the pri restarts the permaculture teacher registry feat

The PRI Restarts the Permaculture Teacher Registry

Short Version

If you’ve been waiting to apply to be a PRI PDC Teacher, we are now ready to receive your application (English only at this point — but read the rest of the post below to find out more about other languages). To apply, simply log into the Worldwide Permaculture Network, ensure you’ve clicked on the ‘Click if you are a PDC Teacher‘ link on the right side of your profile, and then click on the ‘Apply to be a PRI PDC Teacher‘ link.

Geoff-Lawton-Online-videos

Long Version

In March 2010 Bill and Lisa Mollison’s Permaculture Institute (PI) ceased taking applications for their long-running permaculture teachers’ registry. As many immediately recognised, this left a gaping hole in the permaculture garment — one which needs to be filled if the movement is to maintain a reasonable standard of recognised education.

Accordingly, when the registry ceased, the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) was suddenly flooded with “What now?” emails, and requests that we step in and take over the role of processing and verifying applications from permaculture teachers. This call came because existing teachers, and prospective teachers, all want to ensure that their students have confidence in the courses they’re committing their fees to.

Before I share what we’ve sought to do to fill this void, I will try to expand a little more on the above about why we believe having a globally recognised teachers’ registry is important and why we’ve been working hard to answer the many calls to facilitate this need.

Background

Many Permaculturists finance, or at least partially finance, their valuable work of spreading Permaculture concepts and increasing Permaculture take-up in their communities through education — through the sale of knowledge.

I’m selling you information (it is not costing you much) and I want you to sell this information and I want you to be able to make a modest miserable living (like I do) at selling information. If we sell enough information we can change the world… but at the same time we have to put our action groups in place to act on this information. — Bill Mollison, Perth Lecture, 1985 (emphasis added)

Anyone who has taken a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course is encouraged to subsequently develop into a teacher themselves. If we are to actually “sell enough information” so that “we can change the world“, we’re going to need literally millions of knowledgeable permaculture educators — people reaching into the hearts and minds of people in every walk of life, everywhere.

Now, for this movement to gain momentum it’s critical that we gain the respect of the world at large. A thorough vetting system populating a registry of recognised permaculture teachers helps ensure this happens.

What is a PRI PDC Teacher?

With the input of many other recognised and respected Permaculture teachers (from around the world) over the last year, we have come up with the following definition of what is a PRI PDC Teacher:

PRI PDC Teachers are those who the PRI recognise, through a vetting board, as determined and competent to teach a full 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate course that is based on, but not necessarily only constrained to, all the topics of Bill Mollison’s Designers’ Manual. Through sharing foundational permaculture principles and describing (and/or presenting) practical examples of these principles in action, the teacher will give students a healthy understanding of the interconnectedness of all elements in natural systems, and will give them the design tools to enable them to begin to work productively and sustainably with these systems in many climate zones and circumstances. The course will inspire and assist students to embark on their own life as permaculture system designers.

PRI PDC Teachers also commit to focussing on the design science, and not including subjective spiritual/metaphysical/religious elements as topics. The reason these items are not included in the PDC curriculum is because they are “belief” based. Permaculture design education concerns itself with teaching good design based on strategies and techniques which are scientifically provable. A PRI PDC Teacher avoids creating barriers to permaculture uptake by directly associating permaculture with a particular set of beliefs and instead promotes an inclusive, simple, universal life ethic of returning surplus into nature’s systems to promote the care of our earth and its inhabitants, with the goal of creating a new world that lives in harmony with all of nature. — WPN User Badge Legend

The first paragraph covers what the teacher is expected to teach and accomplish. The second covers what should not be included in the course — so as to ensure that teachers are not putting up barriers to the uptake of permaculture. (Permaculture can and should be implemented by every culture and by people from every spiritual or non-spiritual background, and as well as creating barriers for the public, mixing metaphysics into courses is taking liberties on behalf of permaculturists everywhere — wrapping permaculture in a cloak that other permaculturists might not agree with, and will often find offence with.)

