Those interested in Transformative Learning as applied to Education for Sustainability may be interested in the following research paper which was written for a culminating unit in the author’s Masters of Education studies in Social Ecology

Download it here.


Saturday 20th (9.30am) – Sunday 21st November (3pm) 2010

This two day residential workshop for will introduce participants to the principles of mudbrick, cob and other forms of earth construction. You will develop an understanding and appreciation for the use of unfired earth as a building material. This will incorporate a brief history of earth construction as well as current design principles and technologies. There will be an emphasis on how to create healthy and energy efficient earth buildings with climate responsive design.

This workshop has a theoretical component as well as a hands-on section involving construction by participants of an earth based structure. The format will give a deeper understanding of the philosophies and techniques discussed in the teaching sessions.

Facilitator Peter Hickson is a builder who specialises in earth building in the Shoalhaven area. Peter has completed over fifty earth projects in the 25 years he has been working in the construction industry. He has been conducting earth building workshops for 9 years, has written many articles and presented papers on earth building. He has served for many years on the committee of the Earth Building Association of Australia and is currently President of EBAA.

Cost is $545 (earlybird $495 by 18 October). Includes materials, workshop notes, organic vegetarian meals and twin share accommodation in a bushland setting. Investment if arranging own accommodation or if living locally is $495 (earlybird $445 by 18 October). Fr full details contact gudhara@bigpond.com

Gudhara Holistic Sanctuary Inc. is a not for profit organization running weekend residential workshops and retreats on sustainability and spirituality at various locations in the Southern Highlands south of Sydney. 

Promoting sustainability, health and inclusion in the city

This 2-day conference to be held on October 7-8 2010 at the University of Canberra brings together representatives of different forms of community gardening practices in Australia to share knowledge, promote dialogue and assess best practice.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Myles Bremner from the United Kingdom – Trustee of Sustain (UK) and Chief Executive of Garden Organic
  • Keith Colls – President of Canberra Organic Growers Society
  • Costa Georgiadis – from SBS television’s ‘Costa’s Garden Odyssey’
  • Phil Harris – Professor in Sustainable Agriculture and Head of International Development at the University of Coventry, UK
  • Andre Leu – Chair of Organic Federation of Australia and Deputy Chair of International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements
  • Senator Christine Milne (Greens) TBC
  • Neil Savery – Chief Planning Executive, ACT Planning and Land Authority and an Adjunct Professor in Urban Design with the University of Canberra

Where and when?

October 7-8, 2010, NATSEM Building (Building 24), University of Canberra

For full details or to register visit the website

Learn how to apply permaculture design principles to a home garden system for maximum soil fertility, green waste recycling, integrated pest management and efficient water use. Completely activity based this course includes:

  • Ethics and principles
  • Observation skills
  • Site assessment
  • Sector analysis
  • Random assembly of the elements of design
  • Input/output analysis
  • Zoning for low maintenance and water efficiency
  • Measuring and laying out a site
  • Design planning

This course will be held at Northey Street City Farm over three weeks commencing Saturday 1 May 2010 from 1.30 to 4.30pm. Contact Claire for full details and to book your place on 0403 935 014.

Those working in Brisbane high schools may be interested to know about the newly emerging Brisbane Youth Environment Network.

The network is all about providing young people with support, skills, resources and opportunities for peer learning and collaboration. For more information including upcoming events check out the website.

For Architects, Building Designers, Electricians and Planners

You will receive a comprehensive overview of how solar energy is harnessed in nature and be introduced to some of the latest solar technology innovations available around the planet. There will be an emphasis on energy conservation and best practices for a range of solar energy applications. Areas covered will include:

  • Elementary workings of a photovoltaic (solar) panel
  • On and off grid system design considerations
  • System integration considerations
  • Solar hot water systems
  • Passive design concepts for home and business
  • Solar thermal technologies

The principals learned are universal and may be applied to a variety of domestic and commercial applications. The practical installation process will coordinate theory with practice to enhance the learning experience.

Presenter Mark Shakeshaft is an accredited designer and installer of Photovoltaic (solar) Power Systems with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE).

Investment of $545 (earlybird $495 by 12 February) includes materials for workshop participation, twin share accommodation in a bushland retreat setting, morning and afternoon teas and organic vegetarian meals. Student rate and low income $395 (earlybird $345 by 12 February). For more information see www.gudhara.org.au or phone (02) 4884 4467.

Living Schools is currently undertaking a research project entitled Transformative learning and long-term behaviour change in education for sustainability.

The purpose of the study is to investigate the short and long-term effects of transformative learning on learners’ lifestyle and behaviour. The research will inquire into whether learners begin to live more sustainably following a relevant transformative learning experience and whether these changes in behaviour are sustained over time.

For the purpose of this study, ‘transformative learning’ is defined as learning that results in “a shift of consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters our way of being in the world” (Edmund O’Sullivan and Marilyn Taylor 2004). As a result of such an experience our understanding of ourselves, and our relationships with others and with the world around us, dramatically changes. We are no longer able to live our lives in the same way that we did before we had that experience.

The research will involve an open-ended online survey focusing on the personal experience of a small number of participants in courses and workshops delivered by the researcher in recent years.

If you would like to participate in this study you can download the participant information below. Or contact faith@livingschools.com.au for more information.

Transformative Learning Research – Participant information sheet