[permaculture] greenschooling

Linda Shewan linda.shewan at bryn.com.au
Thu Jun 14 06:28:54 EDT 2007

Hi Jenny,

This may not be what you are looking for but my boys are 7 and 9 and I
desperately want to work out a way to continue the type of education
they have now into the future, except with perhaps a deeper ecology than
we currently have...

I heard Satish Kumar speak a few weeks ago about his Small School in
England. It was amazing to hear so many of my ideas on schooling are
already happening! This article says it all

My children are in a Montessori school (progressive Montessori I would
say) in Australia and I am running the sustainability module there as a
volunteer. Some of the small school principles are already in action -
our 6-12 year olds are currently running projects building cob ovens,
chook sheds, a rainforest and an edible maze - so hands on projects
using natural materials in a natural environment are part of our
overriding principles. With this interaction in nature they care for the
site and the people in it - because they created it... 

We have also completed a permaculture site design for the school and one
of the areas within it is a food forest which will be run on Natural
Farming Principles. So far we have distributed seeds with hay scattered
over them to disguise them but the crows and sparrows found them all
within days! So no green manure this year... with the NF framework in
mind we teach the children that we should not expect nature to provide
but to feel blessed when she does. They are learning the weeds they can
eat and not to be afraid of nature - with the seriously deadly spiders
and snakes we have in Australia that one is taking some time! 

I'm not sure if any of this is useful to you but feel free to contact me
off list if it is... 

Please let us know when your website is up.

Cheers, Linda

On 6/14/07, Jenny Katz <jennykatz at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Hi all--
> I've been playing around with something I'm calling "greenschooling"--
> education in the permacultural mold, which is to say: environmentally
> based, but taking nature as structure and model rather than just as
> subject matter. Greenschooling, in other words, is education that
> grows the awareness of learning (and living) in relationship. All
> knowledge, of course, as I don't need to tell you permies, exists in
> relationship; the patterns of "knowledge" and "truth," like the
> patterns of "tree" or "zone one," emerge as a relationship between
> knower and known, between self and environment, between fact and
> context.
> I'm trying to figure out what to do with these ideas. I'd be
> homeschooling, but my ex-husband says no, so I'm trying to see the
> gift in that and develop something greater--a solution that benefits
> not only my own two kids (ages 6 and 10) but also helps other
> families, too. I'm interested in developing a series of simple
> techniques (awareness techniques, maybe) that anyone, of any age,
> could implement at any time to increase his or her understanding of
> these patterns, these relationships. I don't want to create a new
> curriculum; instead, I want to shape a lens for understanding the
> indivisible classroom--the curriculum that the world is presenting us
> at all times. It's easy to see and feel the connections when we're in
> the garden or in the woods; harder to do so during math class or the
> dentist appointment. But they're no less valid, and no less present,
> in math class. I want to try and figure out some ways to make this
> clear.
> I'm gonna get a website up soon, either at greenschooling.com or at
> indivisibleclassroom.com. If anyone has any suggestions of great
> resources or great people, I'd love to hear...
> yours,
> Jenny in Connecticut
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