Podcasts

Pat Farenga – The Evolution of Unschooling [PODCAST #586]

history of unschooling

Pat Farenga is a leading unschooling advocate, and the father of three adult unschooled children. He worked closely with unschooling pioneer John Holt on the Growing Without Schooling Magazine, and in the mid-1980s he took over as publisher of GWS and the president of Holt Associates. Today Pat runs the website JohnHoltGWS.com, which archives all the issues of the magazine, plus a variety of unschooling books and resources. He joins me to discuss the history of unschooling (the idea and the movement), his experiences as an unschooling parent, his relationship with John Holt and the language we use to convey our ideas. Pat Discusses The Impact of John Taylor Gatto He met John in 1991 and they became friends. John ...

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Sandra Dodd – On Unschooling and Choice [PODCAST #585]

Sandra Dodd is a world-renown unschooling and natural learning advocate, and the mother of three adult unschooled children. Her website SandraDodd.com is one of the most comprehensive unschooling resources on the internet. She joins me for a fast-paced but fairly comprehensive discussion on unschooling and choice and her unschooling experiences, influences and philosophy. From Public School Teaching To Unschooling How did Sandra's revelations as a teacher help her embrace unschooling? How Sandra was able able to take ownership over her classroom. John Holt and others informed Sandra's approach to teaching Unschoolers and Reading Sandra share the stories of her three children learning to read, and how there might not always be clear incremental steps. A Mindset For Unschooling - "read ...

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Thank You, John Taylor Gatto [PODCAST #584]

john taylor gatto

In Remembrance 1935-2018 A monologue about the courageous life and work of John Taylor Gatto, and the story of how he changed my life. How many teachers reluctantly acknowledge the failure of mass compulsory schooling? How many become disheartened but then relegate themselves to quiet conformity? How many hunt for the villains, but simply wind up sniveling behind the closed doors of the teachers’ lounge, choosing to blame children and parents? If you've worked in or around the public schools - or even if you simply endured the requisite 15,000 hours as a student - you're likely able to form some rough estimations for these questions. Yet how powerful is the voice of the teacher with the conviction to take ...

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Zak Slayback – How High School Students Can Get Ahead In Their Careers [PODCAST #583]

21st century career advice that guidance counselors don't provide. Zak Slayback returns to discuss some helpful action items ambitious high school students can embrace to position themselves ahead of college graduates in the job market. This is a proven career building formula; Zak will share his stories about how these actions benefited him in his professional climb. It's a upward process of passion-driven learning, making connections, building new knowledge based on those connections, making richer connections based on that new knowledge, signaling that new knowledge, and building a broader network with those signals. Read Zak's blog article, How a High School Student Can Get Ahead in Their Career. Details: - Why young people need to start personal websites while in ...

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Skipping College Isn’t Easy – With Alex Bell [PODCAST #582]

Alex Bell was the teenager I had mind when I first started this whole School Sucks project. Struggling through school and variety of personal challenges, he was the kind of person I hoped to reach. Unfortunately, I didn't know this until we connected in Salem, MA in 2017. He discovered School Sucks Podcast in 2009, when the show was about three months old, and he has been a listener since then. Nine years later, Alex is in The Studio of Champions to talk about his journey from that discovery to the present day. 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 ...

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cinemaNUFACTURING – part three – “Last Looks” [PODCAST #581]

Part 3 of 3: "Last Looks" Tomas "Dutch" Deckaj and Scott Bowers are film makers and School Sucks Podcast listeners. I met them last spring in New Orleans where they were working together on a project. Dutch was the film's First Assistant Director, and he told me his job on set is similar to a principal at a high school. From there we discovered many connections between schooling and the film production process, including Hollywood's reliance on "factory model" of production. In this final installment, we discuss how to film us in the studio as a scene in a movie. Tangents: long takes, "letting the magic happen," and how Taxi Driver went off the rails. Please Support School Sucks We ...

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The Public School “Solution” [PODCAST #580]

A quick discussion about understanding the fears and motivations behind the development of the public schooling system in America. Shane Radliff and I discuss the radical school reform movement of the 1960s and how A Renegade History of the United States helped to add important nuance to my public school history narrative. 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 ...

