Permaculture and Sustainable Educational Systems


  • Madeline Raynolds Northeastern University


Kincentric Ecology, Biodiversity, Qualities of Matter, Eradicating Pollutants, and Evolutionary Dynamics.


“I feel like I am the band-aid holding broken schools together”, was a repeated refrain in my 30 years working as a teacher and administrator in K-12 schools. I worked beside my colleagues to try everything and anything to heal our schools with data, with big money, through curricular innovation, targeted strategies for three-tiered learning, through teacher training initiatives and performance rubrics to on and off-site professional development. We’ve tried smaller classes, more technology, “making thinking visible” and “backwards by design” scaffolding. Literacy strategies, executive functioning, learning objectives, essential questions, critical friends communities of best practice and growth-mindsets have all been implemented to varying degrees of success and still, the model for schooling fundamentally has not changed since the 1850’s. Instead of simply thinking about what more to do in schools, we need a new way of thinking about a healthy school ecosystem.Last summer, I stepped back from my 30-years in education to work in the community garden and discovered a sustainable solution for improved education through gardening.






Peer-reviewed Submissions