The realization that school sucks actually marks the beginning of a new and exciting educational journey.
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Brett and Tom discuss the mission and meaning behind "school sucks" along with explorations of educational alternatives like homeschooling and unschooling. They cover formal instruction, public schooling problems, intrinsic motivation, guidelines for being your own teacher, why Brett dislikes the term unschooling, what successful home-education environments look like, and much more. This is an interactive interview transcript with lots of links to podcasts, videos and resources for frequent topics on the show.
School Sucks: Mission and Meaning
My name is Brett Veinotte and before I created School Sucks Project in 2009 I spent over a decade teaching, tutoring and college consulting. In that time, "school sucks" was the most common phrase I heard students use to express their feelings about "public education."
Yet this seemingly bitter and reductive slogan is actually a very astute assessment of the system. The 15,000-hour process of schooling has a dramatic effect on the mind of a child. When we first enter these institutions at age six, many of our best personal attributes are already in place. We are curious, innovative, unique, creative and hopeful in ways that we will rarely be able to replicate throughout the rest of our lives. But over time, school sucks those essential attributes out of too many of us...and replaces them with predictability, obedience and apathy. Just look around.
Unfortunately, for over a century this process has been referred to as "education." It isn't. Our aim is to reclaim that word, to take it back from those who wish to use institutionalized schools (at all levels) to mold impressionable minds into desirable and predictable finished products. Education is a journey by the individual, for the individual.
The School Sucks Project encourages students and parents to take matters into their own hands. And we provide the tools and knowledge to do so.
Meet the Host
Brett Veinotte's career in and around institutionalized schooling ran from 2000 until 2013. During that time he experienced a wide variety of academic settings, professional roles and disturbing revelations. Brett began working as a counselor and outdoor educator at a boarding school in Vermont in 2000, and was eventually promoted to lead teacher of a specialized campus. He then taught at a private day school in Manchester, Vermont from 2004 to 2006, where he designed new curricula for all classes he taught, including American History, World History, Media Ethics, Film History and a variety of mathematics courses. He completed masters level coursework in educational leadership, and the secondary education certification program at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. After leaving classroom teaching in 2006, Brett began to work exclusively as a private tutor in the greater Boston area. Much of this work was related to standardized test prep but also included college application and admission consulting, leading training sessions for prospective teachers planning to take state certification exams, and serving as a liaison between parents and public schools to address student needs and parent concerns. Most recently, he served as the vice president of a tutoring and educational consulting company in New Hampshire.
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Or Start At the Beginning (2009)
- See all shows in this series: The Hidden Lessons of School
- See all shows in this series: American History F-ed See all shows in this series: The American Way
- See all shows in this series: Kids Are Not Defective
- See all shows in this series: A Young Person's Guide To Politics
- See all shows in this series: Keys
- See all shows in this series: Self-Teaching Essentials See all shows in this series: Logic Saves Lives