Section 1: Goals of a Bioregional Curriculum
a) To deepen a sense of place for the individual and community
b) To develop a bioregional toolkit for allied movements
c) To provide a way to certify a level of competence in instructors
d) To provide support for local bioregional groups to establish and sustain themselves
e) To strengthen the bond within the bioregional network all over the continent and elsewhere
a) Deepen sense of place
Developing a strong sense of place helps us deepen our local and planetary connections based on the landscapes, history and communities that surround us every day. By exploring what it means to live where we live, we nurture local culture, adapt our economies to providing sustainable livelihood, empower and heal our communities, and reclaim the stories of who we are.
b) Bioregional Toolkit for allied movements
By sharing the bioregional perspective with allied movements, we strengthen each other. Central to the bioregional perspective is its inclusiveness and it is essential that we provide tools that bridge, not separate; tools that anyone can identify with enough to embrace. Allied movements include but are not limited to:
relocalization outdoor education
peak oil green politics
permaculture environmental justice
transition town ecofeminism
Earth Ethics and religion environmental/sustainability groups
c) Certify competence in instructors
We envision that the Congress will set up a bioregional curriculum committee whose task will include developing the extended curriculum as well as develop standards for instructors and maintaining their competence.
d) Support for local bioregional groups to establish and sustain themselves
The bioregional toolkit will provide a set of tools not only to understand what the bioregional perspective is; it will also provide tools for local bioregional groups to explore local ecosystems, provide local organizing tools, and provide ways to enhance local community sustainability.
e) Strengthen the bioregional network
By providing a basic and advanced curriculum, we provide a common ground for local groups to share expertise and learn from each other.
Educational Philosophy: In the spirit of bioregionalism, this certification embraces a progressive education philosophy based on the premise that people know best what they need to learn and how they need to learn it. This premise also fosters helping participants integrate action, awareness and knowledge in ways that are both individually and socially relevant for their work, lives and communities. While there will be a variety of educational techniques employed – including lectures, hands-on workshops, large-group and small-group discussion and activities, panel discussions, arts-based learning, etc. – and we will draw on the best of facilitation approaches to create and hold sacred and meaningful space together, all the sessions will also be geared toward the sharing and development of practical and relevant tools that participants can take home to use, adapt, and further develop.