MSc Output 2 - Education for Agroecology

Educator Portfolio

Educator Portfolio - April 2016

 

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Educator Statement

The aim of my educational work is to support people to resist exploitative systems and work to eradicate all forms of domination, while designing and creating systems that are liberatory.

I aim to support the re-skilling of my community to increase autonomy and self-determination and use its resources regeneratively. I use my educational energy to promote radical politics, ethics and ways of living that challenge industrial civilisation and all forms of oppression & build a regenerative culture.

I refuse to do educational work that in any way justifies, rationalises, normalises or encourages adaptation to a world of oppression.

I am always a learner and commit to non-hierarchical ways of working with apprentices, associates and participants of courses/events/workshops I organise or facilitate.

I commit to developing my self as an educator and practitioner, both through ongoing action learning and political education, as well as in exploring critical and anarchist pedagogy.

Where there is a financial exchange for my time facilitating learning, I will commit to creating opportunities for accessibility, through tools such as sliding scales, gift-based courses, securing grants to ensure accessibility and so forth. I will respect myself & honour my financial needs but refuse to financially exploit others.

I undertake paid educational work to support me to meet my necessary economic needs by working in cooperative, liberatory ways with focuses that are congruent & supportive of my organiser goals & objectives.

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Key Thematic Areas

Agroecology, anarchism, food sovereignty, community organising & collective action, herbalism & medicinal landscaping, horticulture, permaculture design, popular education, prison abolition, resilience to repression, seed sovereignty, soil care and more.

Services Available

  • Designing and facilitating workshops or sessions at events, gatherings and conferences
  • Designing and facilitating sessions as part of longer courses
  • Designing and facilitating new courses
  • Delivering any of the below courses, workshops or talks
  • Giving feedback on session designs
  • Consultancy services for community and adult learning initiatives
  • Project design and/or delivery for community and adult learning initiatives 
  • Main Advising or Skill Flex Advising sessions for Gaia University Associates
  • Design Support and Personal Support Tutorials for Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design Apprentices
  • Freelance tutoring and advising for learners not in formal programs in my fields of interest

Please email nicole@emptycagesdesign.org with your needs and opportunities for collaboration.

Courses Designed & Facilitated

  • Growing to Sell Course. Two day training in scaling up food production for market. Co-taught with Tim Lawrence & Hannah Hughes, March 2016 & May 2015, Somerset.
  • Liberation Permaculture Course, Weekend course exploring principles of permaculture applied to social change. Co-taught with Pandora Thomas, Graham Burnett & Rafter Sass-Ferguson. September 2015. Essex.
  • Food Sovereignty Course co-taught with Mama D. . Three day introduction to food sovereignty and popular education. October 2015, Somerset
  • Community Horticulture Course. Designed new qualification - Certificate in Community Horticulture (Level 2 APT Award) as part of the Growing Resilience Project with Somerset Community Food. 14 learners graduated with the certificate. The course involved taught sessions in organising and educational skills. As well as six public events, where the learners delivered workshops relating to the six principles of food sovereignty. Learners also undertook projects in their own communities as a basis for their action learning. More than 40 different learners were involved in the project. January - June 2014, Somerset.
  • Science Skillshare. Day long training with Frack Free Somerset to support organisers to be more confident with the scientific terminology and concepts involved in understanding unconventional fossil fuel extraction. September 2014, Somerset.
  • Community Outreach Training. Weekend course in how to more effectively give presentations & connect with local people for Frack Frack Somerset. May 2013, Somerset.

Convened Courses & Learning Events

2016

  • Planting for Pollinators, One day Course, March 2016, Somerset
  • Community Food Forum, Glastonbury, January 2016, Somerset

2015

  • Reclaim the Fields International Action Camp, August-September 2015, North Wales
  • Earth First Summer Gathering! August 2015, Derbyshire
  • Anti-Speciesism & Anti-Patriarchy Talk, June 2015, Bristol
  • Introduction to Permaculture Course, Taught by Graham Burnett, May 2015, Somerset
  • Community Food Forum, Glastonbury, March 2015, Somerset
  • Nursery Course, Taught by Niels Corfield of Edible Cities, February 2015, Somerset
  • Fruit Tree Pruning Skillshare, Taught by Carol Stone, January 2015, Somerset

2014

  • Avalon Abundance Course, 6 week training in food harvesting & preservation, September - October 2014, Somerset
  • Community Food Forum, Glastonbury, October 2015, Somerset
  • Reclaim the Fields Gathering, August 2014, Scotland

2013

  • Community Growers Gathering, October 2013, Somerset
  • Radical Herbalism Gathering, June 2013, Somerset
  • Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens, Organised more than 22 workshops supporting 190 people to learn, September 2013, Somerset
  • Good Food For Everyone Forever, Talk in Glastonbury with Colin Tudge & Local Food Feast, over 80 people, September 2013
  • National Extreme Energy Gathering, Manchester, April 2013
  • Access to Land Tour, 4 public meetings & educational info nights in Somerset, January - February - May 2013