The Task of Having an Inclusive, Respected Registry

With the above in mind, I began to consider the challenges of having a teachers’ registry which works for permaculturists everywhere, and which works to build the reputation of permaculture everywhere. When I began development of the Worldwide Permaculture Network (WPN) I did so with the determination to help level the playing field for permaculturists — to reduce centralisation, whilst helping all permaculturists to freely offer their services (as teachers and consultants) to a large audience, and to network, share and leverage each other’s efforts, so as to encourage a new generation of permaculturists to drive appropriate design concepts more rapidly into mainstream consciousness and action. Because of the resulting base framework of design of the WPN it became quite easy to incorporate teacher applications into its functionality in a way that helps improve the application process and registry.

  1. Ease of application: What I’ve done is make it so that any member of the Worldwide Permaculture Network can, if they’ve first indicated they’re a PDC Teacher (by clicking on the ‘Click if you are a PDC Teacher‘ link on the right side of their profile), select ‘Apply to be a PRI PDC Teacher‘, and begin their application process for becoming accredited. This eliminates issues over time, cost and the carbon footprint involved in sending printed documentation, and with documentation already in electronic form, it’s easier for reviewers to add comments or quote sections when corresponding with the applicant.
  2. Transparency: Once a teacher is approved, the teacher’s Course Outline (one of the required documents) automatically shows on the teacher’s profile sidebar as a ‘Download my PDC Course Outline‘ link, where it can be viewed by anyone logged into the system. Prospective students can thus search for a teacher, and then get an idea up front of what they’ll be taught, and choose their teacher accordingly. You can see a couple of examples below (see the ‘Download my PDC Course Outline‘ link on right sidebar — note: you must be logged in to see it):- permacultureglobal.com/users/707-delvin-solkinson
    permacultureglobal.com/users/351-pietro-zucchetti

    If it ever turns out that a teacher is not covering the topics as stated in his/her Course Outline on his WPN profile, any student who has been verified in the system as having taken a course by that teacher can subsequently go to the teacher’s profile and click on a link on the teacher’s sidebar to provide feedback to PRI administration on the course taken. If teachers present material substantially different than what they used for their application, this will soon become apparent — through community feedback. The community thus becomes self-nurturing, and, where necessary, self-policing.

  3. Reviewing the reviewer: For each application, we can assign multiple reviewers. This means we can have a main reviewer for an application, and one or more extras who can keep an eye on the process and assist the main reviewer to ensure appropriate standards are kept — standards for the application, and for the review process itself. If we receive an appeal request from an applicant who has failed in his application, we can add another reviewer to the application — someone who can check to see if this appeal is justified or not. This encourages thorough, yet fair, reviewing. When an applicant gains accreditation, the name of the reviewer of that successful applicant is forever associated with that applicant. If the teacher subsequently fails to perform the reviewer can be questioned.
  4. Non-English Language Capacity: The WPN is also capable of dealing with the problem of non-English language speakers being unable to apply. Any member of the WPN can be assigned as a reviewer for a PRI PDC Teacher application. If we receive a Spanish application, we can assign the task of reviewing this application to the recognised Spanish review team. If the application is in German, we can assign it to the recognised German review team, etc. Note: We have already made a silent launch a few months ago of English-only applications while we work through any flaws in the workflow, and we’ll soon be adding the ability to take Spanish applications. We will incrementally invite applications in other languages as soon as we can, as we find more competent people worldwide able to undertake the task of reviewing in their language.
  5. Teachers get support: By being listed in the WPN, where people can constrain their search of the user section for ‘PRI Teachers’, teachers get an instant audience of prospective students, and, being vetted teachers, they will also stand out for people searching for consultants. Additionally, the interactive nature of the WPN means good teachers will soon become apparent, because readers can click on the teacher’s graduate lists on their sidebar and see what kind of graduates they are producing — by gauging the activeness of the students, and seeing how many have gone on to become teachers themselves.

