Podcasts

God, Grant Me the Serenity… With Thaddeus Russell [PODCAST #558]

In our most challenging and uncomfortable conversation to date, Thaddeus Russell and I explore some things about my past that I've had trouble accepting and often wonder if I can still change. A lengthy list of topics follows: shame, moralizing, self-sacrifice, relationships as transactions, dishonesty, the war in our heads between the puritan and the hedonist, integrity and personal responsibility. Also: The Next Renegade University and School Sucks Project event is happening May 11-13 in the original renegade city of New Orleans. At the end of this podcast we'll discuss some of the details and the new features. For more information and to secure your spot, go to ThaddeusRussell.com/courses Please Support School Sucks We do cool things! Thanks to your ...

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The Relationship Benefits of Unschooling – With Pam Laricchia [PODCAST #557]

I'm pleased to present one of our finest productions on the topic of unschooling. An important thread running through this conversation: the benefits of unschooling in terms of relationship with self, with family and with people in the community. Pam Laricchia is the creator of the blog livingjoyfully.ca - an amazing, well-organized resource for people exploring how to live and learn without school. She is also the author of several books on unschooling, including The Unschooling Journey: A Field Guide. Pam began unschooling with her three children back in 2002 and she has continued her enthusiastic exploration through blogging, podcasting and presenting at conferences. PAM'S UNSCHOOLING BACKGROUND * Pam's new Book What is Unschooling? The mission of her site. * ...

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The Making of A Mindless Movement – A Teacher’s Perspective On Student Walkouts [PODCAST #556]

This April we'll be showered with more misguided student walkouts and other "teen-led" gun control activism displays. Shortly after releasing Podcast #552: #ENOUGH – With Thaddeus Russell I received an email from a public school teacher who wished to remain anonymous. I thought this was an important perspective to share with you, and I was grateful for the opportunity to give this teacher a platform. Hi Brett, I am an elementary school teacher and a relatively new listener to your show. When the School Walkout happened, I was compelled to write about it. Then, I heard your latest episode with Thad Russell! Many of the thoughts you shared are also echoed in my piece. Perhaps I am preaching to the ...

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How A Teen Took Control of His Own Life – Matt Maruca, Part Two [PODCAST #555]

This is the continuation of Matt's awesome story about what is possible when a young person embraces personal responsibility and self-directed, real-world education. In today's conversation, Matt continues to discuss his health research and how the Bosnia trip was a catalyst for more learning. I learn about Mitochondrial health, sunlight and Vitamin D, dangers of our unnatural environment, cold therapy and cold thermogenesis, reducing blue light exposure and maintaining a healthy biological rhythm. Matt used his research to start a successful business: Ra Optics Previous Shows In this Series: [PODCAST] #553: How A Teen Took Control of His Own Life (Matt Maruca, Part One) [PODCAST] #554: “Face It” – Q&A (Matt Maruca, Interlude) Background: In the midst of my growing ...

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[PODCAST] #554: “Face It” – Q&A (Matt Maruca, Interlude)

Matt Maruca began his self-education journey at age 13. In middle school Matt began seeking answers to a variety of chronic ailments, discovered the joys of self-directed learning and never looked back. After realizing and harnessing his efficacy and abilities, he found school to be an almost intolerable obstacle to his education. In this interlude between the two parts of Matt's story he asks my advice on a few topics. Question #1: Matt is learning more about politics and philosophy and wants to share these ideas with friends. What's the best approach? What framing errors should be avoided? How do we get ideological opponents to look at their own ideas critically? We talk about communication, persuasion, shame, compassion and the ...

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[PODCAST] #553: How A Teen Took Control of His Own Life (Matt Maruca, Part One)

Many of you are going to learn a lot this week. And your teacher is eighteen years old. This is an amazing story (told in three parts) of what is possible when a young person embraces personal responsibility and self-directed, real-world education. In the midst of my growing frustration about things like #MarchForOurLives and the misleading of young people, I received relief and some hope in the form of an email. It opened: "I am 18 and have been watching your show for over a year. It has helped me tremendously in my process of deciding not to attend college, starting on my own business, and becoming financially independent at age 18. If you happen to have some time ever, ...

