[permaculture] Advance notes on Permaculture Standards and Principals for NAPC

Koreen Brennan cory8570 at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 19 16:56:01 EDT 2014


Toby makes a great point about defining terms. I think it is essential to start any conversation on these topics with definition of terms because I've seen days, weeks and years wasted arguing about something when actually, people were talking about two totally different things. 

I think it's very important to differentiate "standards" from "authoritarian". Some people collapse those terms and they mean two very different things. A licensing body is an authoritarian body that has the ability to prevent someone from practicing IF they have the means to enforce it which usually means that the government has to make laws about it. An example would be a doctor of medicine - if you practice medicine without the license, you can be prosecuted by the government. We are so far away from doing anything like that or being able to do so, that people really do not need to spend time worrying about that. Really!  It would be good to get past that fear and into the meat of the subject which is really about defining "What is permaculture design?" 

I think that there are always risks in codifying a subject too closely - the main risk is that people have a tendency to go dogmatic once something is codified. They no longer have to think or observe, they just follow the dotted line. On the other hand, there are things that make permaculture permaculture. What are they? Talk to 10 different people, and you might get 10 different answers. And 8 or 9 of them might not have anything to do with design, at all. So I think there is room for clarification there! 

Is there a way to define our terms without painting ourselves and everyone else into a box wherein no creativity or innovation can ever happen thenceforth? I understand the concern as throughout history, standardizing subjects has often resulted in the stultification and institutionalization of them. So, how do we design to prevent that? We are designers. We have many, many options. 

Subjects that never have any organization to them tend to die out completely, or are absorbed and modified by institutions or people who are in power. That is also a real risk, that I think Scott and others are looking at. How can we retain the vitality and innovative creativity of our subject while also maintaining its usefulness and purity? 
 
Glad this discussion is happening, and I'm enjoying the diversity of opinion. Let's get it all out there and observe and interact with it!  :-)

Koreen Brennan
www.growpermaculture.com
www.northamericanpermaculture.org






On Monday, August 18, 2014 11:23 AM, Toby Hemenway <toby at patternliteracy.com> wrote:
 


I'd be honored to be a part of this working group. These are issues that should be discussed, and I think it won't be hard for a working group to come up with resolutions and proposals. I imagine that there will be some dissent from the contingent of permaculturists that confuses developing standards with imposing authority, but you know, they can help, or they can choose not to play. I also suspect both PI-USA and PINA have very similar ideas about most of the topics Scott mentions.

I hope NAPC can also be a place where the large amount of work already done by PI-USA on curriculum, teaching qualifications, certificates, and more can be acknowledged and transmitted.

While Permaculture Capitalism is a fascinating subject, I think about 4 hours could be spent just getting everyone on the same page on their definitions of capitalism, because I think part of the problem is that people define it in very different ways. A farm stand is capitalist in some people's minds, for others it is Monsanto, or the Federal Reserve, or Steve Jobs, or the Permaculture Credit Union, or Slav Davidzon. We'd have to get that sorted out first before we could actually discuss the subject. So I'd prefer to have that discussion elsewhere, or after everything else is done.

NB on spelling: we're talking about principles, not principals. Ah, the Anguish language.

Toby
http://patternliteracy.com


On Aug 17, 2014, at 3:48 PM, Scott Pittman <scott at permaculture.org> wrote:

> This is meant to expedite this working group and to serve as a focusing tool
> for the participants.  I am certainly open to adding to the agenda.  I have
> high hopes that this NAPC will be a working event and that we will be able
> to reach some understanding of what is meant when one uses the word
> permaculture and permaculture design course.
> 
> 
> 
> I also hope to stimulate some online discussion prior to the NAPC.  Those of
> you who are more computer literate than I please share to other web sites
> where it might generate interest.
> 
> 
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Scott Pittman
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Permaculture Standards and Principals
> 
> 
> 
> This work group will look at PC Standards and Principals in a general way
> and then more specifically at the Permaculture Design Course Standards and
> Principals.  
> 
> 
> 
> By standards I mean such things as how many days is a PDC, what is the
> curriculum, who issues certificates, who is qualified to teach a PDC, and
> other questions.  By principals I am attempting to reach an understanding of
> how does permaculture ethics come into play as practiced by the permaculture
> teacher and designer.
> 
> 
> 
> The following is a partial agenda for discussion:
> 
> 
> 
> o     What is a PDC
> 
> o     Who is qualified to teach a PDC
> 
> o     How much time is required for a PDC
> 
> o     What is the curriculum of a PDC
> 
> o     What exercises are required for a PDC
> 
> o     What is the price of a PDC
> 
> o     Who issues the PDC certificate and under what authority
> 
> o     What is a PC Diploma
> 
> o     Who is qualified to issue a Diploma
> 
> o     What are the requirements for a Diploma
> 
> o     How do PC ethics apply to teachers and designers
> 
> o     Is PC Capitalism an oxymoron
> 
> 
> 
> To be perfectly candid the Permaculture Institute has already developed a
> standard for the PDC and the Diploma and my interest is in knowing should we
> have a standard that applies to all teachers and designers?  This work group
> will look at the above and other issues and hopefully reach some conclusions
> that could be presented to the general body to be further discussed and
> perhaps adapted.
> 
> 
> 
> I believe that a PDC is a certification course that is the first step toward
> an apprenticeship in permaculture and does not confer the right to teach or
> to design.  Rather it introduces one to the ideas of permaculture and the
> students may pursue further study to become a teacher or designer.  The
> Permaculture Institute follows a policy that one should have a Diploma of
> Permaculture before teaching or designing on their own.
> 
> 
> 
> I also believe that PDC courses require a minimum of 12 days to reach
> certificate standards, and 3 weeks would be preferable.  The minimum
> standard of 72 hours face time established by Bill Mollison did not include
> any hands on exercises, student design, videos, or other extracurricular
> activity.  The 72 hours was intended to cover the basic curriculum of
> permaculture design.  
> 
> 
> 
> The standards of the Permaculture Institute is that a teacher of the PDC is
> ethically bound to certain standards of teaching and of following the
> curriculum plus any new information or techniques that update the curriculum
> ie Global Climate Change.
> 
> 
> 
> I look forward to this discussion and hope this information is helpful in
> preparing for the discussion.  I am attaching the curriculum of the
> Permaculture Institute as well as the curriculum of Robin Francis as
> examples of Curricula that is currently being used.  I also recommend
> Rosemary Morrow's new edition of "A Teachers Handbook".
> 
> 
> 
> Scott Pittman
> 
> Permaculture Institute 
> 
> 
> 
> <PDC-Outline.pdf><PDC syllabus  session plan-RF.pdf>_______________________________________________
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