2012

  • Permaculture Design Support Intensive, Led by Aranya, September 2012, Somerset
  • Incredible Edible Somerset Open Gardens, Organised 9 workshops supporting 134 people to learn, September 2013, Somerset
  • Reclaim the Fields Gathering, July 2012, Cumbria
  • Incredible Edible Somerset Conference, July 2012, Somerset

2011

  • South West Food Sovereignty Skillshare, Glastonbury, October 2011, Somerset
  • Torganics Field Trip, organised with Transition Glastonbury, September 2011, Somerset
  • Reclaim the Fields Gathering, August 2011, Bristol
  • Monkton Wyld Field Trip, organised with Transition Glastonbury, June 2011, Dorset
  • Permaculture Diploma Support Event, Led by Aranya, May 2011, Somerset

Professional Positions

My rolesCurrent Roles

  • Director & Education & Training Project Co-ordinator, Feed Avalon, July 2014 - Present. 
  • Gaia University Advisor, February 2013 - Present.
  • Diploma in Applied Permaculture Tutor, with Permaculture Association GB, November 2014 - Present.

Past Roles

Project Officer with Somerset Community Food in 2011 - 2014

  • Designed and managed the Growing Resilience Project with 14 learners were supported to complete a Certificate in Community Horticulture (Level 2 APT Award). The course involved taught sessions in organising and educational skills. As well as six public events, where the learners delivered workshops relating to the six principles of food sovereignty. Learners also undertook projects in their own communities as a basis for their action learning. More than 40 different learners were involved in the project.
  • Outreach Officer for the Somerset Land for Food Project, a £250k project supporting local people to organise for access to land. I co-ordinated a number of learning events including conferences, an access to land tour and several short courses and workshops.

Evidence of Continuing Development & Learning

Courses & Training Completed

  • Paulo Freire Formation Programme, The Freire Institute, 2015 - present, in-depth course exploring critical pedagogy and community-based organising.
  • Gaia University Advisor Training, September 2012
  • Permaculture Diploma Tutor Training, November 2012
  • Permaculture Training of Teachers Course, Designed Visions, 2012, 10 day course in creative teaching methods & permaculture pedagogies
  • Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, Brighton Friends Centre, 2012

Workshops Designed & Facilitated

2015

  • Introducing the Prison Industrial Complex - designed two hour workshop exploring the prison system, its historical & contemporary context and prison abolition & alternatives. Facilitated this workshop over 50 times with diverse groups of people - from ex-prisoners and detainees, to permaculture practitioners. 2014 - Present.
  • Composting Gender, Food Sovereignty Gathering, October 2015, Yorkshire
  • Permaculture & Prisons: Designing a world without the Prison Industrial Complex, International Permaculture Convergence, September 2015, Essex
  • Towards a Liberatory and Vegan Permaculture, with Graham Burnett, International Permaculture Convergence, September 2015, Essex
  • Permaculture & Prisons, International Permaculture Conference, September 2015, London
  • Prisoner Support - Why & How, Earth First! Summer Gathering, August 2015, Derbyshire
  • Emotional Resilience & Repression, Earth First! Summer Gathering, August 2015, Derbyshire
  • Social & Ecological harm of the Prison Industrial Complex, Earth First! Summer Gathering, August 2015, Derbyshire
  • Organising Defendant Support & Solidarity, Earth First! Summer Gathering, August 2015, Derbyshire
  • Politics of Prison & Prison Abolition, Radical Herbalism Gathering, June 2015, Shropshire
  • Medicinal Landscaping Workshop with students from Wangeningen University, April 2015, Somerset
  • Seed Sovereignty, Seed Saving Course, February 2015, Somerset

2014

  • Prison Abolition & Permaculture, National Permaculture Diploma Gathering, November 2014, Derbyshire
  • Gender Violence & the Prison Industrial Complex, Anarcha Feminist Conference, October 2014, London
  • Resisting the Prison Industrial Complex, London Anarchist Bookfair, October 2014, London
  • Community Resistance to Unconventional Gas, Earth First! Summer Gathering!, August 2014, Somerset
  • Food Sovereignty, Earth First! Summer Gathering!, August 2014, Somerset
  • Direct Action Training with communities opposing fracking, July 2014, Northern Ireland
  • Food Politics & Wellbeing workshop with Isy Shultz, Radical Herbalism Gathering, June 2014, Shropshire.
  • Herbal Growing – Herbal CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and building a growers network. Radical Herbalism Gathering, June 2014, Shropshire
  • Fracking & Health Inequalities, Radical Herbalism Gathering, June 2014, Shropshire
  • Decarceration Workshop, Bristol Anarchist Bookfair, April 2014, Bristol
  • Intro to Vegan Permaculture, Taunton Vegans Night, March 2014, Somerset
  • Seed Sovereignty Workshop, Glastonbury Seed Swap, March 2014, Somerset
  • Introduction to Reclaim the Fields, Oxford Real Farming Conference, January 2014, Oxford

2013

2012

2011

  • Introduction to Food Sovereignty, South West Food Sovereignty Skillshare, Glastonbury, October 2011, Somerset
  • Anarcha Herbalism, short session introducing the politics of herbalism. Reclaim the Fields Gathering, August 2011, Bristol.
  • Liberation Permaculture, short session introducing the politics of permaculture. Reclaim the Fields Gathering, August 2011, Bristol.

