self-directed learning for teens

Breakaway Learning – A New Solution For Self-Directed Teens [PODCAST #595]

Play

Colleen Mascenik is a retired World Bank development economist, home-schooling mom, and now an innovator in self-directed learning for teens. Her new platform is called The Breakaway Learning Project.

I was very encouraged to discover Breakaway Learning; I see it as a missing piece of the puzzle for many families trying to map the self-directed education process from early childhood through their child's first professional/entrepreneurial endeavor. Many home-educated teens opt into school, either because they're hungry for a novel social scene or they see it as a reliable path to college admissions. Colleen and I envision a future when those needs can be met through other means.

In the first of hopefully many conversations, Colleen and I cover the following topics:

Wasted Teen Years: The Opportunity Cost of Cynicism

As a development economist, Colleen sought out broken markets, missed opportunities, and ways that livelihoods could be quickly improved. As a mother of 5 and homeschooler, she saw considerable value-wasting in the teenage years. Colleen encourages us to ponder (even though there's no reliable way to calculate) the immense opportunity cost for millions of teens languishing in environments that encourage subordination but not intrinsic motivation. What opportunities might exist, again, for millions of teens, if they were allowed to pursue their interests with the regular guidance of enthusiastic experts?

A New Approach To Self-Directed Learning For Teens

We'll discuss how Breakaway Learning enables self-directed teens to build and track their own learning plans from a variety of online resources. However, Breakaway goes an important step further, building a marketplace of local mentors who lead "learning clusters" around topics of shared interest, and creating a global chat marketplace in where teens can connect and learn from interesting people with diverse knowledge and experience.

Home-Educators and Unschoolers Are Looking For More Guidance

Colleen told me that "even in the pursuit of free expression and creativity, many homeschooling and 'unschooling' parents hesitate, looking always for signals of structure, schedule, progress and outputs. On Facebook homeschooling groups, it seems the most common question is "can anybody recommend a curriculum for my xx-year-old...?" And I think the reason that even really creative homeschoolers go back for high school is a very deeply ingrained respect for form leading up to college admissions."

Breakaway Learning encourages parents to explore, but the platform was built with parents' needs for formality in mind. It incorporates tracking and planning tools, so parents, institutions and school authorities can feel confident that this is safe, legitamite learning.

Unbundling and Unbranding

High schools direct students towards "successful" college admission. College is becoming increasingly irrelevant as both a signal of professional readiness and as a means of real education (in many fields). However, the 4-year undergraduate degree persists as a goal for schools and parents because it is bundled and branded as THE path to professional success. Because of this monopolization, colleges and universities are able to charge a premium for a bundle of courses that students could obtain on Udemy for $40 each. Colleen and I discuss - and this will be an ongoing discussion - how projects like Breakaway Learning can disrupt this status quo.

Please Support School Sucks

We do cool things! Thanks to your support.


School Sucks is one of the longest running liberty-minded podcasts on the web, and the only one completely devoted to the issue of education (versus public school and college). Your support keeps the show going and growing, which keeps us at the top of the options for education podcasts and leads to new people discovering our work. Please help us continue to spread this important message further!
Thanks for visiting this page. Before you do anything, please bookmark and use this link for your Amazon shopping: Shop With Us

One-Time Donation Options:

Paypal/Venmo;
Donate DASH
Donate ETHEREUM
Donate LITECOIN
Donate BITCOIN
Donate BITCOIN CASH
Donate ZCASH

Recurring Options:

Support Us On PATREON
Help incentivize our production! Pledge $1 per content item and access dozens of Patron only audios and videos.
Join the A/V Club
If you're looking for more School Sucks content, the A/V Club option grants you access to a bonus content section with 400+ hours of exclusive audio and video. If you are a regular consumer of our media, please consider making a monthly commitment by selecting the best option for you...

A/V Club - Basic Access - $8.00/Month A/V Club - "Advanced" Access - $12.00/Month Sigma Sigma Pi - "Privileged" Access - $16.00/Month









 

Crypto Addresses:

DASH; XcZfPP6GZGVo9VKViNBVJZja5JVxZDB229
ETHEREUM; 0x3c5504CE3401C028832173506fa30BD4db4b7D35
LITECOIN; LKNp24f5wwvZ2QzeDbvxXgBxyVwi1yXnu2
BITCOIN; 1KhwY836cfSGCK5aaGFv8Q7PHMgghFJn1U
BITCOIN CASH 1AmqLVxjw3Lp9KT5ckfvsqfN2Hn3B1hCWS
ZCASH; t1by1ZGJ63LoLSjXy27ooJtipf4wMr7qbu4

Check Also

The Micro-School Movement – with Kerry McDonald [PODCAST #632]

Kerry McDonald returns to discuss the growing Micro-School movement. What is a Micro-School and why ...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: