Action Learning Pathway

What’s an Action Learning Pathway?

An Action Learning Pathway is the ‘roadmap’ that you design to show what you are going to do in your diploma, how and when. It is a document that will change and need revising as your diploma progresses.

How do I write an ALP?

Well, I wasn’t sure either, but thankfully I am friends with Hedvig Murray who is a marvellous mentor. Have a look at her ALP and her advice on writing your own here. I took Hedvig’s advice for lots of my ALP, but I also designed it to be a ‘conversation’ with myself so that in a year or so I could look back and know exactly why I had made certain decisions.

My Action Learning Pathway

Why am I doing the diploma?

I am doing the diploma because I have embarked/am embarking on a number of projects which would benefit from being properly designed. These are all projects that I am or would be doing anyway. There are two main themes to my diploma. The first is ‘building a sustainable livelihood’ (Time and Money, The Cutting Edge, Localise, Pen to Paper, Teaching Permaculture, Wild Wood) and the second is ‘building a sustainable (personal) food culture’ (The Roof Garden, Wild Food, Preserve-a-thon). These are all large projects and as such I expect them to continue throughout the years that I am doing my diploma.

How long will I be doing my diploma for? About four years.

And what do I want to have achieved by the end of the Diploma?

I want to have achieved a sustainable and fulfilling livelihood which provides me with a good work/life balance and which is beneficial to nature and educational to other people. I also want to have developed a personal food system which involves eating local food, growing my own, foraging whenever possible and building a store of food to take me and my household through the leaner months.

How do I intend to achieve this?

  • Through a well designed Action Learning Pathway
  • Through regular meetings with tutors and mentors
  • Through attending workshops and developing learning opportunities for myself
  • Through regular meetings with my action learning guild
  • Through documenting what I am doing on this blog

NOTE: When I talk about ‘Permaculture Principles’, I am using Holmgren’s Principles.

 

Project 1: Action Learning Pathway

What do I want to achieve?: I want to design my pathway through the projects listed below.

By when?: I will do my draft pathway by 4th December 2011

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: observe and interact, catch and store energy, obtain a yield, apply self-regulation and accept feedback, design from patterns to details, integrate rather than segregate, use and value diversity, creatively use and respond to change.

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – own life planning (instead of just starting and then failing), earth care – plenty of land stewardship projects especially financially related ones, fair share – each project getting enough time by thinking about all of them and how they fit together.

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: food-related projects demonstrate a desire to make ‘home economy’ more sustainable. How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: finance-related projects demonstrate a desire to make projects as a whole more sustainable.

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: through posting ALP on this blog, through discussions with ALG.

How are you going to build community through this project?: internet community – blog of interest to others, ALG

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: As above

Evaluation and costings?:

 

Project 2: Time and Money

What do I want to achieve?: I want to design my work life to be financially sustainable and balanced with the other aspects of my life (work/life balance).

By when?: I will have finalised the design by end of 2012 and implemented and embedded the design by the time I accredit.

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: Catch and store energy, obtain a yield, produce no waste, integrate rather than segregate

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – thinking about my personal finances and designing them to be sustainable, cut down on worry, maximise enjoyment; earth care – looking at how I can make money in earth-friendly ways; fair shares – making sure that I am making enough money to live on and not relying on other people/services.

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: Applying permaculture to my personal finances

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: Applying permaculture to achieve a work/life balance,

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: Via blog

How are you going to build community through this project: via blog

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: Supported by and supporting action learning guild

Evaluation and costings:

 

Project 3: The Cutting Edge

What do I want to achieve?: I want to develop scythe teaching as part of a sustainable livelihood

By when?: I will do the design by March 2012 and have implemented and be measuring the success of this by spring 2013

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: obtain a yield, apply self-regulation and accept feedback, design from patterns to details, use and value diversity, use edges and value the marginal, creatively use and respond to change

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – thinking about my personal finances and designing them to be sustainable, cut down on worry, maximise enjoyment; earth care – looking at how I can make money in earth-friendly ways; fair shares – making sure that I am making enough money to live on and not relying on other people/services.

