Jude Hobbs has been working in the field of permaculture for over 30 years—as a Landscape Designer and Educator, and has been teaching PDCs since 1990. A beloved master trainer of teachers, Jude will be at The Commons in Brooklyn from June 24-30th to present her Advanced Permaculture Course in Teaching (PcTT)–a course that she has been honing since 2001.
Over this time, Jude has been asked to address compelling questions about education, and SEEDs is delighted to share her answers below:
What would the conventional education system look like if educators taught less through lecture and more via dynamic interchange?
“In offering a PcTT, my goal is to transform the educational paradigm one person at a time. This action-oriented course unfolds as a design methodology, where each topic builds on the previous one, and we are always looping back to revisit what was said or demonstrated.
We start the course by setting the tone to build a safe learning environment where group dynamics and interchange are cultivated. We are creating a learning community and all have much to share (our resource exchanges are a big hit!).
The course toolkit also provides examples of teaching creatively to keep learners engaged—research indicates the average adult’s attention span is between 8.5 seconds and 20 minutes; meaning the mind wanders every 8.5 seconds to 20 minutes. What are the tricks that help intercept the mind and bring it back to the topic at hand? Here are a few ideas: small group interactive activities, ‘energizers’—such as discussions, a focus on place, design games, poster making, storytelling, outdoor mapping, or having the permaculture principles presented by participants in fun ways—like with music. These experiential learning opportunities tap in to a variety of learning styles and are a mainstay throughout the course.
To gain confidence and create a sense of empowerment, everyone practices what they learn by completing three presentations, as well as co-facilitating the course for a day. Evaluations are an integral part of the daily routine…assessing what is working and/or what needs to be improved.
The kit continues with the awareness of understanding the integrity of the Mollisonian 72-hour standard PDC curriculum, while adding compelling pertinent local information. This then lends to considering how we get the information across in an effective way—hence the art of carefully designing a lesson plan with techniques of active engagement. The global/local perspective allows participants from diverse cultures to thrive.
One of my favorite permaculture principles is ‘learn from our mistakes’. I enjoy telling stories of the challenges and wonders of teaching and offering tips of the trade, sharing with folks the mistakes I’ve made and how to manifest the solutions.
Teaching is exhilarating, though it takes quite a lot of energy, so the importance of self-care cannot be minimized—it takes 4 hours to recuperate from doing physical labor, but 8 hours to recuperate from working with people (i.e. teaching)! Though this course is an intensive, we try to offer up ways to take care of ourselves during the process. This can be as simple as the joy in establishing connections with like-minded people (some of whom you may wish to teach with!) or being fed delicious food.
I’m often asked; ‘Can I make a living teaching?’ The answer is yes. And, as a self-employed person, I have four income streams: as a landscape designer, I gained expereince in all the Pc systems before I taught them; I also work with two non-profit organizations specializing in guiding farmers toward best management practices; and lastly, I am co-evolving Wilson Creek Gardens, a Permaculture demonstration site.
The essence of this course is to encourage and inspire your unique strengths and talents by demonstrating diverse teaching techniques. I’m hoping you will join us!”
JUDE HOBBS AND THE PcTT ARE HOSTED BY THE FANTASTIC FOLKS AT “BEYOND ORGANIC DESIGN”. FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE COURSE, OR TO REGISTER, VISIT THE “BEYOND ORGANIC DESIGN” WEBSITE.
The course outline is included below: