What Free Courses do we Offer?
The Permaculture Society currently offers three online free courses:
- An Introduction to Permaculture
- Our online Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
Why do we Offer these Courses for Free?
We have a deep respect for what Bill Mollison and others have pioneered in the way of permaculture, and see it as an important contribution to the future, both in providing a new way of thinking for people who are seeking ways of living more sustainably and for those who wish to participate in the evolution of our societies and the improvement of their activities.
It is our hope that by offering these free online courses in permaculture, that more people will be able to discuss, participate in, and practice permaculture, thereby increasing its exposure in the world, and benefiting people and the Earth by empowering more people to get involved in a positive way. It is for these reasons that we feel a study in permaculture should be made available for free to those who wish to learn about it, and have created these online courses in order to meet that need, and to inspire more discussion and pioneering work around permaculture.
What is the Difference between an Online Course and a Workshop?
It should be clearly stated that no matter how well delivered an online course in permaculture may be, and no matter how high of quality or quantity of information is provided in such a course, that the experience should never be thought of as equal to taking a workshop or course in person.
The experience gained in a real-life permaculture workshop, in person, whether it be an over a 14 day, 72-hour PDC at an ecovillage surrounded by permaculture examples and practices, or a one day Introduction to Permaculture in a lecture format, it should be considered to be of a much higher value, regardless of any monetary costs. In part, this is true because of the added experiences of being surrounded among other passionate learners who are interested in permaculture, and of being able to look your instructor in the eye, are really not manifest in an online course, but primarily, this is true because permaculture is not just about information.
We would very much encourage anyone who is considering the two options, to realize this difference, and if possible, to choose to take a real-life PDC workshop or Introduction to Permaculture, rather than taking an online version and believing you will be able to understand what permaculture really is by the end of your course. All this being said, we would also of course, invite you to participate in any course in permaculture, whether online or not, and whether free or not, simply wish you to understand the value of different opportunities as well.
It is also for these reasons, that although we have worked hard to ensure our online courses meet the same informational criteria and standards of comparable real-world permaculture workshops, we will not be issuing certificates for these courses, as we wish to encourage participants to enroll in the full experience of taking a permaculture workshop in person.
How are the Courses Structured?
Our online courses have been developed by certified permaculture teachers who have received training in how to construct a proper curriculum for learners, and in what should be included in a real Permaculture Design Course, Introduction to Permaculture, or something.
Our Introduction to Permaculture course is a self-directed study that can be taken in one’s own time, and is designed to give the learner an overview of some of the practices, methods, philosophies, and subject matters that permaculture is concerned with. Students, by the end of this course, should understand the 12 permaculture principles, the basic ethics of permaculture, some methods and practices they can begin using right away, and a sense of what a PDC or other permaculture course may further teach.
Our Permaculture Design Course (PDC) is more formally structured to intake students into small groups and adheres to a timeline and schedule that will assist learners in covering and understanding the material of true PDC in a timescale that is beneficial in retaining and integrating the information presented. Students will be required to participate in at least most of the course during the allotted hours as the rest of their groups, and depending upon those within each learning group, a mutually agreeable schedule will be decided and agreed upon before the course begins. The PDC is constructed to provide the same information presented in a real-life 72-hour PDC certificate course and takes place over a period of 2-4 weeks, depending upon the ability of the group to participate during the course. Upon completion of the PDC the students should understand the principles, ethics, and philosophies of permaculture, dozens of practices and methods they can begin using immediately, a plethora of terms, ideas, strategies and points of discussion in order to be able to explain what permaculture is to other people, along with many different groupings of information and facts that normally accompany a PDC.
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How do I get Started?
To enroll in our online Introduction to Permaculture course, you may start, pause, and continue at your own leisure. To get started, simply click here.
If you wish to enroll in our free online Permaculture Design Course, you will need to visit our enrollment page, fill out some basic information about yourself and your days and hours of availability to participate, and will then be matched up with a few other people and be notified of when the course will begin, as well as the progress made in establishing your study group until then. To enroll in our next PDC course, click here.
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