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Wilderdom Vignettes

Permaculture & Outdoor Education

James Neill
Last updated:
27 Aug 2004


There are some common underlying principles between outdoor education and permaculture which could be fruitfully brought together. 

By combining aspects of outdoor education and permaculture, the theory and practice of both endeavours could be extended.  One can criticize outdoor education, for example for not doing a better job of teaching real, practical living skills, particularly those relating to the education people need to receive in order to know how to develop self-sustainable community living.  On the other hand, permaculture could be criticized for not including in its system a psychological understanding of how to educate and teach people people about the ways of permaculture and themselves.  In theory, then, by combining outdoor  education and permaculture and conducting new experiments in living, we could develop some interesting new educational possibilities.

Outdoor education: A holistic, experiential education approach which involves gradually exposing people to new challenges so that they can develop insights into their own abilities and develop personal and practical skills.

Permaculture: A philosophy of creating self-sufficient living systems, particularly involving optimal design of land-use, buildings, and efficient food generation in a self-sustainable manner.