The Permaculture Student 1
Book Review by Christina Mavaro

permaculture student cover

permaculture student cover

Title: The Permaculture Student 1

Author: Matt Powers

Publishers: PowersPermaculture123

Where to Get it: Here!


A new teaching curriculum helps teachers, students, and parents learn permaculture in a fun and productive way.

“More must be done to teach the basic ecological principles that underpin all natural systems and sustain the resources that can provide an enlightened society in perpetuity. There is no better place than in our schools, nor a more critical time than now, to embark upon a new course
toward these essential objectives.” – From Olga Clymire’s A Child’s Place in the Environment: Respecting Living Things.

The goal of education is vast and complex, a fabric that is interwoven with many different and purposeful strands. Permaculture involves using our classrooms, surroundings, and community as an integrated context, which inspires students to connect learning in a meaningful way to the outside world and to the future of life itself.

The words and illustrations of The Permaculture Student 1 provide a myriad of eloquent resources to educators of all ages and levels. In this time of both climate change and a push for change in educational practices and principles, this book is a pivotal instrument. The adoption of the Common Core Standards across our nation is part of a greater calling that urges teachers to integrate all subject areas, to foster critical thinking, and to cultivate solutions for real-life problems. This publication does exactly that!

The science teacher can revel in the deep ecological and biological underpinnings of each lesson. The language arts teacher will appreciate the focus on vocabulary development and its rich writing. The ESL teacher will note the usefulness of the illustrations and diagrams to facilitate understanding, and the math teacher will champion the workbook’s need for mathematical strategies that are required in permacultural design and planning.

The Permaculture Student 1 effectively fosters a deep appreciation and awareness of natural systems, and is truly a powerful vehicle for teaching all learners how we as humans are an integral part of our planet’s survival. Both the guide book and workbook give students an understanding of the world around them, and how they can learn to respect, value, and invest in their natural surroundings. This publication is a breath of fresh air to anyone that is hoping to inspire students to realize and fulfill their potential to make positive change, as well as long-lasting impacts in our world. Books such as this pave the road that leads us in the direction of a brighter, more conscious, and more promising future.

Though designed for Junior High levels, teachers and parents can easily adapt the lessons for younger and older audiences. An online school offers videos and additional lessons that are a great addition alongside The Permaculture Student 1. As a special welcome gift, the first week of online curriculum designed by Matt Powers is being offered for free at

Christina Mavaro is a teacher at Peabody Charter School, Santa Barbara, CA.