Our Approach to Learning
Ecology, broadly defined, is the understanding that everything is tied to everything else.
Ecological Learning presents learning experiences that enable and encourage participants to see beyond the visible in the physical world, using their imagination and intuition to see all the hidden connections that tie everything to everything else. Through Ecological Learning we gain a deeper understanding of how our actions or inactions affect our natural ecosystems and our planets life support systems. Ecological Learning strives to widen the participant’s circles of compassion to include the entire community of human and non-human beings.
Action-based Learning is not a simple, one-way transfer of information, but a method of learning by doing. Participants are engaged in the learning conceptually (head), emotionally-invested (heart) and physically (hands). The end result is that participants have moved through the process and have begun to internalize it, rather than just intellectualize it.
Our Ground: Programmtic Foundations
The Bioregion is a useful container whose boundaries are defined by nature to encompass what is local. Instead of arbitrarily imposed, political boundaries, bioregions offer us a scale for everything local to unfold that is aligned with natural systems, such as watersheds or drainage basin. In southern Florida, this is the Greater Everglades ecosystem.
Relocalization is a strategy to build societies based on the local production of food, energy and goods, and the local development of currency, governance and culture. The main goals of relocalization are to increase community energy security, to strengthen local economies, and to improve environmental conditions and social equity. The relocalization strategy developed in response to the environmental, social, political and economic impacts of global over-reliance on cheap energy. The term can be applied to entire economies as well as sub systems such as local food systems. (see www.relocalize.net)
Permaculture Design is an approach to designing human systems that mimic relationships found in natural ecologies creating abundance, diversity, and resilience. Central to permaculture are the three ethics:
- Care for Earth
- Care for People
- Fair Shares
Permaculture Design can be applied at any level from backyard gardens to whole bioregions, from personal finances to entire economic systems and communities. (see
The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. It represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected. (see www.transitionculture.org, www.transitionnetwork.org, www.transitionus.org)