Blake Boles works to create alternatives to traditional school for self-directed young people. He directs the company Unschool Adventures and is the author of The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School.
Part One of Two This show is an introduction to the life and work of Blake Boles, and the next show will be a discussion of this book The Art of Self-Directed Learning.
Today Blake and I discuss his background as a successful high school and college student, and how his ideas and career path changed with the discovery of John Taylor Gatto.
"It was Gatto who inspired me, at age 21, to leave my own path in the sciences to become a full-time student of (and advocate for) alternative education," Blake says.
We then discuss how Gatto's work impacted each of us, Blake through A Different Kind of Teacher and me through Against School. Blake's path of discovery continued; he read the radical school reform literature of the 1960s, the work of Grace Llewellyn and the writing of the Sudbury School Founders. The last was most impactful, as much of it demonstrated the power of intrinsic motivation in learning. Blake then designed his own major at UC Berkeley, focused on self-directed education and alternative schooling.
Years later, building on this experience, Blake founded Unschool Adventures. Since 2008 the company has run long-term international trips and U.S.-based retreats for self-directed learners ages 14-19+. The goal of these programs is to build the skills, experience, and self-confidence that a young person needs to transition into independent adulthood.
From UnschoolAdventures.com: The Unschooling Approach
How does the unschooling approach reflect in our trip leadership? We grant participants large degrees of freedom and responsibility in creating their experiences—always within reasonable safety limits.
I will also ask Blake if he has rethought the value of college in recent years, referencing two of this books - College Without High School, and then Better Than College.
[PODCAST] #544: Peter Gray (Part Three) – A Future of Self-Directed Education
[PODCAST] #101: Unschooling Liberty – The Halldorsons and the Unschool Bus
FULL PLAYLIST - The Underground History of American Education, by John Taylor Gatto
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