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Why Would You Attend the PRI’s Teacher Training Course?

In November of 2011 I was participating in a class as a student at the PRI’s Zaytuna Farm in NSW, Australia. It was the PDC Teacher Training Course taught by Geoff and Nadia Lawton. Five weeks later my wife and I were on a plane to Yemen to assist in teaching a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course.

I had been a subscriber to the PRI website for some time and had seen many courses advertised. The diversity of locations for the PDC courses always fascinated and excited us. I think it was knowing that communities ranging from large cosmopolitan cities to small otherwise unheard of villages were being equipped with such a comprehensive design system. The thought that one day we might have the opportunity to be part of this movement, as teachers, was even more exciting. But we never expected to be taking such a plunge into the world of permaculture teaching so soon.

Since returning from Yemen I have been communicating with two projects about the possibility of teaching a PDC in parts of the world that very few people get to truly understand. My experience in Yemen indicates that traveling as a teacher adds another dimension to popular travel. Helping communities towards sustainability and abundance builds a trust that gives you a privileged window into the lives of these people. We got to see first hand traditional sustainable practices that have allowed the local people to exist in such an unforgiving landscape. This works to build your frame of reference as a designer and forces you to exercise your design mind in new ways. Both experiences increase your competence and confidence to practice permaculture in your local community. I am also learning that teaching is a multifaceted component of a permaculturalist’s career. It continually motivates you to explore the philosophy and knowledge base of the world wide permaculture movement. This of course improves the quality of your design work and project management skills. It helps you to build a world wide network with permaculturalists and, I am fast learning, it is even a great way to generate work as a designer.

So, why not take the challenge and do a PDC Teacher Training Course. Leap frog a lot of mistakes you could make as a teacher as you learn from teachers with extensive international experience. Get the nervousness of teaching out of your system in front of a class that is safe and supportive. Start teaching permaculture!

The PRI offers three of these courses each year. They run from Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. The next PDC Teacher Training Courses for 2012 are:

For more information and to book, check out the links above or feel free to email Bonnie on education (at)


  1. Nice one Sam.
    Taking this course transformed my Permaculture Career in an instant. Its was the most challenging week of my internship out of all the courses. I didn’t think after that week I would ever teach but here I am sitting having Breakfast at the PRI just about to start day 3 TEACHING Urban Permaculture Landscape Design course as apart of the PRI Internship program and loving it.

    This course in an investment in your future, and like any investment I’m now seeing a return on that investment!

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