Friday Afternoon Program

Session 1

Introduction to Permaculture

Rakesh “Rootsman Rak” (in English)

What is permaculture? A brief introduction to the basics of permaculture, what is it, what is it not. We will explore how permaculture gets its inspiration for creating vibrant, resilient, regenerative systems from nature. We will look into the simple yet powerful ethics that underpin all permaculture design decisions. And we will see how we can apply the design system to all areas of our human lives, from growing food, building houses, harnessing energy, through to social cohesion, livelihoods and economics. This will not be a passive lecture, so be prepared to think, interact and start to see the world through permaculture eyes.

Rakesh is an experienced Permacultre designer teacher, forest garden specialist, yoga teacher, homeopath and reggae DJ. Rakesh has been designing and teaching permaculture to individuals and communities since 2009, and has taught over 200 permaculture, forest gardening, eco village design and related courses. His design portfolio ranges from large scale forest gardens through to many urban community food growing gardens, private farms and back gardens as well as designing collaborative businesses, urban water retention systems and even computer software and documentation systems. Rakesh is also passionate about sharing his journey of self empowerment (learning how to make all the things you need for yourself rather than relying on the system to provide for you), this includes eco architecture (low impact housing); capturing and storing energy (electricity, heat, lighting, etc); fuel efficient heating systems (rocket heaters and stoves); water capture, purification and recycling systems, natural beekeeping and so on. He is one of the founders of the Children in Permaculture project and Youth in Permaculture. So be prepared to go off on inspirational tangents occasionally.

Embedding Permaculture in Education

Lusi Alderslowe and Didi Deshais (in English)

It is possible to introduce permaculture to children in a wide variety of ways including: facilitating activities to engage all the senses, hands, head and heart; playing in nature; helping children to make decisions based on the ethics of Earth Care People Care and Fair Share; and creating an environment which is conducive to creativity, exploration, discovery and problem-solving. This workshop will address practical ways of integrating permaculture into different aspects of education, such as children’s daily routines, food choices, pedagogy and activities. Through giving examples of best practices of engaging children in permaculture, we will discuss how it can greatly enhance education. We lead us towards a future in which the new generation views the world through a permaculture lens creating genuinely sustainable lifestyles.

RELATION TO PERMACULTURE: The ethics and principles form the backbone of integrating permaculture into education, as if there is a clear understanding of ethics and principles, the teacher then can find creative ways to reinforce them throughout the routines of the day as well as in specific sessions.

Lusi Alderslowe is coordinator of the Children in Permaculture project for the Permaculture Association (Britain) and has taken a lead role in creating the resources in English. Lusi has been engaging children in permaculture in formal, non-formal and informal settings around Scotland since 2005. She is an international Permaculture Educator, Forest School Leader and Human Ecologist.

Didi Deshaies is an international trainer in Neohumanist Education and has been running educational projects for children and youth since 2001. She has helped to develop a Neohumanist Education Curriculum for Early Childhood in Romania as well as contributed to the writing of the CiP curriculum.

Dragon Dreaming with Children

Tomislav Gjerkeš (in English)

Presentation of story where a school year of one class was about a project where their dreams came true. Dragon Dreaming is a design approach that includes a method called Dreaming Circle. Through Dreaming Circle it is possible to collect dreams of all children and transform dreams into a plan. This story is an inspiration about how to make children excited about school and wake up teachers’ enthusiasm.

RELATION TO PERMACULTURE: Dragon Dreaming is permaculture social design process. It covers people care (how everybody can be heard and included), fair shire (how responsibility is equally distributed) and Earth care (how to establish conscious connection with our planet).

Tomislav Gjerkeš is a Dragon Dreaming trainer who works with schools. In addition to designing and implementing outdoor learning space, he supports the creation of class community and teacher community. He tries to integrate Dragon Dreaming tools into class culture, where the sense of belonging empowered children.

Vital pedagogy at community garden Kuchyňka

Táňa Niklová Kynclová and  Petr Dolenský (in Czech)

Pedagogy, resp. children and guides at Kuchyňka Kindergarten are heavily influenced by the environment of the garden with all its corners, animals, plants, stones.  And similarly they are exposed to weather changes, torrential rains that change clay on mud and hot sun and drought in the summer. Their existence here, their relationship to the place, their need to name the sheep by name and the simplicity of experiences helps to hold the ideas and concepts of our entire organization  on the ground and fill it with a specific life.

Táňa is working at Kuchyňka Kindergarten like a guide. It was not really her original plan though. She was working like a graphic designer for years. Now she is really enjoying her new role, it makes sense for her and she feels satisfied of it. She likes to explore outer and inner worlds with kids and also work with a shovel.

