2008-01-17 11:16 PM

Commerce in Teaching

“Squidoo is unashamedly commerce based because our world is commerce based.”
— Seth Godin Flipping the Funnel

This statement buried in the middle of one of Godin’s random ebooks has tuned my awareness of when and where commerce takes place. (Hint, commerce happens every time and place there are people interacting.)

If you strip down the idea of commerce to its basest form you are left with quid pro quo, “this for that”, value for value. We trade work for food. Time for entertainment. Emotion for good feelings. Service for satisfaction. Energy for learning. (Remember, money is an abstract form of stored energy that we trade for the things we really want and need.)

Education (teaching and learning) is no different than any other part of life. We still trade time, energy, and money for what we want.

I had experienced more of the commerce side of higher education than I realized — until Godin tuned my awareness. While teaching at a small two-year college I was exposed to nearly every facet of running an educational institution. Each step was commerce based: recruiting students, soliciting donations, even the registration and financial aid processes. Each one involved trading value for value. At each step the student traded time, energy, and money for knowledge, skills, and recognition. While you may not intend to grant degrees you can still model the quid pro quo of education.

What value are you willing to trade for what you want in life?

Posted by Wayne Buckhanan No Comments »

Leave a Reply