[permaculture] more on greenschooling

Jenny Katz jennykatz at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jun 14 11:42:27 EDT 2007

Thanks, all, for your replies. Great suggestions and very much in  
line with what I believe. Linda, I'm going to check out your link  
about the Small School. Kathyann, I do have Brent Cameron's book,  
Self-Design, and agree with you that it's outstanding. In fact, it  
may have been from you, some months ago, that I first heard about it!  
(Many thanks!) And Stephen, it made me laugh to see you mention the  
Wilderness Awareness School. I took two of John Young's workshops  
last year--Building Strong Naturalist Communities and the Art of  
Mentoring, both at the Vermont Wilderness School. The 64 cultural  
points chart reminded me strongly of the periodic table, and got me  
(even more) interested in putting together a pattern language for  
education. I'd love to talk to you all further about this.

Ken, I'll put together my thoughts about curriculum over the next  
couple of days and shoot it back out to all of you. Much as part of  
me would like to completely knock out the current system of  
schooling, the principle of gradual and incremental change makes me  
think it'd be more effective to create something that allows people  
to work with what we've got now--which is why I think awareness  
techniques might be the way to begin. For instance, I took my kids to  
the Art of Mentoring workshop last October, and one of the games they  
played there was to try and "clothespin" people--to clip a clothespin  
on someone's shirt without their noticing you. It's a game of  
awareness; all of a sudden you notice your surroundings in a much  
different way. You look around with "owl eyes." You walk with "fox  
walk." You recognize yourself (whether you're the pinner or the  
pinnee) as a much more integrated part of things. Why not help kids  
develop the skills of tracking even while they're sitting in class  
doing dittoes? Do the dittoes, yes, but also be aware of your body in  
space, of the physical and energetic relationship between you and  
other people, of the way the teacher's movements and words give  
insight into what's happening now and what's happening next. What's  
the system? How can we be ever more aware of the system, its needs  
and constraints and possibilities?

And how about waste? (Tom, I wrote you about this.) Natural systems  
don't have any. So if you're feeling a "waste" of your time and  
energy, your heart and mind, what kind of focus can you bring to your  
experience at that moment in order to convert waste to food? I don't  
know how explicit you can be with little kids about this kind of  
thing, but I know there's a way to make it work.

Lots of thoughts germinating in my head. With your kind permission,  
I'll continue to let 'em grow out loud. The insight and inspiration  
of this list has been instrumental in my getting even this far!


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