Permaculture Education Standards K-12

The Permaculture Education Standards

For Public Review & Comment

The Permaculture Education Standards

Some standards could easily fall into two or more sections, but are not repeated in each section for brevity and clarity sake. These standards represent an end goal for each academic time period; teachers are expected to preview concepts and skills before the students are expected to understand, apply, analyze, or critique them. These standards are clear objectives but do not represent the breadth of information that can and should be covered in each academic time period, rather the standards cover the student behaviors and experiences expected from the educational program.

 

The Purpose of Permaculture Education Standards

Teachers need standards to guide and align their lessons and assessments - administrators need them as well to adequately support, critique, and guide teachers. Standards are the lynchpin and measuring rod for a given subject. By iterating a subject out over time, it allows a subject to be thoroughly taught and deeply understood and at the same time communicated and taught within the zone of proximal development. For permaculture, it is no different: educators want clear standards and lesson plans aligned to cognitive and behavioral abilities and expectations that match the developmental stage of that age group.

 

 

Elementary

(Identification, Comprehension,  Basic Skill Acquisition, & Service)

 

1. Comprehension

1.1 Students are able to identify and define core concepts: the 3 ethics and the definition of permaculture.

1.2 Students are able to identify and describe permaculture in context.

 

2. Knowledge

2.1 Students are able to share multiple examples for what permaculture is in action.

2.2 Students are able to identify and list multiple regenerative solutions for local energy, food, water, and waste management needs.

2.3 Students are able to identify their bioregion and watershed

2.4 Students are able to identify 20+ local native plants, 10+ native pollinators, 10+ local fungi, and 20+ local animals as well as  related indigenous relationships and uses

2.5 Students are able to identify 40+ annual and perennial garden and food forest plants

2.6 Students are able to identify, create a representation of, and explain the water cycle, the carbon cycle, and the global annual seasonal cycle in relation to the sun.

 

3. Design

3.1 Students are able to design a simple garden on paper and assist in setting up and managing an actual real garden.

3.2 Students are able to design a simple home site on paper, including regenerative solutions for energy, food, water, waste, and shelter.

3.3 Students are able to identify and comprehend simple maps and designs

 

4. Regenerative Skills

4.1 Students are able to grow a diversity of plants from seed.

4.2 Students are able to harvest and preserve seed for the next season.

4.3 Students are able to prepare food they have grown or helped grow in a variety of ways, forming several complete meals from their garden or food forest.

 

5. Social Skills

5.1 Students are able to identify, define, and share examples of compassion, empathy, and people care

5.2 Students have participated in service connecting natural principles to social principles.

 

6. Self Smart Skills

6.1 Students are able to write out their holistic goals.

6.2 Students are able to meditate for 5-10 minutes at a time

6.3 Students are able to do rudimentary exercises and stretching like gentle yoga and jogging, primarily through physical play, dance, and games

6.4 Students are able to develop healthy and balanced meal ideas based on bioregionally and homestead sourced foods

 

Middle School

(Identification, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Intermediate Skill Acquisition, & Service)

 

1. Comprehension & Analysis

1.1 Students are able to identify, define, apply, and synthesize key concepts: the 3 ethics, natural principles, social principles, and the definition of permaculture.

1.2 Students are able to present and teach a variety of the skills and concepts to others using multimedia, public speaking, and other educational mediums.

 

2. Knowledge

2.1 Students are able to identify and map their bioregion and watershed

2.2 Students are able to identify 50+ local native plants, 20+ native pollinators, 20+ local fungi, and 30+ local animals, their interactions within the ecosystem as well as any related indigenous relationships and uses

2.3 Students are able to identify 150+ annual and perennial garden and food forest plants and their native origins and uses

2.4 Students are able to identify, grow, harvest, and cook edible and medicinal mushrooms in an outdoor setting (shiitake, oyster, reishi, etc.)

2.5 Students are able to identify, create a detailed representation of, and teach the water cycle, mineral cycle, the carbon cycle, and the global annual seasonal cycle in relation to the sun.

2.6 Students are able to identify and describe the different components of soil, the soil food web, and photosynthesis in relation to the soil food web.

 

3. Design

3.1 Students are able to design a basic permaculture design for a home site.

3.2 Students are able to design, setup, and manage a small garden or garden plot.

 

4. Regenerative Skills

4.1 Students are able to problem solve using permaculture and explain why and how.

4.2 Students are able to grow a broad diversity of plants from seed, cutting, and tuber.

4.3 Students are able to harvest and preserve a broad diversity of seed for longterm storage, forming their own seed bank.

4.4 Students are able to prepare and preserve food they have grown or helped grow in a variety of ways, forming a diversity of meals and preserves that are shared, consumed with the class, taken home, or sold.

4.5 Students are able to make both thermophilic (hot) compost and vermicompost (using worms) to process food waste.

4.6 Students are able to cultivate aquatic plants and animals in a small controlled environment and observe and assist in cultivating aquatic plants and animals in a larger context.

 

5. Social Skills

5.1 Students have participated in several permaculture service projects each year, pairing social principles with natural principles.

5.2 Students are able to identify, define, share, plan, promote, and participate in actions of compassion, empathy, and people care.

5.3 Students are able to model nonviolent communication and restorative justice skills in conflict mediation settings.

5.4 Students have participated in, planned, and helped manage acts of service connecting natural principles to social principles.

