Saturday, May 26, 2012

Barter-based schools

A group called "Trade School" is encouraging people to organize classroom instruction as part of a barter system. They are providing organizational advice and software to enable such schools. Based on this interview at Shareable, it looks like it is driven by an ideology of inclusiveness that is somewhat (but not completely) hostile to markets.

Based on my quick evaluation of the system, it seems like it could be a good set-up for hobbyists, but not for high-productivity education. The potential to teach high value skills is limited both by the complexity of organizing payment by barter, and particularly the difficulty of getting instructors to make substantial time commitments when their only compensation is barter (e.g. I'm not going to pay the rent through barter). Still, I think it will be a nice addition to a community's culture, and this will help introduce/maintain some diversity of educational systems, allowing for the possibility to develop into something larger.

via Slashdot.

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