Pattern Language was the inspiration of architect Christopher Alexander in the 1970s. Every ‘pattern’ starts off by describing a problem that we face regularly in our environment and then goes on to describe the core of a solution to that problem.  Each application of this core solution will be similar but different from any other application, varying according to space and time requirements.

A learning pattern is a “way to capture expertise, and recurring best practice, documented as a solution, to a problem in a given environment”…“It has been shown to work well for a variety of people and a variety of circumstances”… “When patterns work together to solve problems in a particular área, they are called a pattern language”.

In the pattern language of the resource databank only the essentials will be shared, so that the “change maker” can quickly surf a wide range of possible solutions and choose where to go deeper, following links across the Internet to websites and case studies for more detail and inspiration. Also, none of the individual ‘problem-solution-patterns’ exists in isolation.  They are linked in a multitude of ways – underpinning each other, being embedded in larger patterns, framed by patterns of a similar scale and embracing small-scale patterns. Each of them will be ‘tagged’ to place them. Together, they constitute a ‘Pattern Language for the SIRCle curriculum’.

Each individual pattern is characterised by:

  1. Title
  2. Subtitle
  3. Picture
  4. Quote – alluring and enticing!
  5. Tags based on the five dimensions of sustainability
  6. Challenge – what is this pattern addressing?
  7. Solution (This is the answer to the challenge. It’s a starting point. What and what for? It can include background from where the pattern derives. )
  8. References Ideally 3-5. (Needs to identify if it’s a book, an exercise, a link to a website, link to other patterns.)
  9. Submitted by – Name of Pattern author(s)

Patterns are presented in an identical format to promote a clear and rapid understanding of the idea, context and goals. This simplicity of the template makes it easy for readers to compare and gain an overview of patterns – whilst also enabling many to add seamlessly to the body of work.

We have selected patterns to develop based on these criteria:

  1. Patterns that we use for our previous trainings/experiences that can meet the needs identified from the needs assessment e.g.
  • Economic issues
  • Personal resilience
  • Social dimension – motivation, conflict resolution, commitment, cohesion
  1. Emergent patterns developed by us during the lifetime of the project, that we realize can support the learning journey, according to the experience of each country during the trainings.

Patterns are the tools we use to provide people with the means to change. They may be used at different stages of the learning journey, depending on the needs of the group and the individuals within it.

The tagging system is based on the 5 dimensions of sustainability. We are developing a new tagging system that is the basis of the pattern grammar and will be expressed in symbols in the Solution Library.