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: N/A

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: developing sustainable livelihood, building business for the future

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: dissemination of ideas about permaculture business planning via blog

How are you going to build community through this project: free scythe courses funded by the council – bought equipment with the grant

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: sharing information about business planning with ALG

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

 

Project 4: Localise!

What do I want to achieve?: I want to write and publish ‘Localise!’ – a book I am writing about localisation.

By when?: I will have finished the design by summer 2012 and begin to implement then. I will write this in 2012 for publication by the end of 2013.

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: Observe and interact, obtain a yield, apply self-regulation and accept feedback, design from patterns to details, use edges and value the marginal

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – fulfilling wish of becoming a writer, earth care – localisation as lower impact strategy, lots of ideas for how people can practice earth care in their own lives, fair shares – sharing information.

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: research will affect my attitude and actions regarding food/land/governance etc

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: gaining new knowledge, learning new skills, making new connections, large project which connects to all of the other projects

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: via book, via blog

How are you going to build community through this project: Using ALG and wider permaculture community as inspiration/material for book

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: sharing information about business planning with ALG

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

 

Project 5: Pen to Paper

What do I want to achieve?: I want to develop green journalism as part of a sustainable livelihood

By when?: I will do the design by the end of 2012 and it will be implemented by the end of 2013 with measurement and tweaking to accreditation

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: observe and interact, obtain a yield, apply self-regulation and accept feedback, design from patterns to details, use and value diversity, use edges and value the marginal, creatively use and respond to change

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – sharing ideas, providing a sustainable income for me; earth care – sharing ideas for better earth care; fair share – sharing ideas

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: creating financial security

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: useful as a way of documenting many projects

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: via articles, via blog

How are you going to build community through this project?: Using ALG and wider permaculture community as inspiration/material for articles,

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: feedback to ALG, PA.

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

 

Project 6: The Roof Garden

What do I want to achieve?: I want to design a sustainable roof garden for Will’s roof terrace

By when?: I will have finished the design by September 2012 and will implement this over winter 2012/13.

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate: observe and interact, catch and store energy, obtain a yield, produce no waste, design from patterns to details, integrate rather than segregate, use small and slow solutions, use edges and the marginal, creatively use and respond to change

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – creating a space for relaxing and growing healthy food; earth care – providing for ourselves, taking pressure off agriculture; fair share – shares of produce, creation of eco systems

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: designing food production into Will’s life, task we can do together – both bring different skills to the table

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: N/A

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: via blog

How are you going to build community through this project?: Doing it together

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: feedback to ALG.

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

 

Project 7: Wild Food

What do I want to achieve?: I want to increase the amount of wild food I eat, increase my knowledge of wild food and eventually teach others about wild food. My design will focus on becoming a foraging tutor as this will necessarily encompass the other elements.

By when?: I will have finished the design by summer 2012 and will begin implementing it after that. I expect to have achieved my aims (i.e. regularly teaching foraging) by the end of 2013/start of 2014.

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: observe and interact, catch and store energy, obtain a yield, use and value renewable resources and services, use and value diversity, use edges and the marginal, creatively use and respond to change

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – working in nature, learning about it; earth care – deep knowledge of nature and natural cycles, fair share – spreading knowledge to others;

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: learning foraging and increasing the amount of wild food in my diet

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: another ‘string to my bow’.

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: via blog and Facebook

How are you going to build community through this project?: teaching foraging, building on network of foragers already created

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: opportunities to learn foraging, feedback to ALG.

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

 

Project 8: The Preserve-a-thon

What do I want to achieve?: I want to learn effective preserving skills such as canning, drying, jamming, fermentation, cheesemaking etc

By when?: I will have finished the design by summer 2012 and begin implementation after that. I expect that this project will continue until accreditation

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: catch and store energy, obtain a yield, use and value renewable resources and services, produce no waste, use small and slow solutions

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – working together, providing for the leaner months; earth care – catching and storing energy when its available, getting out of a global food system, fair share – sharing knowledge.

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: planning for the future, providing food security, using produce grown at home, developing a ‘home economy’.

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: teaching preserving skills in conjunction with foraging etc

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: via community groups, via workshops, via blog and word of mouth

How are you going to build community through this project?: create preserving groups

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: feedback to ALG.