Costs, and income for educational projects worldwide

We have set the cost of an application at AU$500 excluding GST. Of this, $300 (60%) goes to the reviewer (reading/checking full course notes, course outline, verifying applicant references, teaching hours and former students, liaising with applicant, etc.), $175 (35%) goes to PRI for WPN development and project establishment and support, and $25 (5%) goes to WPN admin (time invested in creating system and for ongoing development management).

As you can see, permaculturists (wherever they are) can help finance their permaculture education work by becoming reviewers.

Applicants in difficult circumstances in needy places can apply for a discounted rate. All our reviewers must follow the ‘return of surplus’ principle by being willing to review applications from people who cannot afford the full fee.

Annual registration fee

A annual registration renewal fee of AU$200 is to be paid by the teacher, starting from the first anniversary of their successful application. This fee also happens to be the exact same cost of the WPN’s ‘Educator Account Upgrade’ which comes ‘for free’ with the registration fee. The Educator Account Upgrade enables teachers to list unlimited permaculture courses on their educational project’s sidebar (and users can constrain their project search to ‘only those listing courses’, which gives the teacher additional exposure). In other words, the registration fee is essentially enforcing the use of the Educator Account Upgrade, which, in turn, effectively ensures that teachers are indeed continuing to run courses regularly. Regular teaching ensures that teachers improve in their teaching skills. The PRI desires that teachers in the PRI PDC Teachers Registry are active and continually improving in their work and influence.

The qualifications of other permaculture educational institutes can be added

Other respected permaculture institutes do not need to be excluded here. We can add the qualifications of other institutes into the WPN system as well, if those institutes are willing to help compensate the PRI for the cost of WPN development.

What about previously registered permaculturists from the now defunct registry of the Mollison’s Permaculture Institute?

Those who were already registered with the Mollison’s Permaculture Institute are simply asked to make contact with us. We would look at your registration status on a case-by-case basis. I say ‘case by case’ basis only because obviously there will be some diploma holders who may not have been involved with Permaculture, let alone teaching, for many, many years. Please simply contact me on editor (at) permaculturenews.org and we can take it from there.

I trust all will appreciate that this is an effort to fill a vacuum, so there will be some transition as we do so.

To Close

Working with the endorsement of Bill and Lisa Mollison, it’s my hope that the work we’ve invested into this process will be recognised for what it is — a great opportunity to establish an army of collaborating, competent, recognised permaculture teachers who can promote permaculture education in every place in every culture and who will empower individuals with the knowledge-tools they can use to set their communities on the path to peaceful sustainability.

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24 thoughts on “The PRI Restarts the Permaculture Teacher Registry

  1. This is great! Craig, maybe you can answer a few questions that arose for me in reading this post. How will the system recognize those teachers who were on Mollison’s registry, need they re-apply? And, what about diplomas? As I understood it, a diploma was what qualified one to go out and teach the PDC under Mollison’s system, does the PRI registry replace the diploma concept? If not, does the PRI have a diploma program in the works? My feeling is that what will ensure teacher quality is bringing them from finishing the PDC to the place of having mastery of design and information. It would seem a long period of practice and mentorship would be appropriate before one can apply for the registry. Perhaps documentation of experience is included on the application, which I haven’t looked at yet.

  2. Hi,
    WPN is a great tool for students that need to find a respectable PDC anywhere in the world. It also gives more confidence to people in need of consultancy. In my experience it’s a very good referral point for country like mine, Italy, which doesn’t have a clear and transparent permaculture organization and a proper developed curriculum. I went through the accreditation experience and for me it has been clear and straightforward, just do your homework!!!

