FW: [permaculture] Who's Qualified to Teach Pc?

Toby Hemenway hemenway at jeffnet.org
Mon Jul 7 03:18:53 EDT 2003

The situation in the US is essentially this: Just as Russ said, anyone 
can teach a PDC since there are no legal restrictions on the use of the 
term. There is an informal process for creating new teachers, and it 
someday may become formal. Most of the teachers I know (like me) 
apprenticed with established teachers, co-teaching several courses 
before attempting to teach on their own, and many of them took a 
teacher training course first. There is certainly an attitude of 
skepticism from experienced teachers toward people who haven't 
apprenticed yet are offering courses. Size of course attendance usually 
correlates with the teachers' reputations.

In the US, several teams are offering teacher training courses: Jude 
Hobbs and Tom Ward offer one, Michael Kramer and Christopher Peck offer 
another, as do Peter Bane and some associates. These are not designed 
to impart the entire curriculum to a new teacher (you learn that over a 
long time!), but rather to offer different methods of teaching, to 
prepare you for what you may encounter in the course,  to help with the 
logistics, and to give experience in presenting.

PDC certificates in the US are not offered by any centralized 
institute; the US Permaculture Institute, directed by Scott Pittman, is 
fairly dormant right now and does not currently offer certificates. A 
number of other centers (different teaching teams or venues) offer 
certificates; essentially, a teacher just prints one up, so it could be 
argued that they don't mean much. That's a result, in part, of the 
break between Mollison and many teachers in the US; for a while Bill 
was supplying a number of teachers with certificates, but I believe 
that has stopped. I think some teachers are still photocopying Bill's 
old certificates, which is clearly not right. I don't know of any US 
teachers who have applied to be registered by the Australian Institute. 
The whole system here is in disarray and is very unprofessional, I 
think, and some of us are trying to change that, and at least get a 
standardized certificate going along with a list of "authorized" (or 
whatever) teachers to hand them out. There are a few PDCs being taught 
in association with universities. But we are a long way from trying to 
get accreditation as is happening in Oz.

If others in the US have additional information, I'd love to hear it.

For a look at my book on ecological gardening,
Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, visit
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