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Storytelling in PDC courses

 
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I really believe people learn better when they hear things in stories, so how can we get make those academic/scientific parts of a PDC more like stories? I would like to hear tips from everyone.
 
pollinator
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Yes I agree. Stories mean for permaculture that you need to be in context. If you look at his-story books, or any field actually including agriculture and other permies topics, the academic/scientific parts are conveyed in rather unpersonal ways, because they are not in context!

They do not tell you any story, they tell you the conclusion they want you to remember.

When native people were displaced, they were rather lost, because they had lost their context. They came in a new land with stories that were no more working. Some would still be useful, but others if not most, would not.

So I find it easy to make stories during a training. The teacher needs to know the context of her students and have experience in it herself. A story needs to be situated in an environment. When we hear a story from a friend, that took place in a place that we do not know nor understand, the description is not easy and we loose most of its interest.

If I teach something I have experience about, when I have the academic part in mind, a story will automatically pop up! Just because I have lived it and I remember.
 
pollinator
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I think information can be conveyed well and badly. I don't think anyone has the monopoly on badly contextualising things, and I don't think it's a subject that can be accurately generalised about.

I liked history when it was taught in a causal context, though that is precisely where you need to look at different historical briefs, because the focus will influence the story being told.

I think we need to be careful about what we include to contextualise the information we're trying to convey, to keep from contaminating it. An example of this would be PDCs that stress the spiritual context over the actual teaching of skills and of the relationships between cause and effect in permacultural systems. People coming out of such PDCs might come away thinking that soil is only healthy if you gain the favour of the pixies, or pray the right way, rather than getting an adequate understanding of soil composition and the biology that differentiates living soil from dirt.

I think that storytelling is perhaps a concept most fitting for beginner permacultural studies. When you've already got a grasp of permaculture beyond the basics, bogging down the conveyance of information with "context" that we've already absorbed can make the experience tedious.

And then there are the impatient among us...

-CK
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Context is for example climate, like when Paul said he did a PDC that was contextualized for cold climate.

So I said exactly that the issue with using stories is context, thus that it is not adapted to transmit everything.

When telling a story that happened in a heavy wet soil, I do not mind that much about this superbe pond because I have to do it in rock for example. I will appreciate to know the science of the soil, but I will appreciate that someone tells me a story about having made a marvelous compost with branches like at my place where wood will end up light and full of powder while eaten by wood bugs!

It is not about badly contextualizing, it is just that anyway there are multiple contexts. And no story can be out of a context, when and where it happened.

Then there is the other case, of a story not being a real personal story, but a way to tell something in a more amuzing way. In that case I understand it can be seen as a technique made to keep the interest of beginners or children. I would suggest that such type of story is no more relyable than any scientific stuff that will become obsolete. An imagined story can make people think it is more true than the mere information, or the reverse who knows?

A personal story is always true if it is what happened.

A story will be more open to creatively remember and use the knowldege. As you were given the context, it is clearer where it has to be adapted to a different situation. When they do not tell you any story, but some facts and numbers, they tell you the conclusion they want you to remember. You can learn it and apply it, and you'd better learn more stuff, to take context into account when needed. It might be why some people do more than one PDC!
 
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