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

 

Project 9: Teaching Permaculture

What do I want to achieve?: I want to develop teaching Permaculture introduction courses and other permaculture courses as part of a sustainable livelihood. Eventually I would like to be lead tutor on a PDC.

By when?: I will do the design for this by the end of 2012 and begin implementation after that. I expect this project to continue to accreditation.

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: observe and interact, obtain a yield, apply self-regulation and accept feedback, design from patterns to details, use and value diversity

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – providing sustainable livelihood; earth care – spreading knowledge of permaculture = earthcare, fair share – sharing knowledge.

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: sustainable finances

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: teaching everything I have learnt and am learning as part of a sustainable income, ensuring succession at BPT

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: via teaching, via blog How are you going to build community through this project: groups will arise from courses

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: feedback to ALG.

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

 

Project 10: Wild Wood

What do I want to achieve?: I want to develop coppicing as part of a sustainable livelihood.

By when?: I will have designed this by the end of 2012 and implementation will follow after that. This project will continue to accreditation.

What Permaculture principles does this demonstrate?: observe and interact, catch and store energy, use and value renewable resources and services, produce no waste, integrate rather than segregate, use and value diversity, use edges and value the marginal.

What Permaculture ethics does this demonstrate?: people care – providing sustainable livelihood, working in nature; earth care – managing land in an ecologically sound way, fair share – creating habitats.

Accreditation Criteria:

How does this demonstrate design skills?:

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your own life?: sustainable finances, providing heat for home.

How does this demonstrate applying permaculture in your work and projects?: developing sustainable livelihood, building a business for the future.

How are you going to disseminate your knowledge?: via blog

How are you going to build community through this project?: working with people to learn and eventually teach.

How is this going to benefit the wider permaculture community?: feedback to ALG.

Evaluation and costings: Unknown at present

6 thoughts on “Action Learning Pathway

  1. Great to read, not just the flattery, but to hear how the ALP is coming together in your head, and how you are making sense of all the bits (as well hearing that the post about ALPs was useful).

    Some questions, which methods and tools are you going to use for designing your ALP? Zones… sectors… ? And are there really no costs to doing the ALP? Training, time, exchanges…. ?

    I haven’t read beyond the ALP as the formatting is making it hard to read, but look forward to coming back to it soon.

    • betheatslocal says:

      Yeah, I changed the ALP from a page to a blog post and managed to lose all the formatting in the process. Going to fix it today, so should be much easier to read after that. Good questions about the tools – I’m still figuring out how to apply those things to non land-based designs. I can see how zones might work, but sectors? One thing I am confused about is what is ALP and what is design. If I put a list of the things that I plan to do for a project in my ALP, that seems to me to be design. I guess I need to be more specific about how I plan to get to the design. Still a work in progress – and yeah, you’re right, there are non-monetary costs to doing all of the projects. In fact time is one of the things that I really need to look at…

  2. Well I guess one question is how did you come up with that list of projects? Did you survey and then analyse? Why those projects and not other ones? It might also be worth getting a few SMART objectives in there, maybe not at the ALP stage… but definitely at the project stage.

    What things do you want to preserve? What percentage of your livelihood would be made up from coppicing, scything, teaching etc? How much wild food do you want in your diet? It is good to be really clear about these things so you know when you to the ‘for the purposes of the diploma, this project is now complete’ stage, even if you go round the design cycle again which might not be part of the diploma.

    Is the teaching project about designing yourself as a teacher or designing a course that you would teach?

    Is there a critical path analysis that can be done between the projects? Can you only start one when you have finished another? Or are they all independent projects.

    So interesting to read it unfolding.

  3. […] wrote my action learning pathway last year, right at the beginning of my diploma.  I am still extremely pleased with the projects […]

  4. […] to do ‘practice‘ designs in some cases.  I’m working on a redesign of my Action Learning Pathway as I have refined my ideas a lot since I used Hedvig’s as a jump off […]

  5. alderandash says:

    I’m just starting out on my diploma so it’s been really useful to see some detailed examples of putting the alp together- many thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 25 other followers

%d bloggers like this: