Trade School!

I was in Slow Learning heaven last night!IMG_2344

A room full of eager learners and I gathered at the Centre for Social Innovation to share what we know about “Visual Learning.”  I created the class (learn to doodle; doodle to learn) in response to Lauren Stein’s invitation to teach as a part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.

Trade School Toronto is an alternative learning project that runs on a barter system. Pay for a class with a barter item (like food, supplies or help) that your teacher requests!


Request I did! In return for sharing what I know about doodling, I received a wealth in return: candy, handmade items (a notebook, body butter, a clutch purse), yummy baked goods, offers for proofreading, a song to be sung just for me, and a bunch of silly jokes I can tell again and again.

IMG_2343Trade School and Slow Learning then share much in common.  Both

  • engage learners in their passions and interests
  • indulge the pleasures of learning (we had fun!)
  • cross genres, disciplines, practices
  • are grounded in the interests of the learner
  • promote inquiry and dialogue
  • allow for authentic learning (not for the certificate or credits)
  • encourage learning for learning’s sake
  • support, and are supported by learning in community

Learn more about Trade School here.
“TSTO aims to spur barter economy” – Huffington Post
“Trade School Toronto launches this week” – Torontoist
“The Art of Barter” – CBC Radio
“The Money Rookie” – The Grid Toronto

And if you want to know more about Visual Learning you can find my Resource List here at