The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 has been a powerful and transformational time for PAN. We officially changed our name from PINE to PAN to reflect our goals and organizing strategy, a decentralized network rather than a top down institution, we hired our first paid staff position, organized two diversity trainings for our teachers and are well on the way to implementing the first grassroots set of voluntary teaching standards for our region.
PILOT VOLUNTARY TEACHING STANDARDS AND SUPPORT: WE WANT YOUR FEEDBACK
We are exploring more connectivity and alignment between permaculture teachers in our region by creating community-derived standards for permaculture educational quality. We started this process by first getting an overview of what processes other countries and regions use to decide who can be permaculture teachers.
We also heard a report back from a board member who was a part of a conversation around teacher qualifications at the recent NAPC (North American Permaculture Convergence). We then built on conversations at retreats we have hosted over the last 3 years on how our region could take a bottom-up collaborative approach to defining quality standard that were developed with teachers in our region.
We broke up into small groups and brainstormed answers to four questions: 1) Why is a system of standards important or useful? 2) What content considerations should be included in a quality standard? 3) What pedagogical (how we teach) or ethical considerations should be part of a standard? 4) How might PAN best implement and maintain a voluntary community-created system?
We built upon this work at the winter retreat at D Acres. Some of the highlights that came out of this conversations were how to support the on-boarding of new teachers and maintain a culture of openness and integrity.