  3. Hi Craig, This is a useful step forward. We are also developing a register of UK teachers, and have a new apprentice teacher pathway to support people to develop their teaching and practice. It makes sense because teaching is an activity where reputation is everything. People want a quality course, and they deserve it. As a network it is important that we keep developing the quality of what we do, because we will benefit and so will our students. Thanks

  4. A diploma in permaculture design is not needed to teach a PDC and never has been needed. All you actually need is to have taken a PDC. That is the way Bill Mollison set it, so we continuously breed new teachers.

  5. Geoff, thanks for responding. I see on the registry application that quite a bit of documented experience is required to apply, as well as the minimum of two years of practice. The registry will be good at qualifying more experienced teachers. I think regional formats for teacher improvement and experience building will be essential to maintain high teaching standards however, which invariably requires mentorship in design, hence a diploma type format, much like the global “Academy” that Mollison proposed.

  6. G’day all, firstly i’d like to thank PRI for this great resource which gives us the ability to connect and network globally, which is just great. The teacher registration is ensuring the integrity of PDCs taught by PRI teachers and having a report mechinism built in to the WPN allows students to promote or discourge other students. Pretty sensible really.

    Simple is beautiful.

  7. G’day everyone.
    Just to say that in Italy first PDC was planned in 2000, and in 2006 was established Italian Permaculture Academy. Since then the IPA plan, every year, many PDC, workshops and a wide range of diffusion strategy about the matter. We have 24 tutors with diploma. I’m an agronomist with permaculture diploma and I give professional consultancy. I hope every permaculture aficionado, also the youngest, could join our ecosystem in peace, pursuing knowledge, growth and union.

  8. Hi all,
    Hi Pietro.
    With all the due respect, I disagree with you about the situation in Italy.
    I have taken my second PDC with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton last year in Turkey and I have taken a PDC here in Italy before. So I know the differencies, and I know both sides and both positives and negatives.
    The Italian Association is open to anyone who wish to participate and improve the diffusion of Permaculture here in Italy, they especially support people which are willing to go for the Diploma.
    As per the Curriculum, not only the founders of the Association took their Diploma with Richard Wade with the British Association in 2004, they also adopted the British Manual for Active Apprenticeship.

    There is no confusion here.
    But I can imagine your experience with the Permaculture Association was not so clear.

    Pietro, I would like to discuss all of this next sunday in Uk, where we will see each other, and to see if we can work on this to improve the standard but also to review the existing one. Which one is the standard? The Curriculum is the black big Designer’s Manual.

    See you soon,
    Elena

  9. Well it’s all a bit confusing to me. Having done my first workshop with Bill around 1979, worked and played plenty with Permaculture until 1988 when I did my PDC with Lea Harrison, and Advanced Pc with Max Lindegger. Awarded my Diploma by Bill in 1992 in the fields of Design, Education and Community Development, had my work honoured in 1994 (along with Jill Jordan, Peter Bane, Nick Hopkins and others) with the International Permaculture Community Service Award, I’ve been working with as a Permaculture practitioner ever since, designing, teaching, consulting and implementing all over the world, apparently well enough judging by the feedback and work that continues to pour in. I’ve taught the first PDCs in a number of countries (Pakistan right now, through a highly acknowledged university. Must be okay I’d say, yet am I to understand that I need to apply to somebody else for official recognition (again) as a competent teacher of Permaculture? Bit of a mystery really.
    As to Pietro’s comments about the state of Permaculture in Italy, I concur totally with the feedback from Elena. Of course like everywhere it is on ongoing process of improvement, but the comments as to the transparency, clarity and proper developed curriculum of the Permaculture Academy of Italy – or rather the implied lack of those qualities – are incorrect and even offensive, given the integrity and open-hearted professionalism of those who comprise it. I feel embarrassed that I have not been able to make the time to support them better in their efforts towards greater excellence.

  10. Thanks for your comment John. Actually, existing diploma holders merely need to make contact with us. We would take them on a case-by-case basis. I say ‘case by case’ basis only because obviously there will be some diploma holders who may not have been involved with Permaculture (let alone taught PDCs) for many, many years (obviously not your case). Please simply contact me on editor (at) permaculturenews.org and we can take it from there.

