[permaculture] Free permaculture

Graham grahamburnett at blueyonder.co.uk
Fri Aug 19 20:09:17 EDT 2005


 Not sure if all the repies from UK are getting thrpough, hence a fwd of 
another UK teachers POV;

Yes, I agree Graham, the key issue here is that no teacher can speak for 
all other teachers in what they are willing to offer. Whilst I agree 
that if a course is running anyway an extra one might seem to make 
little difference, there are also other issues to be aware of.... 
Smaller groups enable more one-to-one attention for students & while 
this adopting this principle might start off as one extra student on a 
course, if this was to continue being offered to all graduates, we could 
end up with as many 'refreshers' on each course as first time students, 
which in my mind would detract from the latter's experience.

Twelve is my ideal number on a course, any more than that gets crowded. 
Ten to twelve is also the realistic minimum  number of students to make 
many courses financially viable. I also teach residential courses in 
places where the maximum accommodation equates to only slightly above 
the break even number of paying students. On Brownsea for instance, it 
is a squeeze fitting in myself, my support tutor & our cook as 'extras'....

One of the four complementary criteria of is 'Symmetry' - which means 
giving back to permaculture (& those who have pioneered it around the 
World) in exchange for what you have got out of it yourself. A fair 
exchange is the co-operative way (remember the principle?).. By taking 
on the support role on a course & being given a chance if wanted to 
teach a session or two, lots can be learned about running courses & by 
fulfilling the role, future teachers can appreciate the value of what is 
being done within it. A free place in exchange for support work is fine 
& indeed an important role in teaching courses, but a purely one-way 
energy exchange is simply parasitic behaviour & not at all 'Fair 
shares'.... Why turn down the opportunity to learn about running courses 
in such a hands-on way? Why do we assume that it would be better to 'do 
nothing' in exchange for a refresher.

And finally we must remember that if we don't support our permaculture 
teachers, they won't be able to afford to carry on running courses 
(plenty have already fallen by the wayside because of this.

Blessings,

Aranya

Graham wrote:

>
>
> Arina Pittman wrote:
>
> >Thanks for your reply Graham - please forward to the UK folks. I vaguely
> >remember hearing about it at my class, back in 1995 (?) with Bill 
> Mollison
> >and Scott Pittman. But, then - my command of English was somewhat 
> weak at
> >that time - so I am not sure if I heard it right.
> >
> >I assumed it was part of pc ethics, that teacher waives his/her 
> fee.... the
> >rest of cost must be still paid for (food, lodging, advertisement, 
> handouts,
> >etc). The idea sounds consistent with the ethics - if the class is 
> full, why
> >not allow someone to sit on, pay for ALL other expenses and refresh the
> >memory. The third ethic - share of surplus.
> >
> >The main question is: is this rule upheld by the pc community at 
> large or on
> >a voluntary basis? Is it or is it not part of the conduct in pc world?
> > >
> > >
> Some teachers/organisers may well offer 'free' places to PDC graduates
> on their courses, indeed I've offered places myself to folks who are
> working towards their permaculture diplomas so that they can 'sit in' on
> Design & Introductory courses, particulrly those who have been thinking
> about running courses themselves and want to get a 'feel' for how to do
> it. Interestingly, those who have taken up the offer have insisted on
> making a contribution, even though I've said they weren't expected to.
> They've helped out with cooking and other logistics, as well as making a
> financial contribution. In one case I've been promised some bottles of
> wine as soon as they produce some!
>
> But that is down to my discretion and the fact that I felt able to offer
> this. This is completely different from telling my students that it is
> their 'right' to attend future PC courses 'free of charge' if they feel
> so inclined. There has never been any agreement that this is the case
> that I have heard of.
>
> Cheers Graham
>
>
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