This November, I made it for the third time to the National Permaculture Diploma Gathering. Held ‘up north’ to me, the gathering took place at the YHA Castleton (apparently where Das Kapital was translated) way up in Derbyshire.
Having been close to accrediting for the last year, the gathering felt like a different experience this time. Having done the Diploma Tutor Training last year, I now had to put it into practice and undertook two Tutorials with apprentices.
The first was with three apprentices, looking at how they can re-design their action learning pathway so that is a useful tool to help them achieve their learning goals. The tutorial was structured around the GaSADIE design cycle, and I made sure that the Goals articulation element came first. When people really start to unravel why they are doing the diploma, their whole pattern of undertaking it changes. If your goal is to have a more resilient life and garden, then your designs will be centred around this, if you are desparate to learn a whole new skill set, then your chosen projects will be chosen to stretch and push you… if your intentions are to do the diploma simply to spend more time with people you love, then again, all your choices change.
We then looked at surveying where we are at, what is working well and what is challenging. In terms of analysis I looked at how people capture and document their learning so that they can make the diploma as low input, maximum output as possible.
Anyhow, thankfully the tutorial went really well and I got some positive feedback, phew! The second tutorial was a one-to-one with Katie Shepard looking at how to make those designs a reality and we looked at things like boundaries and time management tools such as Parkinsons Law (when an task expands to the time available to do it), so I got to totally geek-out and again got some really encouraging feedback.
I also really enjoyed the weekend for being able to get a little drunk and hang out with some lovely folks I only really see once a year.
Without any too bad hangovers, I also learnt alot from others. Tom Henfrey gave a workshop on Succession and Adaptive Cycles, which was super interesting, and I could feel my environmental science brain become enlivened again.
There was also a great workshop on Reflective Learning, which complimented one that I gave on Action learning, really well, and I intend to put some things into practice about how to improve my reflective writing to better capture my own learning.
On the Monday after I stayed for some Tutor CPD, which was a great chance to look at the new accreditation criteria, touch base with other tutors and get some more practice in assessing work.
Overall, a good weekend, which capped a fun northern adventure.