Permaculture Institute for Educators

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Permaculture Institute for Educators 

With David Shaw, Santa Cruz Permaculture

July 5-9, 2021

Santa Cruz, CA

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The 2021 institute is postponed but we are currently accepting applications for the 2022 Summer Institute for Educators.

Let us know of your interest today!

What is the Santa Cruz Permaculture Summer Institute for Educators?

A five-day workshop/retreat focused on deepening your knowledge, practice and personal growth in research, education and mobilization for permaculture.

You Will Experience:

  • Lectures and webinars on the science of permaculture

  • Deep self-reflection, conversations and collaborative strategy sessions to apply this science to education

  • Sharing with colleagues about what we are already doing and how to get more of that

  • A thriving and growing support network

Ultimately you will leave with greater knowledge of the science-based strategies behind permaculture, and tools for adapting them to share with students and adults in schools.

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This advanced course will jump in assuming you are familiar with the basic permaculture concepts and ideas.  We will not be rehashing the permaculture design course basics, therefore, you may want to brush up on the foundational concepts and vocabulary etc. before you come.

Please take a moment and read about our learning outcomes and sessions below. If it sounds like a good fit for you, come join a professional team on an outstanding site for a week of in-depth skill development!

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Learning Objectives

You will:

  • Understand how the integration of permaculture learning creates sustainability and regeneration in our schools and places of learning for both adults and children.

  • Understand and practice how to view education through the lens of nature connection and prosocial human development, including belonging, purpose, eco- and soul- centric development, social-emotional learning, and moral imagination.

  • Begin to envision culturally and developmentally appropriate strategies for integrating the science of permaculture into many areas of education.

  • Develop strategies for sharing this work at home.

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Course Topics

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Science of Permaculture Education

Lectures and webinars with leading researchers and educators in permaculture, nature connection mentoring, social-emotional learning and more. 

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Resource Sharing Curriculum, Lesson Plans & Best Practices

Instructors and participants each have a wealth of teaching and learning materials. Bring them! We have intentional time for sharing and will co-develop print and online proceedings from our time so that you have an abundance of take-aways to bring back to your learning community. Additionally, you will be exposed to a wide range of professional communities of learning and practice so that you leave the course with a much wider network to both draw from and contribute to in the coming years.

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Essential Elements for Every School: Visible & Invisible Structures 

There are some things that permaculture programs at every school needs. The visible structures include gardens and farms producing food for dining facilities and herbal first aid, composting and zero waste programs, active and passive solar, water harvesting landscapes and more. The invisible structures include programming for community engagement, parent-teacher-student guilds, and support for ecological entrepreneurship for example.

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School Project Walk Throughs

The instructors have decades of experience starting and sustaining permaculture programs at schools. Through slideshows and storytelling we will look at case studies of rocking school programs.

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Open Studio Sessions

Participants in the course have ample opportunity to workshop their own educational projects and gather feedback. 

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Community Engagement 

The Institute ends with a day-long workshop that our class offers to the public. This provides an opportunity to develop curriculum, practice teaching, gather feedback, and explore community engagement strategies which synergize schools with the communities they serve. 

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Marketing & Outreach

As permaculture and eco-social living is growing at an unprecedented rate, how do we ensure that our classes are not only fully-enrolled but so popular that we must create additional learning programs to meet the demand? We will discuss successful techniques for communicating the unique value of your program with your target audiences, applicable for both school teachers and those offering permaculture education in business and non-profit settings. 

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Please submit this form to be notified when the dates for 2022 are announced.

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The 2021 institute is postponed but we’d love to hear from you if you’re interested in this program when we offer it in 2022. Fill out this form to let us know of your interest.

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Lead Facilitator

David Shaw


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the refund policy?

If we cancel:

  • We will refund 100% if we cancel or postpone the course due to the coronavirus shelter-in-place directive, or low enrollment. 

If you cancel:

  • Up to four weeks before the course begins, you will be refunded excluding a $150 processing fee.

  • Less than four weeks before the course begins, you will be refunded 50% of your tuition.

  • No refunds are given after that date.

  • If you need to cancel but have someone who can take your place please let us know as far in advance as possible so we can begin pre-course communications with your proxy.

On the off chance that we need to cancel for some reason, we recommend booking a refundable airfare if you’re traveling from afar.

What is your COVID-19 protocol?

Please read our COVID update on our Courses page here.