[permaculture] 9-day PDC??

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Thu May 8 19:16:03 EDT 2008

A bit belatedly, my thoughts on a 9-day PDC:

I guest-taught at a 10-day PDC once, and then Doug Bullock and I taught 
one in Washington State. All those involved in teaching both courses 
decided "Never again." Sure, we did 10-hour days and had well over the 
72 hours. But we were able to cover much less material than a 12 or 14 
day course allows (since those are always 10-hour days, too). By the 
book, the PDC covers 72 hours. In reality, any 12 or more day course 
covers about double that, and even those feel rushed and I can never 
cover the material I really feel is essential. The 10-day course struck 
me as inadequate; it was greatly impoverished compared to 12-14 days, 
and the students clearly didn't get the same experience that the usual 
course offers. Design projects were rushed and not up to the usual 
caliber. So my own take is that although you can fit 72 hours of class 
into a shorter format, it is nowhere near as effective as the full PDC. 
Yes, 72 hours is the "legal" number of hours in a PDC, and you could 
theoretically cram it into 9, 8 or even 7 days. But shrinking the course 
to only include 72 hours really only covers about half the material that 
the usual course covers. I won't ever teach a 10-day course again; I 
think it's an inadequate substitute for the traditional PDC.

If people cannot attend the traditional 12 or 14 day intensive, then the 
weekend format is a great alternative. I've taught or helped at numerous 
6-weekend courses, spread out over 3 to 6 months or longer, and many 
extremely busy professional people have been able to attend. They 
clearly get the full design course experience. So IMO there's no need to 
shrink the course below 12 days.


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