I've been thinking a lot about permaculture as a model for education reform. More on that later, but during a search for others discussing the topic, I came across this wonderful excerpt from Masanobu Fukuoka's One-Straw Revolution (thanks to Manderson's Bubble, bubbler.wordpress.com/2007/06/11/knowing-nothing-as-the-center):
"The path I have followed, this natural way of farming, which strikes most people as strange, was first interpreted as a reaction against the advance and reckless development of science. But all I have been doing, farming out here in the country, is trying to show that humanity knows nothing. Because the world is moving with such furious energy in the opposite direction, it may appear that I have fallen behind the times, but I firmly believe that the path I have been following is the most sensible one. . . .
"In general, people are only concerned with whether this kind of farming is an advance into the future or a revival of times past. Few are able to grasp correctly that natural farming arises from the unmoving and unchanging center of agricultural development.
"To the extent that people separate themselves from nature, they spin out further and further from the center. At the same time, the centripetal effect asserts itself and the desire to return to nature arises. But if people merely become caught up in reacting, moving to the left or to the right, depending on conditions, the result is only more activity. The non-moving point of origin, which lies outside the realm of relativity, is passed over, unnoticed. I believe that even 'returning-to-nature' and anti-pollution activities, no matter how commendable, are not moving toward a genuine solution if they are carried out solely in reaction to the overdevelopment of the present age.
"Nature does not change, although the way of viewing nature invariably changes from age to age. No matter the age, natural farming exists forever as the wellspring of agriculture."