The elements of a good education system

Northern School Permaculture education policy

Our education policy is based on observation and experience. We believe that the foundations of a good education system are built from the following list:

Three main characteristics

  •  all those who want to learn are provided with access to available resources, at any time in their lives
  •  all those who want to share what they know are empowered to find those that want to learn from them
  •  all those who want to present an issue to the public are furnished with the opportunity to make their challenge known.  

Four key elements

  • things (places, objects, books, videos)
  • patterns (skills, concepts, models)
  • peers (collaborators in learning)
  • elders (teachers and learning guides).  

Services and competences

Services that help learners to learn:

  • a reference service for educational objects - that facilitates access to things, places or processes used for learning
  • a skills exchange that matches people wanting to learn with those willing to help them
  • peer matching - a communication network for people wishing to find others with similar learning objectives
  • a reference service to educators-at-large. 

Three types of educational competence - the ability to:

  • create and operate exchanges and networks
  • guide students in the use of learning networks and resources
  • act as guides in difficult, or complex, intellectual journeys. 

A good education system will also use convivial tools.

Based on De-Schooling Society, Ivan Illich, Chapter 6: "Learning Webs" . 
Edited version of a document from the archives of the Permaculture Association (Britain) and the Permaculture Academy (UK) circa 2000; editor Angus Soutar.