    I’ll add a note to this effect to the bottom of the post above, to clarify this issue.

    I trust you’ll appreciate that this is an effort to fill a vacuum, so there will be some transition as we do so.

  11. Given that Geoff says that all PDC holders can teach a PDC I am not quite sure as to the rationale behind teacher registration. It appears to be a rather expensive way to be unnecessarily registered. It also seems to promote the very thing that I have heard people rail against – the bureaucratisation of permaculture.

  12. Joni – yes, all PDC holders are encouraged to go out and teach. You do not need to be registered. We offer this registration service because people keep asking us to provide it. Nobody is obliged or otherwise pressured into using it. Just ignore it if it’s not your thing. I can, however, see why people want to see this registry system happening – so that a reasonable standard of PDC education can be expected; so teachers can demand a reasonable rate for their quality courses, and so as to keep out the metaphysics elements that have (over the last 30 years) tended to marginalise permaculture in the eyes of your average citizen.

    If you have no permaculture experience, but take a PDC over the next two weeks, and a week later turn around and begin to teach, there’s obviously a big difference between what you’ll be sharing compared to someone who has been teaching a while and who has far more experience. Do we encourage you to teach? Yes indeed. Would I want to pay to learn under you? No, not at all.

    The PRI PDC Teacher application system enables those who deserve a little respect for their dogged determination and talents to stand out a little from those who’re just starting out. It also helps reduce incidence of the problem where some teachers may put people off permaculture entirely, forever.

    Again, if it’s not your thing, just ignore it. There’s no bureaucracy here. Bureaucracy is forced upon you. This is simply an attempt to meet the needs of the hour for those who are collaborating with us to spread permaculture as fast as possible.

  13. Craig, thank you for this! I was a little worried after Geoff’s comment.
    “If you have no permaculture experience, but take a PDC over the next two weeks, and a week later turn around and begin to teach, there’s obviously a big difference between what you’ll be sharing compared to someone who has been teaching a while and who has far more experience. Do we encourage you to teach? Yes indeed. Would I want to pay to learn under you? No, not at all.”

  14. Craig and Geoff, excellent work and many thanks. After 12 years of teaching Permaculture in Sydney, as a registered Permaculture Institute Trainer, I feel confident in saying the market really needs this. There is a growing discontentment about the vast variability; lack of consistency and accountability; omissions of important course content (such as climates and earthworks); inclusion of metaphysical, spiritual and other non-essential topics; and lack of transparency of course content, certification and outcomes. There is confusion and insecurity surrounding PDC’s and about registered and non-registered training courses. There is also great annoyance by some when they were not told the difference beforehand and given a choice.

    A PDC course is the most important permaculture educational experience one can have of considerable investment and I agree with the others that we have an obligation to provide them with a quality course with transparent learning content, standards and outcomes. Consistency breeds security and doesn’t cramp diversity or individual delivery styles and methods. Transparency is about being open and honest and shouldn’t we all be doing this? I have heard of some funny PDC courses over the years that seem more like intros or specialist workshops to me and I think this process will help sort this out.

    Unfortunately and perhaps unreasonably, you only need one bad course experience to tarnish the reputation of the PDC and the whole movement. This registration process will provide the consistency, standards, security and integrity that the pdc and the movement needs and that the public have a right to.

    Thanks again, Im proud to be a registered trainer and everyone I speak to, supports this process.
    Penny Pyett. Permaculture Sydney Institute.

  15. It is just so essential that the integrity of the PDC is maintained …….and this is dependent on the quality of the teachers. I would like to use the technology now available to include a video of the applicant in action as a teacher!.. Must say that the registration process could be a can of worms!