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[PODCAST] #552: #ENOUGH – With Thaddeus Russell

#MarchForOurLives

This past weekend hundreds of thousands of ill-informed teenagers participated in a nationwide accidental fundraiser for the NRA called #MarchForOurLives. Thaddeus Russell returns to examine the bigger picture. We'll discuss the fetish-ization of children by both the left and the right. Other themes include politics as a performance on a stage, dangers of absolutist thinking, Manichaeism (the age-old religious idea of fighting the battle against the darkness on the side of the light, and the comfort and illusion of moral superiority that idea brings), why this phenomenon does NOT require "crisis actors," and the harnessing of teenage angst towards political ends. Also: The Next Renegade University and School Sucks Project event is happening May 11-13 in the original renegade city ...

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[PODCAST] #551: What It Means To Be Educated – Blake Boles (Part 2)

self directed learning

Part Two of Two Today's show is intended as a resource for listeners looking to share the ideas of alternative education and self directed learning with their friends and family, or with anyone wants to learn more about these subjects. Blake Boles builds exciting alternatives to traditional school for self-directed young people. He runs the company Unschool Adventures and is the author of The Art of Self-Directed Learning, Better Than College, and College Without High School. Blake and I discuss the path to more self directed learning 1. How to define the current school problem 2. Why Schooling is not the same as education 3. John Taylor Gatto's definition of real education 4. The attributes of an educated person 5. ...

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[PODCAST] #550: Unschool Adventures – Blake Boles (Part 1)

unschool

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 ...

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[PODCAST] #549: Days of Wonder – An Inspiring Model For Alternative Education

Cynthia Day is the founder of and a teacher at the Days of Wonder School in Batavia, OH. I invited her on the show as part of a continuing effort to showcase successful and inspiring alternative education models, along with desirable attributes of voluntary learning communities. Cynthia began her teaching career in public school, but within a matter of years she discovered that the environment and culture presented serious obstacles to addressing the emotional and educational needs of her students. I had similar experiences; we compare stories. She ultimately left teaching to focus on homeschooling her own children. When they reached adulthood, she shifted her attention into creating an alternative school that encompassed the best aspects of homeschooling. The ultimate ...

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[PODCAST] #548: Is College Worth It? Economist Bryan Caplan Says No

is college worth it

Today, everyone is asking "is college worth it?" Oh, wait a minute...no they're not. In fact, considering the looming student loan debt crisis and troubling graduation numbers, almost nobody is thinking deeply and carefully enough about this question. Furthermore, most students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors still view college as the only path a "college track" high schooler should consider. College is simply regarded as inevitable; it's the 13th grade. Enter Dr. Bryan Caplan. Bryan is a Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the author of a provocative new book titled The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money. His thesis: "Civilized societies revolve around education now, but there is a ...

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[PODCAST] #547: Building Your Own Credential and Career (Derek Magill, Part Two)

dropping out of college

Part Two of Two - Please Make Sure You Heard Part One! As as follow up to our conversation on dropping out of college, Derek Magill and I explore how to "build your own credential" in lieu of a degree. Derek explains why he believes such a self-directed credential is superior to the four-year degree, and he illustrates how you go on to signal that credential in the market. Derek is just twenty-four years old, but he is already enjoying great success as an entrepreneur, freelancer and writer. He also currently serves as the Director of Marketing for Praxis. Derek dropped out of the University of Michigan during his sophomore year because he "was not finding the experience valuable towards ...

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[PODCAST] #546: Dropping Out of College, Why and How (Derek Magill, Part One)

Part one of Two - Derek Magill joins me to discuss his personal journey through and beyond dropping out of college. Derek is just twenty-four years old, but he is already enjoying great success as an entrepreneur, freelancer and writer. He also currently serves as the Director of Marketing for Praxis. Derek dropped out of the University of Michigan during his sophomore year because he "was not finding the experience valuable towards (his) intellectual and professional goals." He adds: "Over the last four years or so, my decision to leave has been vindicated. I’ve got a wonderful life, a great career, and I’ve gotten to spend 3-4 extra years pursuing my values on my own terms." My questions include - ...

