Day 178: New School

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June 26, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

School is good.  School is important.  School is where learning takes place, where lessons are taught and notes are taken – written or otherwise.  School is not, however, bound to classrooms and lecture halls.  More and more, the world is warming up to the notion of learning by doing, from doers to doers-to-be – students who tire out their hands not by transcribing rapidly-delivered bulletpoints of theory, but by gripping opportunities to learn through practice and action.  Trade schools are popping up to fill the demand for skilled people, and in so doing, filling the demands of those seeking the thrill of practical skills.  Today’s project is a radar screen for these skill-seeking human missiles, to locate and pursue the extracurricular curriculum that no scantron exam could hope to match.

Trade School is a platform to learn and teach – to exchange knowledge for know-how, and experience learning from someone who can, and does, and still knows how to teach.  (Was that too far of a stretch on that idiom?)

Trade School is a learning space that runs on barter. Anyone can teach a class, and students sign up for classes by agreeing to bring barter items that the teacher requests. We’ve hosted classes on everything from squatting the condos (in exchange for a kombucha mother and research help) to making butter (in exchange for herbs and music tips).

For three years, Trade School has helped make doers into teachers, and learners into doers.  What a delicious cycle they’re feeding.  Now, they’re turning to Kickstarter in hopes of opening up more schools and connecting more learners to the skills they seek.

There’s so much I want to learn, and after having left my university, I sense no decrease in opportunities for learning.  They’re all around me – they’re just a little harder to find.  Trade School wants to help me and thousands like me to find them.  Support my search – shared, I’m sure, by so many others (like you?) – by backing Trade School on Kickstarter before July 5.


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