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The Lessons of Location Independence [PODCAST #579]

Shane Radliff is a School Sucks listener and the creator of the popular website and podcast, Liberty Under Attack. In this joint production, we discuss the benefits, challenges and lessons of a location-independent lifestyle. Shane is preparing to live a more nomadic lifestyle, so we reflected on my extensive travels over the last year, including School Sucks Across America tour, Renegade University/SSP events and my recent relocation to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We talked about why I decided to pursue such a lifestyle, the importance of being with like-minded individuals in physical space and time, the role past decisions have on limiting freedom, the role of education in personal freedom, our past missteps when trying to discuss the philosophy of liberty with ...

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cinemaNUFACTURING – part two – “Soft Prep” [PODCAST #578]

Part 2 of 3: "Soft Prep" Tomas "Dutch" Deckaj and Scott Bowers are film makers and School Sucks Podcast listeners. I met them last spring in New Orleans where they were working together on a project. Dutch was the film's First Assistant Director, and he told me his job on set is similar to a principal at a high school. From there we discovered many connections between schooling and the film production process, including Hollywood's reliance on "factory model" of production, hence the series title. Today's Discussion: - Dutch and Scott explain where they each started in the film business - Tangent: running the camera - How Dutch and Scott starting working together - Pre-production and the script - How ...

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Tom Woods For President? (No.) – With Tom Woods [PODCAST #577]

In this thinly-veiled 52-minute promotion for the Contra Cruise, happening October 21-28 (tickets available at ContraCruise.com), Tom and I open talking about the cruise, highlights from previous cruises, and the origins of the Contra Krugman podcast. What's up with the title? I recently turned someone on to Tom's show, and after listening for a couple weeks he asked me "why isn't this guy the Libertarian Party candidate for president?" I ask Tom to provide an answer. Before recording, I just listened to Episode 1236 of The Tom Woods show, called A Thousand Statist Arguments Smashed. Also I just moved to Pittsburgh and I have been meeting a lot of new people lately, and have been having some really frustrating political ...

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cinemaNUFACTURING – part one – “Film/School” [PODCAST #576]

Part 1 of 3: "Film/School" - Tomas "Dutch" Deckaj and Scott Bowers are film makers and School Sucks Podcast listeners. I met them last spring in New Orleans where they were working together on a project. Dutch was the film's First Assistant Director, and he told me his job on set is similar to a principal at a high school. From there we discovered many connections between schooling and the film production process, including Hollywood's reliance on "factory model" of production. Dutch, Scott and I will discuss that model in great detail, and we'll question whether or not such a complex process could even work by less efficiency-focused means. We'll also tangent into analysis of some of our favorite films ...

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The Ultimate Freedom – Kevin Geary On Lifestyle Entrepreneurship [PODCAST #575]

lifestyle entrepreneurship

Back to SchoolSucks! We return with an exploration of why and how we can embrace an opportunity that has never existed in all of human history. We're talking about lifestyle entrepreneurship and location/schedule independence. Most of you will remember Kevin Geary as an integrative health coach and the founder of the very successful RebootedBody.com enterprise. Since 2014 he has been a semi-frequent and very-popular guest on School Sucks. Last year Kevin launched a new project called SixFigureGrind.com where he educates people on digital marketing, sales, entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial mindset. SixFigureGrind.com features plentiful free resources, exclusive courses and a podcast where Kevin candidly discusses his successes and failures, shares hard-won wisdom and offers advice on getting to the next level ...

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Being Active Online vs. Being Conscious Online – Moritz Bierling – Part 3 of 3 [PODCAST #574b]

Moritz and I discuss his current work on Holochain, and its role in resolving the digital malaise we've been discussing in this series. This malaise includes "fake news," information (or input) overload, social media fatigue, banning, loss of privacy, no data ownership, etc... Moritz worked as the Director of Research for Exosphere and now serves as an advisor. Exosphere Academy is a learning and problem solving community with 2-day traveling workshops and an 8-week residential program "to learn new skills, build exciting projects with other dynamic people, and jumpstart your new life & career." He has now allocated much of his energy to promoting Holochain adoption. DISCUSSION: * Authors of the first amendment obviously never envisioned this world * the ...

