I have seen a lot of variation appear in how it is taught. One big movement has been the inclusion of lots of practical based gardening and homesteading units. This is great knowledge to impart, but sometimes the design side can get sidelined a bit. I spend at least two days just on the permaculture ethics and principles, and teach the 18 Mollison principles (from the Designer’s Manual) as well as the 12 Holmgren ones. I then spend another two days on the design methids used in permaculture, and link them with the relevant principles. I have also run both these two-day sessions as stand alone courses, and also combined as a five day course that included a day of design work. I have thought about the difficulty some people have accessing a PDC, due to cost and time committments. I developing a PDC that will involve four days face-to-face covering the principles and design methods, with the remainder of the PDC done via distance education. I am currently working on the exercises for the first group of students with their assistance and feedback, in line with peer education and adult learning strategies. In future I will probably run the contact part of the course over two weekends, then have expected dates for submission of exercises and the final design. What I don’t want to do is make them sit through hours of videos like most online courses, especially ones of me in front of a white board. It would be easy to do but SO BORING 🙂 I will be getting them to watch certain youtube videos but most of the work will be exercises where they have to think, and where I can assess they have learnt the information. Some of the exercises will be practical, such as joining your local LETS and making a trade. The advantages of this format for the students are they do not have to outlay as much money and do not have to find a two week block of time just when a course is running. It will be about a third the cost of many PDCs, and I will go to communities that want to organise the two concurrent weekends for me to teach the face-to-face units. I will probably allow four months for the external units, which is about three hours a week, but also allow students who don’t complete to submit when I run the next course. This format will give students an opportunity to meet and link up with like minded people from their area, while also having the flexibility and cost reductions associated with online PDC courses.

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