teaching, course, permaculture, forest gardening community, teacher, courses

Why and how I teach

Submitted by tomas on Tue, 03/26/2019 - 18:20
Seeing as I advertise all these courses on my website I thought it would be good to share share how I came into teaching and how I approach it these days. I started teaching in 1996, just a year after my permacultrue design course (PDC), with all the zeal of a fresh convert. Luckily I began small (if not slow) with short workshops at gatherings and events. Through this I quickly realised that enthusiasm alone is not enough, and that I needed to think about how I teach as well as what I am trying to get across. I was fortunate to hear about a teacher training offer during a PDC at Keveral Farm that summer, and I joined the course run by Chris Evans, Mike Feingold and Bryn Thomas. All three of them were deeply inspiring, and I learned a lot from their different approaches. The main lesson I took away from the sessions I taught myself was that less is more when it comes to “talking at” people. Some people are naturally good at lecturing, but I realised that’s not me. Over the years this has led me to seeing learning as a shared adventure, where my role became to create spaces where people can explore a theme or subject together. This way, learning becomes a conversation rather than a trasnsmission of knowledge. In the words of Paolo Freire, the great Brazilian educator, “the teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is him/herself taught in dialogue
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