Petr is working in the NNO organization Association of Local Food Initiative, as a pedagogue and manager of projects Kuchyňka Kindergarten and educational programs for schools. One of the tractors and member of Kuchyňka Community Garden Kuchyňka,. Leisure time spends with his family, with beekeeping and sports.

LEAF – Learning About Forests – a programme for school kids at the age of 6-10

Jan Froněk (in Czech)

Get to know the ready-to-go resources and lesson plans that motivate pupils and make a real difference in their learning results. You´ll be introduced to a forest hand puppet, elfs and even the mythical Treebeard.

RELATION TO PERMACULTURE: LEAF resources lead pupils to higher sensitivity to nature (OBSERVE AND INTERACT), enhance their understanding of the web of life in the forest, and increase the willingness of spending their time outdoors.

Jan Froněk is collector of good practices, Czech LEAF coordinator, experiential educator and permaculture designer.

Tour of Toulcův Dvůr (in Czech)

Session 2

Never too Young: Practical strategies to involve children aged 3-6yrs in the design process

Juliet Robertson (in English)

This is a practical workshop which explores simple ways of involving young children aged 3-6 years in the design and development of an outdoor space. It is based upon how children explore and play. By using a participatory approach, children know their ideas are valued and they have greater ownership and pride in the process and outcome. You will come away with a range of strategies that you can easily adapt for your own work with children. The workshop may take place outside as well as indoors.

RELATION TO PERMACULTURE: It is an ideal blend of caring for people and nature. Kindergarten and other teachers do not always have time to think about how to involve little children and often end up doing most of the work themselves. So this is a gentle and fun way to use the design process as a way of learning and working together.

Juliet Robertson is an education consultant specialising in learning and play outdoors, who has been actively involved in developing policy and practice at a local and national level in Scotland for almost 10 years. Prior to this she was a head teacher of 3 different schools ranging in size from 6 to 277 students. In 2000 she received a Millennium Pioneers Award to explore how to develop the school grounds using permaculture principles. Since then she has always been interested in how these principles can underpin a school’s ethos and approach. Juliet is the author of two best-selling education books: Dirty Teaching: A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Outdoors and Messy Maths: An Outdoor, Playful Approach for Early Years.

Tour of Toulcův Dvůr (in English)

Designing outdoor learning spaces

Ionut Badica (in English)

Throughout this presentation we will dive into the design process of an outdoor classroom using permaculture methodology, pointing out tools and process for reading the land, the school needs and how to used the permaculture ethics and principles in all the steps of an outdoor classroom project.

Ionut with the passion and experience in organic gardening, and with the eyes open to observe what is one of the basic things that is needed in the world today, Ionut founded in 2012 the Schoolyard garden Project. Since then he is engaging children, teachers and parents into permaculture, designing abundent outdoor classrooms in schools and urban gardens involving the community and raising awareness about caring and learning from nature.
Ionut has studied civil engineering and holds a master’s degree in management of biodiversity conservation. He is working as a permaculture designer, integrating his knowledge in civil engineering, gardening and biodiversity conservation into designing, planning and implementing regenerative systems-from farm scale to a homestead or a garden. He is the co-founder of The Romanian Institute of Permaculture and The Transition Towns Romania Hub.

To teach outdoor: why and how in environmental education

Doc. PhDr. Jan Činčera, Ph.D. (in Czech and English)

In the first part, the presentation summarizes the body of knowledge in utilization of outdoor environment in the context of environmental education and education for sustainable development. Specifically, it focuses on three areas: utilization of outdoor environment as a “classroom” (namely for development of environmental sensitivity, ecological understanding, and inquiry skills of pupils), utilization of school gardens in the context of formal education, and connecting of schools with local community in the context of place (community-) based education. For each of these parts, the presentation briefly summarizes how it is spread in the Czech context, what are its benefits of this strategy for students’ learning, and what instructional strategies are effective for its successful implementation. In the last part, it opens an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Jan works as an associated professor at the Department of Environmental Studies (Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University Brno). He focuses on theory, instructional design, and research of environmental education and education for sustainable development. He is an author of many studies, books, and certified guidelines, focused mostly on evaluation research and analysis of instructional strategies for environmental education and education for sustainable development.

Tour of kindergarten Seminko (in Czech)

Mgr. Magdaléna Kapuciánová

Participants will see the kindergarten Semínko (The seed), they will see classrooms, the forest classroom and garden with interesting elements as clocks charged by sun.