  16. Kia Ora Craig, Yes great work. One of the reasons why I really support the idea of having registered teachers is so that those of us running post PDC programs can know when somebody has done a PDC, and they enrol in your program , that thy have already covered the basics of design methodology well.
    I’m really excited about networking and supporting each other around the world, and the global network gives us the potential for that, but for it to work from the PDC onwards ( post grad courses) we need registered teachers, so we have a common language.
    Arohanui kay

  17. This is a great conversation – I have a few questions:

    1) Teaching PDCs – here in Malawi our PDC trainer told us we needed to complete our PDC successfully, then practice for 2 years before starting to Certify anyone else in a PDC. Teaching and sharing was encouraged, but not certifying. That is what we have been following here, is this what other Permaculturists are following as well?

    2) Comment on Registry – We are to the point here in Malawi that we also need a registry, because teaching a whole PDC takes certain skills that aren’t necessarily necessary for teaching sessions here and there, and that you don’t necessarily pick up in your PDC an 2 years of implementation. We have a high demand for low cost PDCs which indigenous Malawians have not had enough practice with. Permaculturists in Malawi developed a 5-day permaculture awareness course as we were supporting the School Health and Nutrition programme with the Ministry of Education, as we found we needed a shorter course that touches on all the design topics. We have several good trainers for these PACs in Malawi, but we need to build up to more PDC trainers, as most of the strong trainers are introduced to Malawi. We’re trying!

    3 Cost – I know there needs to be a cost, but this is going to block most in Malawi from participating, even in cases where we have an excellent trainer. Forex is lacking, access to paying this, etc. We’ll have to figure out locally how to get over this barrier and see if we can come back to you with any suggestions for helping us as well. I appreciate that there is a cost reduction for these situations, thank you.

  18. I think, with a bit of careful design, we can make this good initiative from PRI/WPN into something more powerful and clear. We’d do this by adding together the strength of the revived teacher registration with the various permaculture diploma systems in operation around the world.

    But, in the first place we’d agree that none of this is required – it is all voluntary. – and yet it is all part and parcel of the permaculture movement growing some effective institutional (I prefer un-institutional) capacity to organize itself and I am a consistent advocate of that over the years.

    Thus a person wishing to teach permaculture is free to do so after attending a pdc (as in the original Bill Mollison approach) AND, they are free to participate in a registration scheme and an organized and supported Diploma scheme as part of their commitment to their own ongoing professional development process.

    Collectively, we have to think about how people in tight economic situations can participate in both of these – this is a key issue that is proving hard to resolve as yet – although one way is to create sliding scales that allow people who have better resources to gift their surpluses in to support people with tighter access – but so far most of us are pinching the pennies anyway and there has not been a lot of slack for this type of cross-resourcing.

    Anyway, back to the concept of creating a progression from ‘just taken a pdc last week’, to ‘masterful teacher of permaculture design’.

    An early consideration is that a person may arrive into the pc world with many of the skills (as a forest gardener, as a water harvester, as a soil builder for example and as a teacher/facilitator for project and design based curricula like ours and so on). Any system of progressions needs to be able to recognize prior, relevant experience.

    Then, as we all know, working to develop our pc design skills and competencies is a life-long job – and we can probably recognize a series of stages. This would be very helpful because otherwise we tend to have a system that is quite absolutistic by which I mean that a person has to reach quite an advanced stage before the community recognizes them as, let’s say, a master pc teacher. Which might mean that they spend several years unrecognized whilst, in fact, they have a great deal of wonderful, relevant competencies to share.

    So I think we need a system that has levels – most other fields do – such as (using the old European medieval craft concept) – apprentice, journeyman and master or, if we can cope with such a differentiated system, using the Anglo/American University language in which case the stages of progression go like this – Diploma, Bachelors Degree, Post-Graduate Diploma, Masters Degree, Doctorate (please note I understand that European and Anglo American terminology might well be innappropriate in our global culture and I’d be pleased to hear of other progressions that could do the job).

