Benefits of a teacher training – a week of diving into permaculture from a teacher’s perspective

by Amelie Toft, landscape gardener from Denmark

Permaculture needs more educators and this is why Permaculture Denmark has decided to send some of us PDC holders to the Permaculture Teacher’s Training Course in Sweden this November. The course is based on Rosemary Morrow’s experience and on the Permaculture Educators Course. This course is facilitated by Alfred Decker and Cathrine Dolleris and Helena von Bothmer is hosting on her amazing permaculture nursery, Kosters Trädgård in Sweden. Courses like this takes place all over Europe with different teachers involved.

Learners on the teacher training in a homely environment at Kosters Trädgårdar. Photo: Cathrine Dolleris

The course has the overall focus on us becoming more inspiring, effective and confident teachers and facilitators and to make our teaching more transformative, fun and inspiring. We are diving into adult learning, methodology and tools and in the course we are putting it into use through micro-facilitation and creating learning resources.

Participants for the Training Permaculture Teachers course on their way to Koster islands. Photo: Cathrine Dolleris

It was freezing cold when we on Tuesday reached Strömstad in Sweden to catch the boat to Koster. “We” were a mixture of Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes, and at Helenas place two Bulgarians joined us. We are right now excited about the facilitation by the inspiring and experienced Alfred Decker and Cathrine Dolleris. Some of us had also heard about Helena von Bothmer’s thriving place, the permaculture plant nursery and restaurant “Kosters Trädgårdar” and we are exited to be here and see it firsthand.

Demonstration of the compost system at Kosters Trädgårdar. Using site visits to learn about permaculture is an important teaching method. Photo: Cathrine Dolleris

During the week here we are looking at learners’ roles, challenges and behaviours – and also on the roles, challenges and behaviours for us as teachers, knowing that we influence and set the tone for our learners and thereby their learning.

Fun in the cold at the teacher training. Photo: Cathrine Dolleris

Yesterday the wonderful Rosemary Morrow offered to be on a video call with us, and she told us about her work in conflict zones, and how she approaches it. She also emphasised that some of the most important work to be done right now, is to spread more permaculture in our local communities through teaching, demonstration and community engagement.

The coming days are focused around teaching tools and methods and on more micro-facilitation in groups. Alfred, Cathrine and Helena are an amazing team and our group has come beautifully together, so even though it sometimes feels a little tough to challenge our own teaching skills, we know that this is a safe space to do it. We are grateful for Erasmus+ to have invited us here.

Learners in a “micro-facilitation” situation where elements are placed in a plan for a site. Photo: Cathrine Dolleris

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