5.5 Students have completed 15 hours of community service.

 

6. Self Smart Skills

6.1 Students are able to write out their holistic goals.

6.2 Students are able to meditate for 15-20 minutes at a time

6.3 Students are able to do regular exercise and stretching like yoga, calisthenics, jogging, and other forms of physical fitness activities like dance, sports, and martial arts

6.4 Students are able to develop healthy and balanced meal ideas based on bioregionally and homestead sourced foods

 

 

High School

(Identification, Comprehension, Application, Deep Analysis, Synthesis, Creation, Critique, Advanced Skill Acquisition, Community Building, & Service)

 

1. Comprehension, Analysis, & Critical Thinking

1.1 Students are able to identify, define, apply, and synthesize all permaculture ethics and principles and use them critically and creatively.

1.2 Students are able to problem solve using permaculture and explain why and how in a presentation, through teaching, or another medium.

1.3 Students are able to present and teach a variety of the skills and concepts to others using multimedia, public speaking, and other educational mediums.

1.4 Students are able to use permaculture as a lens to problem solve in a diversity of novel and real-life scenarios ranging from ecosystemic to social.

 

2. Knowledge

2.1 Students are able to identify and map their bioregion and watershed digitally and on paper using keyline geometry, topographic mapping, and map and graphic editing programs.

2.2 Students are able to identify and describe 100+ local native plants, 30+ native pollinators, 40+ local fungi, and 40+ local animals, their behaviors and interactions as well as any related indigenous relationships and uses

2.3 Students are able to identify 250+ annual and perennial garden and food forest plants and their native origins and uses

2.4 Students are able to identify, grow, harvest, process, preserve, and cook edible and medicinal mushrooms in both outdoor and indoor settings.

2.5 Students are able to identify, create a detailed representations of, and teach the water cycle, mineral cycle, the carbon cycle, and the global annual seasonal cycle in relation to the sun.

2.6 Students are able to identify, describe, and present the different components of soil, the soil food web, photosynthesis in relation to the soil food web, and ways to improve soil and soil food web interactions.

2.7 Students are able to identify, describe, illustrate, and present the various interactions and function of trees and forests in relation ecosystems, natural cycles, precipitation, soil, fungi, and all biodiversity.

 

3. Design

3.1 Students are able to identify, map, and analyze their bioregion and watershed using keyline geometry and patterning.

3.2 Students are able to design an advanced permaculture design for a home site - one that addresses water, waste, food, energy, and shelter.

3.3 Students are able to design, setup, and manage a small outdoor garden, indoor garden, greenhouse garden, and larger outdoor garden

 

4. Regenerative Skills

4.1 Students are able to grow and teach others how to grow a broad diversity of plants from seed, cutting, and tuber.

4.2 Students are able to harvest and preserve a broad diversity of seed for longterm storage, expanding and replenishing their own seed bank.

4.3 Students are able to prepare and preserve food they have grown or helped grow in a variety of ways, forming a diversity of meals and preserves that are shared, consumed with the class, taken home, or sold.

4.4 Students are able to make and apply thermophilic (hot) compost and vermicompost (using worms) to process food waste as well as compost teas and extracts.

4.5 Students are able to use a microscope to identify soil food web organisms and determine soil, compost, compost extract, and compost tea quality

4.6 Students are able to cultivate fresh, salt, and brackish water aquatic plants and animals in a small controlled environment as well as in a larger context.

4.7 Students are able to design and install water harvesting and water management earthworks and water storage systems

4.8 Students are able to filter water in a variety of ways, including graywater and blackwater.

4.9 Students are able to calculate precipitation, evaporation, moving water, and bodies of water in the landscape both real and proposed.

4.10 Students are able to design, install, and repair a diversity of earthworks, ponds, and dams

4.11 Students are able to design, prepare, build, and repair building structures using natural building methods

4.12 Students are able to present, write out, and explain several regenerative business plans

4.13 Students are able to design and install renewable energy solutions on a home-scale.

4.14 Students have participated in regular acts of large-scale land restoration.

4.15 Students have participated in regular acts of water and riparian restoration.

4.16 Students have participated in regular acts of installation, repair, and maintenance of renewable energy systems.

 

 

5. Social & Self Skills

5.1 Students have participated in, planned, and helped manage many acts of service connecting natural principles to social principles.

5.2 Students are able to identify, define, share, plan, promote, and participate in actions of compassion, empathy, and people care.

5.3 Students are able to model nonviolent communication and restorative justice skills in conflict mediation settings.

5.4 Students have completed 30 hrs of community service.

 

 

6. Self Smart Skills

6.1 Students are able to write out a life plan based on their holistic goals.

6.2 Students are able to meditate for 20-50 minutes at a time

6.3 Students are able to maintain their physical health using exercise and stretching like

yoga, calisthenics, jogging, and other forms of physical fitness activities like dance, sports, and martial arts

6.4 Students are able to develop healthy and balanced meal plans based on bioregionally and homestead sourced foods

 

Career Paths

College/University/Trade Schools/Internships

 

Since colleges, universities, internships, and trade schools have a wide range and broad diversity within them, I have not included standards for this level of education. Instead these are general objectives and experiences related to a balanced professional educational experience that extends and builds upon the standards previously stated.

 

Learning Objectives & Experiences

  • In-depth learning and hands-on, community-scale and commercial-scale projects collaboratively planned, designed, and managed
  • Immersion in professional contexts with experts
  • Professional regenerative skill training and knowledge acquisition
  • Professional community building skill training and event production
  • Professional social & self smart skills

 

Download the Standards

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- Geoff Lawton, GeoffLawton.com

The 3 Ethics

Earth Care, People Care, & Future Care

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