Loss of confidence in the PDC course?

Discussion in 'Jobs, projects, courses, training, WWOOFing, volun' started by PeterFD, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Hmm, that's confusing. An organisation calling itself international but offering Australian govt accredited courses within Australia, and still not saying who they are and why they offer accreditation. I'm not clear if the PDC they offer is accredited also. I can't find an accredited teachers list, but there is an accredited teacher's application form. They call themselves the peak pc group in Australia... but who are they???
     
  2. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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    ATP is offered by a number of tafes as well as Northey street city farm,any registered training organisation in Australia may offer this course if the have suitably qualified teachers.
    Permaculture international is a group that includes many well known names,they run the courses out of Tim Wintons place in Byron Bay. Robyn Francis also runs this course out of the Erda institute in Nimbin,who was a pioneer and editor of the Permaculture International Journal,and still a very busy international consultant.
    The ATP is 600 hours of practical experience and theory over 1 year the certificate is competency based.At the present moment it is an excellent way for anyone to have their credentials recognized.
    At present there are less than 500 ATP certificates in circulation and fewer diplomas.
    This allows permaculture to move away from the fringe and work in NGO settings local ,state and federal govs,schools and community organisations.The qualification allows practitioners to assure potential employees that their training meets a standard of quality.The other way that you can have you experience recognized is put together a substantial body of work or portfolio and let that to the talking for you.A strong connection to the better institutes is always an excellent pathway as they are able to put you into the same type of training via internship etc.These established institutes usually have leads and contacts that can get Permies started on the desired path.ie aid work,earthworks,teaching,urban planners.My personal opinion is that permaculture although a discipline in itself is far better suited as a arrow in the quiver of already established professionals,such as engineers, agriculturalist,aid workers,architects,community workers,exposing them to system thinking and design science creates synergy for their respective vocations.I agree with BIll good teachers will always have students,from what I can understand good teachers realize that they are selling "life jackets on the titanic" so they are able to let their reputations and portfolios stand alone.
    Viva Permaculture in every form.
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Thanks :)
     
  4. PeterFD

    PeterFD Junior Member

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    Hi Pebble

    To offer an accredited course generally means that you have a governing body of qualified members and that this governing body is itself subject to outside scrutiny.

    For example. Many years ago I gained a degree in Ecology from a British University. The fact this particular institution called itself a University means that it met the criteria set by an external governing body for Universities.

    The fact that I could study for a degree in Ecology means that the governing body of the University deemed the quality and quantity of what was to be taught conformed to the standards it had set for the allocation of degree’s. But, more than this, having decided that it’s own standards had been met, the final decision rested with the global body that sets standards for all universities. (I’m obviously oversimplifying things, but you get the idea).

    When I came to study Ecology, I was requited to complete various assignments for my professors, in order that they satisfy themselves that I had achieved a satisfactory understanding of the subject, and to complete a final year project or dissertation.

    After 3 years study, a final consolidated evaluation of my work was pronounced for the award of my degree. However, prior to the final award, each student was required to give a 30 minute presentation of their work, and especially their final year project, to an external examiner, deemed independent from the university but professing some knowledge of the particular area of specialisation chosen by the student. The external examiner has the power to agree, raise, or lower the final grade given.

    It’s not a perfect system but, in the absence of a better alternative, it works!

    The greatest weakness of this system is that it has not been universally adopted. In some countries, it is possible to call yourself a University without conforming to any of the standards I have described above.

    My own feeling on the matter is that accrediting permaculture courses will be a good thing.

    If I may quote from David Holmgren “Essence of Permaculture” Version 3; April 2004 (Free download from David Holgrems web-site”

    “A curriculum was codified in 1984, but divergent evolution of both the form and content of these courses, as presented by different permaculture teachers, has produced very varied and localised experiences and understandings of permaculture”.

    So, for the moment, what you will understand from your PDC course very much depends on where you study it and who’s doing the teaching!
     

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