Someone asked me about teaching permaculture. I never went to a PDC. I did some online stuff, but by the time I could get to one I already was doing it and teaching it, as far as I know. So, I've just called what I do edible garden design or some work around because that avoids the issue. But, occasionally this sort of thing comes up. So, as the holders of certification, what is required of someone to teach permaculture? I have a degree in Earth Science, which covered a lot of what they cover in the science behind permaculture part of a PDC and got "conservation planning" certified and have kept up with that for like 5 years. Plus, my own little permaculture garden plus like 7 years on Permies.
Amit Enventres wrote:.... what is required of someone to teach permaculture? I have a degree in Earth Science, which covered a lot of what they cover in the science behind permaculture part of a PDC and got "conservation planning" certified and have kept up with that for like 5 years.
Some states are beginning to test "fast-track" licensure of educators who have career experience, but no formal teaching degree or certificate. Maybe start at this website and see if any of the links have more information that may be helpful..(?). Good luck!
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My understanding is that there is currently no legal requirement to teach a PDC. Also, as far as I know there is no certification body that controls the term PDC or permaculture. But there are a lot of views on this and from what I have seen it sounds like it is helpful if you go through a PDC before trying to teach your own and that the quality of the PDC is likely to be higher in this case. There are groups like Permaculture Institute of North America that have their own teaching program to prepare people to teach a PDC. I'm not sure how widespread or accepted that program is within the permaculture community.
But... if all someone did was take a PDC and then go out and try to teach I personally would argue that they are not ready to teach unless they had some solid experience under their belt too.
I would recommend that you start with workshops focusing on one or a small number of related permaculture topics. This way you could get more experience with teaching. Then I would see if you could co-teach with someone else who has experience teaching PDCs. This way your first go with teaching a PDC would not be by yourself.
My understanding is that anyone who wants to teach permaculture can teach permaculture - the question is will what they teach be of any real value to their students? I would start small and build from there if you are going to try to teach - my recommendation is don't start with teaching a PDC.
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Amit, while you easily could teach a PDC centric course, I would suggest that you go a slightly different route. You have more formal training than the people who have a PDC certificate. I suggest that you use that and capitalize on that. There are several ways that you can accomplish this.
I would have you teach a class that focuses on your knowledge, and how it applies to PDC. Rather than trying to adapt your knowledge to a pdc class, I would much rather hear how conservation planning certification benefits PDC training, and how its fundamentals apply directly to permaculture. Think of this as promoting your own version of permaculture design, but focus on the why that you have made specific decisions in your garden. You should be able to explain the science of how things affect different aspects of permaculture in more detail than other people.
Yes, this is just taking a different slant, but I would like to see some more scientific principles applied. Much of what I have seen seems regurgitated from other people, and there's very little connecting of why this affects that, and how this theory works in the long run. You may also take a different secondary approach, talking about how having an Earth Science degree does not make you qualified for teaching a PDC. Here is where you can add in the knowledge that you have gained over the past 7 years with your own garden and from the permaculture community itself. There are many things that are not taught in school, and some things that go directly against school taught ideals of how gardens and ecology should work. If you think out of the box, you can create quite a unique presentation.
To me, it sounds as though you would be a great supplementary presentor at a PDC. I would enjoy hearing about the challenges facing students who want to be educated in PDC, as there is very little of that coursework taught at colleges. It's more how school knowledge needs to be taken and adapted for the use with PDC. Anyways, it's tough for me to make suggestions without knowing a bit more about your passions and knowledge topics. I hope my thoughts have helped you a tad.
Thank you very much! It sounds like I can teach and call it "permaculture", which will help promote the movement, I think, rather than using some work-around term. I plan on staying away from calling anything a PDC until I have attended one in person to get a feel of the topics covered, for standardization's sake. I'm now living in a place where I know a PDC teacher, so I also oddly don't need to run a course, since he can.
Here is the idea from the people who started it. I would also say that there are several videos of Full PDC's online and watching those would give you better ideas about what sets this curriculum aside from your other training. I teach Permacultre for a living and I have been studying it for 10 years now, I do not have a PDC nor have I taught a PDC, it is a specific 72 hours with certain subjects covered. I have been waiting to take my course until I have my own land to apply long term design. This does not mean I can't teach the wealth of knowledge I have gained on the many farms, books, masters, gardens and nature I have learned from and call is Permaculture.