Talks & Presentations

  • Learning from SHAC Winter European Speaking Tour, 10 day speaking tour across France, Spain & the Basque Country, January - February 2016
  • From Animal Liberation to Food Sovereignty, Talk (via Skype) at the People’s Harvest Forum, San Francisco, USA, December 2015
  • Permaculture & Prisons, Talk at the Permaculture Picturehouse, August 2015, London
  • SHAC Made History, Info Tour in the Netherlands, three events, July 2015
  • SHAC Made History, Speaking tour in Germany, four events, June 2015
  • Learning from SHAC, Talk & Solidarity Events in Bilbo, Basque Country & Zaragoza, Spain, September 2014
  • Eating Animals, Gaia Radio Call, May 2015, Online
  • Learning from SHAC, Anti-Speciesist Gathering, March 2015, Barcelona
  • Permaculture and Empty Cages, Radio Interview with Animal Voices Canada, March 2015, Online
  • Repression of the UK Animal Liberation Movement, April 2014, Italy
  • Green Anarchism Talk, Meet the Anarchists Event, February 2014, Bristol
  • SOCPA7 Info Tour, Talks about repression & solidarity against animal testing, September 2014, Bristol & London
  • Prison Abolition & Permaculture, Gaia University Webinar, November 2013, Online
  • Life After Prison Talk, October 2013, Bristol

Current Roles & Responsibilities in Education and Training

Key responsbilities

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Learner Feedback

“This course has been an incredible experience for me, both in terms of the knowledge I have gained and the contacts I have made, with the inspiration and motivation that has come along with them. It’s been great to meet so many people in Somerset who are striving to create a healthier and more just reality - just knowing they are there and that I’m part of a network makes me want to work harder to make my projects a success.”

- Sally Lowndes, Community Horticulture Course, 2014

“I started the Community Horticulture Course because I wanted to learn more about growing and sustainability.  Recently moved to the area, as a family we had struggled to find connection with people locally and I wanted to be able to use my existing skills, plus those learnt on the course, to provide an outdoors based project space and more importantly, find community.

Parents, and particularly mothers, suffer with loneliness and quite frequently depression leading to self esteem issues.  Being in contact with nature eases depression, as does being in contact with other people and knowing that you are not alone.  I myself suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the thought of opening up my home to people who I don’t know was terrifying.   But the course gave me the  ability to take small steps forward to create the project with confidence; the people who are involved in the course (from those who run it to those who attended to learn) have such a wealth of knowledge and sense of community themselves that it was a little like being a small plant, nurtured and sustained in the very best environment.
The course itself has given me the community and nurture that I needed as well as a developed interest and a different direction. I can’t thank you enough for that.”

- Shelly Ensor, Community Horticulture Course, 2014

 

“Socially just for me means that all people are able to access land and good nutritionally rich food. This 6 workshop course has led us through land accessibility, who owns it and means by which ordinary working people can gain access it to it through allotments etc…to how to make the soil fertile creating nutritionally richer food that respects the wider ecological issues which involve humans and other life forms.  The course enabled the attendees to gain experience as facilitators and to consider their own learning pathways as we engaged in a community project alongside the workshops…The course enabled people from diverse fields and interests to come together and share knowledge, interests and ideas and to connect in order to strengthen.  It allowed others to come in and share knowledge.  It covered a lot of ground so that each participant could deepen understanding and consider new avenues.  By holding it across different venues in Somerset it also allowed opportunities to see what is being achieved within the growing world of Somerset and how all the different streams add to each other hoping for one day to form a nourishing river available for all people.”

- Alison Hayward, Community Horticulture Course, 2014

“On this course I have particularly enjoyed the informal atmosphere, lively educators, hands on approach and diversity in learning materials. I have learnt how to save seeds and why it is vital.”  

- Katja Tsetroet, Seed Saving Course, February 2015

"My Design Tutorial with Nicole was certainly one of the highlights of a fantastic weekend at the National Diploma Gathering. Writing this, (in the evening of the Monday, after getting home on Sunday night!), I really feel as though I have made a big and beneficial step to gaining more positive outcomes from my Diploma experience, (which of course means life experience)."

- Katie Shepard, Design Support Tutorial, 2014

Letters of Recommendation

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