Request for information: 10 day certification Permaculture Design Course

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at
Wed Aug 4 16:05:28 EDT 1999

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 11:15:24 -0800
From: J. Hobbs <hobbsj at>
To: permaculture at


I am interested in feedback from instructors who have taught a 10 day
certification Permaculture Design Course.

For the past almost ten years I have enjoyed the dynamic challenges of
patterning the 13 day course  curriculum.  I am fascinated with the
integration of the 'big picture' thru lecture, discussion, and hands-on
application  with each of the subjects to be covered.   We usually offer
about 87+ hours of instruction during the 13 days (with one day off in the

Recently I co-taught, with Tom Ward, a 10 day design course with 75 hours
of instruction.  There were a few changes that were generated with the
shorter course:  facilitation was greatly intensified, there was less time
for hands-on, and we did not have a day off.  We were concerned the
community that evolves with participants during the longer course would be
compromised but folks seemed to form strong bonds.  We had time for a field
trip and to include every topic that is part of the certified curric. and
then some.  We also noticed that there were more students attending for
they just had to take one week off  instead of two.  It seems this course
orchestration provides more availability to a broader group of people, not
only is there less time away from home and work the cost is less, as well.
People do seem to like the idea of the longer course since there is more
time for more information.  I notice we must constantly remind ourselves
and participants that the 72 hr. course is designed to cover the 'basics'.
There are so many details for every subject- we would be together until who
knows when...........?
Maybe we need more  advanced courses and week-end workshops to delve into
the more complicated material.

I would appreciate your comments and experiences on this shorter course.
For example: How does the curriculum differ relative to timing? How does
the  community building work and what do you do to enhance it? Are students
even more intimidated by the immense download of information in the shorter
time frame?  Is it more beneficial to present packets of the handouts at
the beginning of the course to reduce note taking anxiety and allow more
attention to lectures and presentations?  Is the lack of reading and/or
library perusal time critical?  How does hands-on fit in? Do you notice
more attendance due to shorter course length?
What do you see as the drawbacks? The advantages?

Thanks for taking the time to respond.


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