    And, at any of these levels, a person could register as a teacher – at apprentice level, journeyman level and, finally, at masters level – if the teacher registration system is flexible enough (and not an absolutist system in which people have to be pc Masters in order to register) and a key to successful registration could be evidence of participation in a Diploma system.

    I have an interest here – I am one of the Principals of Gaia University – http://www.gaiauniversity.org – and we have recently launched an International Diploma of Permaculture Design. This is my second Diploma design as I was a significant architect of the system used in Britain which has since been adopted and adapted in Italy, Germany, Israel, Spain and Ireland to my knowledge. The Gaia University Diploma is a yet more developed version of the 15 year old British design and incorporates the long feedback and history from students and mentors.

    It is a very flexible system and very decentralized which means that individual pc associations and organizations can readily develop the capacities to become Diploma providers. It achieves international oversight by publishing Diploma portfolios on the web where anyone with a pdc certificate can see them and comment on them. We are collecting a team of External Reviewers and every Diploma candidates work will be assessed by this panel before being ‘passed’.

    So, my proposal is that we use a distributed Diploma process such as the one we have recently launched as a pathway towards teacher registration. This way people are supported and nurtured as they learn and develop rather than just struggling on their own to make sense of things and, as an added and very significant bonus, the mature designers in each county or region get to develop their mentoring and organizational capacities with some assistance (these are the designers who mentor the Diploma candidates) plus they are functionally linked to both to the WPN/PRI international networks of permaculture people (for teacher registration) AND the Gaia University network (for Diploma delivery foucsed on Teacher development and quality assurance). Now thats what I call useful diversity!

    What do you think?

  19. Hi,
    I’d love to hear where this discusison has gone since 2012. In the Nordic countries we are currently reviewing our Diploma system, to see how we can make the process of becoming a PC Diploma holder more straight forward and encouraging. This is of course directly linked to our lack of/low number of Diploma holders. In the Nordic countries, the current state is that you can only accredit certificates if you hold a Diploma. Hence, the diffussion of permaculture has been realtively slow the past decades. Since 5-7 years back though, we are rapidly growing and, as Jan Bang so beautifully put it at our last yearly Nordic meeting, “we are moving into our juvenile state, which means a lot of energy, ideas and questions are up and about right now!” (Ok, not a percfect quote, but that’s the jist of it…)

    Q: How can we move forward with our Diploma process (already happening) and at the same time include the question “who gets to teach a PDC?”

    We do NOT wish to become an alienated little Institute pushing our own ideas without learning from and growing with the wider permaculture system.

  20. Why did Mollison’s Permaculture Institute cease taking applications for their permaculture teachers’ registry?

  21. What I’m not seeing much of in all these posts is any mentioned of pedagogy. It’s simply not enough to have a grasp of content and be an experienced practitioner and designer, though these are essential. To teach for effective learning you also need an understanding of adult learning theory and processes. Is PRI addressing this? Also, PRI needs to review the curriculum from time to time as understanding and new thinking evolves. The Designers Manual, while brilliant and extraordinary for its day, was written in 1988. No other curriculum written that long ago is fully in use today, although elements of it would be.

  22. Whilst reading through the comments, I thought to myself……..Bill Mollison’s ‘Designer’s Manual’ may have been written in 1988 but the Bible and the Koran are much older in age and are repeatedly sought by their followers as a reference guide. So, who really cares how old the Manual is?
    Also, just because a person attends teacher training and is successfully employed at a school, does not mean that the children who sit in his/her classroom, recieve quality teaching. Nor do the parents get quality for their children through school fees.
    I have been around Permaculture for over forty years. It has worked simply. I have to agree with Geoff Lawton. After all, he shared a very close bond and friendship with Bill Mollison. He knows that Bill could take the most complex matter and break it down to a simple process.
    All of us must take care to keep Bill and David’s legacy of Permaculture free from the complexities of the hurried-modern world.

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