Man did not weave the web of life he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself …

Chief Seattle

I believe that the unsustainable world we have created is largely due to an inability to see the whole, and the intrinsic interconnectedness of all its parts. This I believe stems from a disconnection with Nature and hence ourselves. Simply spending time in nature and observing helps us develop a greater sensibility and understanding and teaches us also to observe ourselves and others, giving us greater understanding of the social ecology. Learning is then something that comes from the inside.

I am interested in education that uses creative means to create a space for participants to awaken their own ability to question, to explore and to grow within themselves and in their community. I believe we need to question what knowledge is and which knowledge counts and allow for multiple ways of knowing to be explored. Many cultures emphasize experiential learning that does not tell students the way things are, but encourages them to discover for themselves and create their own knowledge. In our world of information we have  largely forgotten about the value of living as learning.

I am inspired by nature and  the methodologies of Paolo Freire and Agosto Boal, Permaculture and the rapidly growing movement for Transition Towns. Permaculture’s emphasis on observation has for me great relevance to education work and I try and base my work upon the ethics and principles of Permaculture.  These principles and ethics give a framework for thought,  a basis upon which we can build healthy, sustainable communities that are not only ecologically sound but also socially just.

In this way, the process of permaculture design is also a wonderfully simple but powerful way of ‘barefoot education’, learning to see patterns in nature, learning to observe and work with nature rather than against it….


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