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Creating A True Information Economy – Skinner Layne – Part 3 of 3 [PODCAST #574a]

information economy

Part 3 of this series will be split into two conversations: a one-on-one with Skinner followed by a one-on-one with Moritz, allowing each of them to focus in on their areas of expertise in resolving the digital malaise we've been discussing. This malaise includes "fake news," information (or input) overload, social media fatigue, loss of privacy, no data ownership, etc... We now turn our focus to the creation of a true information economy. Skinner is the founder of Exosphere Academy. Exosphere Academy is a learning and problem solving community with 2-day traveling workshops and an 8-week residential program "to learn new skills, build exciting projects with other dynamic people, and jumpstart your new life & career." He is also the ...

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor? [PODCAST #573]

(Please listen in stereo or with headphones) A conversation about a unique city and its friendliest neighborhood. Zak Slayback and Andrew Mercer are back to discuss the new Fred Rogers documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor. The first hour of our discussion sets the scene in Pittsburgh; we talk in great detail about the city's culture, industry, geography, past, present and future. In hour two we'll explore Fred Rogers as an exemplar of the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, his persuasive skills and his approach to child development. Won't You Be My Neighbor Trailer 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 ...

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Teaching With the Wrong Politics and No License? – With Alex Bell and His Friend Ben [PODCAST #572]

A hilltop teachers' round table on a beautiful Pittsburgh Monday morning. Longtime listener and supporter (and friend) Alex Bell came to Pittsburgh this weekend; we celebrated the 9th anniversary of School Sucks with an adventure around the city and a marathon podcast. One of Alex's aims of this trip was to connect me with his friend Ben, who leans conservative (while being open-minded about libertarian philosophy) and teaches without a degree or license. I thought our conversation would center around the challenges and frustrations of a man with the wrong ideology working in a hostile environment. But it wound up being far more enriching. Ben and I interviewed each other, and shared our educational philosophies, challenges and experiences. Please Support ...

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The Deep Roots of the Current Information* Crisis – Skinner Layne and Moritz Bierling – Part 2 of 3 [PODCAST #571]

* I'm using the word "information" very loosely. Skinner Layne and Moritz Bierling are back for a deeper drive into the current digital malaise and its varied and complicated roots. This malaise includes "fake news," information (or input) overload, social media fatigue, loss of privacy, no data ownership, etc... Skinner is the founder of Exosphere Academy and Moritz, formerly the Director of Research, now serves as an advisor. Exosphere Academy is a learning and problem solving community with 2-day traveling workshops and an 8-week residential program "to learn new skills, build exciting projects with other dynamic people, and jumpstart your new life & career." In our previous discussion we talked about an infinite game approach to the current digital crisis. ...

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Embracing the Infinite Game – Skinner Layne and Moritz Bierling – Part 1 of 3 [PODCAST #570]

infinite game

Skinner Layne and Moritz Bierling return to the show to further explore the infinite game mentality. Skinner is the founder of Exosphere Academy and Moritz, formerly the Director of Research, now serves as an advisor. Exosphere Academy is a learning and problem solving community with 2-day traveling workshops and an 8-week residential program "to learn new skills, build exciting projects with other dynamic people, and jumpstart your new life & career." Skinner and Moritz have expanded their focus to additional disruptive tech projects, and we'll discuss those in detail over the next two episodes. In our previous discussion we talked about how to build institutions and movements in education that become un-ignorable, desirable and perhaps even increasingly irresistible alternatives to ...

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How To Study History With Professor CJ [PODCAST #569]

how to study history

(Recorded at the Midwest Peace and Liberty Fest) CJ Kilmer is a college history professor and the host of the acclaimed The Dangerous History Podcast. He has been one of the most frequently requested guests on School Sucks, so consider this show an icebreaker for future conversations. The History of CJ -CJ's origin story and influences -Surviving college with the "wrong" ideas -How to vet professors How To Study History -spotting bias and slant in academic books -collecting sources -comparing and synthesizing different perspectives -note-taking -Adler's How To Read A Book History Potpourri -Recovering from studying history in public school -missed opportunities to fall in love with history in school -the History of Public Education -embracing shock value in storytelling ...

