Susan Hutson wrote:I appreciate all you have said Loxley. However, I did some checking up for my own clarity. Bill's initial 3 week course was all class room based as were his courses at Melbourne Uni. Apparently, the reason he switched to the 72 hours was that the timing became perfect for a semester at Uni and that was always his intent, to have it in the formal education system. To this date, here in Australia, they are still trying to achieve that. Other forms have emerged at TAFE, and participants are issued Certification on various levels from level 1 through to 4.
Permaculture is becoming an in thing to be a part of, at the moment. My original comments were meant for the everyday person. The ones with mortgages, kids, time constraints and backyards maybe even hobby farms. The ones with money commitments or life style commitments. Not young people who can do it whilst doing other studies or the older person who does it after the kids have left home or they have retired. Amazing how many older people are on PDC’s.
It would appear that David Holmgren's new book is more focused on these people when he talks garden farming & having a zone 3 on the nature strip. It would appear to me we have a long way to go to realise that a PDC is a degustation menu for what Permaculture is, and that participants come away from one (PDC) without a rounded education in any of the topic within the curriculum. While there is an outline of what should be taught in a PDC, it is not set in stone and is left to the individual delivering the session. So, do we focus more on Garden Farming as a way to educate people and run courses which also contain the ethics and principles, which educates and broadens the participants knowledge of a topic which is not fully understood by anyone, due to the vastness of the topic.
Susan, thank you for your check up. Do you mind citing your sources? I teach PDC history classes & would love to reference these factoids you mentioned in my classes.
The classes-on-Sundays-with-no-room-&-board PDC model that I took did in fact have many parents with mortgages, backyards & full time jobs attend & complete the course. In fact, I even went to post-PDC permaculture potlucks held in some of these people's houses & backyards. This PDC I took had over 30 people, from all generations, multiple ethnic & religious backgrounds, & multiple socio-economic statuses complete the course. It was absolutely awesome. I think the OpenCourseWare model (eg. Andrew Millison's free content permaculture at Oregon State University) can also be beneficial to the demographic you describe.
Personally, I lament how heavily-focused most PDC's were & are on gardening / Land & Nature Stewardship. There are so many more areas that pattern understanding & literacy can & should be applied. Gardening is a wonderful place to start, but I don't think it should be the be-all end-all of a PDC.
Permaculture is innately bioregionalist. IMHO, it is imperative that PDC content be designed for the bioregion in which it is taught, not dictated from centralized global / continental "permaculture" organization or even an individual person. Now that permaculture is authentically a global movement where one can obtain a PDC in every major bioregion, it is not necessary to teach tropical permaculture techniques in a PDC given in a temperate zone or vice versa. The future of the PDC, as I envision it, is bioregionally designed content around bioregionally appropriate content focused on pattern understanding & literacy in all aspects of life. Bioregional adaptation & evolution are nature's wonderful patterns that can be biomimicked for appropriate PDC content design.