Case Study 2: Teaching a PDC Session - Design
The overarching aim of this session is to learn about food choices. Within that, the aims of the actual session are to:
A number of elements come together to form the design of the session in order to fulfil the aims set out above. These elements are illustrated in the diagram, and described below.
Instructor Facilitation & Information
The instructor will lead and the session using the implementation plan as a guide for ordering its content. Where possible, the instructor will play the role of facilitator to move the session in the intended direction, and let the class participants provide the information and stimulus for discussion. Food choices is a subject where there tends to be a diverse and thorough knowledge of the subject, which makes for an ideal environment for allowing them to express themselves and encouraging people to speak up in a group environment. The skill of teaching in this context is in allowing the group to do this, providing timely prompts to either delve deeper into a subject, draw others into the discussion who might not be so vocal or move things along.
In circumstances where the group is not forthcoming with information, the instructor will be ready to supply it. Knowledge must be available via memory or notes that is sufficient to cover the subject, with specialised knowledge in selected areas so that insights can be provided if the class is not coming up with them by themselves. This will help in particular circumstances where to support some of the functions where class participation has fallen short of a full set of information. Examples of prepared facilitations are:
Brainstorming will be used to identify the set of food choices which the class will use as a basis for futher exploration in the session. There will be a brief introduction that discusses 'Direct' and 'Indirect' links to food. Indirect links are where there is no real relationship between the consumer and the producer, and the choice of food is provided via an intermediary, such as a supermarket. Direct links exist where the consumer has some knowledge of how and where the food is being produced, the most direct being of course where the consumer produces the food themselves, i.e. grows it. The instructor will then ask the class to brainstorm a list of food choices, by first individually noting down the food choices they can think of on post-its, and then by reviewing these as a group, grouping those that are similar and briefly explaining any that appear that others are not familiar with.
Relating this session to permaculture ethics is a good mechanism to tie the subject into permaculture. It would be easy for this session to be just about the actual subject, and peoples views on it. By relating it to ethics, permaculture thinking can be applied to the subject, which may stimulate individuals to think about their food choices in a different way. It is additionally a good opportunity to remind the group what the ethics are, and lead a bried discusssion. Ideally the group will replay their own knowledge of the subject, given that this session is at the very end of the PDC course. The fallback position would be for the instructor to explain the ethics if no-one from the group were to come forward.
To teach this in a visual way, the post-its from the brainstorming exrcise will be placed into the Ethics venn diagram to see which of Earthcare, Peoplecare and Fairshares ethics are fulfilled by this food choice.
Open Space will be used as a device to encoiurage an in-depth discussion on selected food choices. From the list of food choices, the instructor will facilitate a selection exercise of three different choices, and form smaller huddles from the wider group to discuss them, along the lines of the instructor-led discussion that has just previously taken place.
The intention is that the group is not actually told about Open Space at this point of the session. They are just asked to form groups to discuss.
To be completed: Open Space and Mindmapping