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The Mind and Mindset of Scott Horton [PODCAST #568]

(As explained by Scott Horton) Scott Horton is a well-known and widely respected author, broadcaster and US foreign policy analyst. I have always wanted to have Scott on the show, but despite the large overlap in our audiences there is little overlap in our topics of discussion. However, we were both speakers at the Midwest Peace and Liberty Fest, and I was presented with a unique opportunity to have a one-on-one chat. Event organizer Joe Moutard invited me to tag along as he shuttled Scott to the airport to catch a flight. With Scott in sitting the front, me settled in the back, Joe driving quickly and 90s hip hop on the radio, I began a series of off the ...

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Noah Tetzner – The Unschooler Podcast Star [PODCAST #567]

unschooler

Noah Tetzner is 17. He left school last year to become an unschooler (it was his mother's idea!) and just a couple of months ago he launched The History of Vikings Podcast. The show was almost immediately successful; Noah has been invited to join a history podcast network, the show has thousands of listeners, he has made great connections with other historians of the Norseman and he is already being asked as a guest on other shows. Noah joins me today to talk about his passion for unschooling, how school destroys creative thinking, and how his life has blossomed away from school. He told me "between being in a school for 8 hours a day and all of the homework, ...

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James and Taylor Davis – A New Take On Peaceful Parenting [PODCAST #566]

Peaceful parenting is a difficult term. There definitely seems to be some implicit judgment there. What's the alternative to peaceful parenting? Violent parenting? Thus it's understandable why many curious parents would find the label off-putting, as it might raise concerns they wouldn't be able to live up to certain standards in their relationships with their children. Taylor and James Davis have created a podcast to share their parenting journey, one filled with unexpected challenges, new questions and wonderful successes. At OneFreeFamily.com they offer a new take on peaceful parenting. As the parents of young 3 children, they share their story with honesty and vulnerability, but without prescriptions or harsh judgments. Interestingly, Taylor and James both earned teaching certificates in college ...

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Star Wars Double Feature [PODCAST #565 – FREE A/V]

I have some announcements about content and travel. And I have attached a couple Star Wars-related audios from the bonus section for your enjoyment. 1. [BONUS] How To Star Wars – Rogue One and A New Order Recorded December 18th, 2016 (1 hour, 8 minutes) Stephanie Murphy and Brian Sovryn (sexandsciencehour.com) join me in-studio for a live discussion about Star Wars Rogue One and the broader Star Wars universe. Is there a better order than Machete Order or Episode Order to watch all eight films? How do Brian and I rank all eight films (you might be surprised!!) And why does Stephanie dislike Star Wars? 2. [BONUS] The After School Sucks Special Recorded November 1, 2012 (23 minutes) Disney is ...

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LIVE In New Orleans With Thad and Brett [PODCAST #564]

The tense and truculent final event of Renegade University and School Sucks Project Present A Weekend With Thaddeus Russell. Attendees grab the mic and question us on the following topics: Jason - Foreign policy and the military: how to close the physical and psychological distance between America and its enemies? Norm - Higher education: how do you introduce opposing and uncomfortable ideas to people who are not seeking them out? Joel - Altruism vs. selfishness, and reconciling Thad's "politics of self interest" with Brett's "intelligent selfishness;" integrity and moralism, the Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Non-violent communication Brit - Parenting: the challenges of co-parenting with an authoritarian helicopter parent Please Support School Sucks We do cool things! Thanks to your support. ...

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Joanne Kaminski – What Children Need To Fall In Love With Reading [PODCAST #563]

advantages of online tutoring

Today, the story of a public school teacher who eventually found a much better way to connect with and teach young people. Joanne Kaminski joins me to discuss her path into and out of public school teaching, why she left, and the advantages of online tutoring she has discovered. We'll also cover some of her methods, so this conversation might be helpful to parents of children who are struggling with reading proficiency and interest. Joanne is the mother of 3 girls, a former public school teacher, and she now runs a successful tutoring company called The Online Reading Tutor. Joanne also has a blog called Become an Online Tutor, where she teaches others to enter this field and to thrive. ...

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