Survey of Resources

 

What is the Survey of resources?

The Survey of resources is a very thorough review of existing resources of appropriate content about engaging Children in Permaculture. It reviews 316 resources, including resources explicitly about engaging children in permaculture as well as resources relevant to that field.  

 
Who is it for?

The Children in Permaculture project Research paper is dedicated to educators in formal, informal and non-formal settings. These educators will benefit by being able to use the resources referenced and with clear indexing stating to whom each resource will be relevant, this will be beneficial to firstly the educators, and secondly the children who they work with.

Meeting the priorities of the project

This output will:

  •  identify best practices (curricula, lesson plans and other resources) in Permaculture education for educators in formal, informal and non-formal settings.
  •  make available a high quality, reliable research paper of the existing resources will provide high quality learning opportunities and strengthen education and training paths of educators working in formal, non-formal and informal ways.
  • enhance the early childhood care from the start of the project, thus increasing the project’s impact
  •  foster quality improvements, innovation excellence and internationalisation at the level of education and training institutions
  •  contribute to dissemination of good practices
  • encourage the learning of languages (to access the materials)

The process of writing

  1. Surveying and Gathering information

Gathering resources and information from partner organisations and wider permaculture network about the resources on teaching permaculture to children. We will focus on collecting resources in English language but also encourage partner organisations to look for existing resources in their national languages. All partner organisations will be included in collecting the resources.

    2.  Analysis

DPS (Slovenia) and PA (Britain) will be responsible for reviewing gathered English resources and evaluating the relevance and value of each existing resource for CiP project. Other organisations will also evaluate available resources in their national languages.  

  3.  Design 

PA & DPS will design the format of the research paper and allocate who will write which part.

 4. Implementation

DPS and PA will write the research paper, publish it online and print as relevant to give to specific stakeholders.

5.  Evaluation

The research paper will be disseminated to partner organisations and the permaculture network throughout the project. Feedback will be integrated.

The Abstract

“Permaculture is the use of systems thinking and design principles that provide the organising framework for... creating consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs.” (Holmgren, 2002, pxix).

Permaculture is usually taught to adults in a permaculture design course, yet in order to create a truly permanent culture, the opportunity to learn permaculture skills should be available from an early age. The problem is that children are not normally included in permaculture education or permaculture education discourse, and there are not many resources explicitly about sharing permaculture with children. Those that do exist do not address every area of permaculture.

Hence the Children in Permaculture project was initiated to identify relevant resources and the gaps in knowledge, and to create resources to support educators in their work with children in permaculture. The first step was to create a Children in Permaculture curriculum by adapting a standard Permaculture Design Course (PDC) curriculum for adults. The broad range of topics which can be taught on a PDC were collated into six broad themes to give a coherent structure to our work and resources. These themes are: Introducing Permaculture, Living Nature, Designing, Growing Food, Built Environment and Resource Use, and Social Permaculture. We identified 316 resources (books, films, websites, lesson plans etc) in 5 languages about the field of children in permaculture. These resources were analysed by language, theme and researcher ratings.

Findings include: There is no written pedagogy for sharing permaculture with children. There are many high quality resources in the Living Nature theme (110 resources are listed), whilst there is a dearth (with only 14) in the Design theme. There is a large difference in availability of resources between languages, with 180 resources identified in English and only 22 in Romanian. There is a great diversity in how relevant the resources are to engaging children in permaculture. There is no single resource that covers all aspects of the “Children in Permaculture” curriculum.


Educators (including kindergarten and school teachers, permaculture practitioners, and parents) who are interested in sustainable living will find this survey useful because it lists recommended resources, identifies the gaps in our collective knowledge-base and initiates discussions regarding a permaculture pedagogy with children.