[permaculture] [Fwd: [SANET-MG] Introducing a new educational series on sustainable small-scale farming]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Mon Mar 22 11:00:20 EDT 2010

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] Introducing a new educational series on sustainable 
small-scale farming
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 06:43:22 -0400
From: Learning AgriCultures <educators at ILEIA.ORG>

Dear colleague,

We would like to present ileia?s new educational series on small-scale
farming sustainability. The series consists of seven modules and is called
Learning AgriCultures. The first two modules are now available for
downloading from ileia?s website (www.ileia.org go to the ?Learning? page).

We would be pleased to get your feedback if you have time to look them
through. Below follows a short overview of the series.

Best regards,
Mundie Salm and the Learning AgriCultures team

Why Learning AgriCultures?
In recent years, the readers of ileia?s magazines, as well as our
international partner network, have asked for more support material
explaining the principles behind productive, sustainable small-scale
farming. The Learning AgriCultures series is our response to this request.
After 25 years of publishing practical cases from around the world, ileia
has a wealth of material for exploring this subject. The series aims to
stimulate learning about sustainability issues for small-scale farmers
through a systems thinking perspective. Following from an introduction on
small-scale farm sustainability, the subsequent six modules focus on
important elements of farm management: soil and water, crops, livestock,
marketing, labour and energy, and knowledge. Probing questions and a variety
of educational resources are included in the training material to feed into
discussions and reflection about what sustainability means in students?
particular contexts. The series also suggests further references for digging
deeper into technical questions.

Who is it for?
Learning AgriCultures is a learning resource particularly useful for
educators seeking support material for explaining about sustainable
agriculture in their courses, at a university or college level, in special
NGO training courses or elsewhere. Courses where this series could feed into
include agriculture, rural development, environmental studies, research &
extension, agricultural policy-making and others. The examples used in the
series mainly illustrate different contexts in developing countries ? where
there is a firm challenge and potential for sustainable small-scale farming,
but the modules can also be applied in other parts of the world.

What is in it and how can it be used?
The Learning AgriCultures series of seven modules is dedicated to
understanding small-scale (family) farming and how it can become more
sustainable. Each module has three learning blocks, looking at its theme
from the perspective of: 1) the farm, 2) issues in the wider context
affecting farming, and lastly 3) sustainability approach and governance
issues. These learning blocks are followed by a section of educational
support material. Educators can choose from practical cases (mostly drawn
from 25 years of articles in ileia?s archive), exercises, games, photos,
videos, farmer visit checklist as well as further references (free books and
websites) to supplement their courses. Drawings and diagrams as well as a
glossary of difficult terms explain concepts. Educators can make their own
lesson plans, choosing the types of information relevant to their own
regional context.

Request for feedback
As the series is developed, interim versions of each module are being made
available. We ask for feedback and suggestions for improvement on the
package in its current form - and how it can be used. This will help us to
produce the final publications in the course of 2010. Please send your
feedback to educators at ileia.org ? or complete our survey on the website. Any
suggestions for photos, videos, games or exercises are welcome as well.

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