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[SUPPLEMENTAL] #545: Just Let Me Draw Please. This Is Important.

Here are some highlights of my recent interview on the new and rapidly growing Free Man Beyond the Wall Podcast. Mance and I discuss our experiences as students, and I share a story about the intense desire I felt as a teenager to create and produce things that were meaningful for me, even if they meant nothing to anyone else. Unfortunately, my needs for self-efficacy and output were met by demands to relegate my mind to being a stationary receptacle for meaningless crap. Mance discusses what he learned from having a lucrative job at very young age, and I relay my recent experiences visiting alternate education centers that prioritize real world immersion. One of the main themes in this show ...

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[PODCAST] #544: Peter Gray (Part Three) – A Future of Self-Directed Education

self-directed education

Part Three of Three My marathon conversation with Peter Gray concludes with an exploration of Peter's vision for the future. It's a bold vision, but he describes the observations that led him to believe it will become a reality for more and more children and families in the coming years. The future is self-directed education. The Three Phases: 1. Discovery, learning about the world, the self and how the two fit together 2. Career Exploration, community/professional immersion, apprenticeship opportunities 3. Credentialing For Specialized Work, the Praxis idea of a better credential than the college degree Other Questions: -Does Peter have hope for government adoption of self-directed education? Publicly supported options? -How does education change? Considering the massive school bureaucracy. -Are ...

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[PODCAST] #543: Peter Gray (Part Two) – School’s Impact On Creativity and Critical Thinking

self-directed education

Part Two of Three Continuing our conversation on self-directed education, Peter and I discuss creativity and critical thinking - two skills we agree are left underdeveloped (or even damaged) by public school and college. This track leads us into a more general conversation about current college problems, including the anti-intellectual and anti-critical thinking trends of the recent years. On critical thinking, Peter has referenced studies and surveys that reveal about 50% of employers are dissatisfied with entry-level, college graduate employees (PayScale Inc.) and that college does little to improve higher level thinking (Academically Adrift: Limited Learning On College Campuses - 2011). On creativity, Peter wrote a piece called As Children’s Freedom Has Declined, So Has Their Creativity. Peter informs us ...

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[PODCAST] #542: Peter Gray (Part One) – Foundations of Self-Directed Education

self-directed education

Part One of Three Dr. Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College, and author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. Peter serves on the Organizing team for the Alliance For Self-Directed-Education. He also runs a blog on Psychology Today called Freedom to Learn, where he regularly explains and promotes self-directed education from a variety of angles. Today Peter and I discuss how he distinguishes school from education, how school is disruptive to our "educative instincts," and the biological foundations of self-directed education. In other words, children come into the world biologically designed to learn. These foundations include: - Curiosity: the ...

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[PODCAST] #541: What’s Between You and Your Goals?

Do you even have goals? We'll talk about that first. Antony Sammeroff joins me to discuss his new free book Procrastination Annihilation. In it he lays out his method for overcoming procrastination and changing his life, one step at a time. Today we focus our discussion around what he refers to as "The Five-Headed Dragon Between You and Your Goals." This includes: - All or Nothing - Perfectionism - Fatalism - Seeing things as things to be done rather than things to do - "I don’t feel like it. (ever)" Antony is the host of Be Yourself and Love It Podcast and Scottish Liberty Podcast. he also work as a professional coach on Depression, Anxiety, Procrastination, Assertiveness, Self-esteem, Relationship Help ...

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[PODCAST] #540: School Sucks Across America – Conclusion

(#SchoolSucksAcrossAmerica - DAY FORTY - NOV 23 - EAST HARTFORD, CT) Richard Grove and Mark Iwanicki (a Montessori School Teacher) interview Brett and Nick about the School Sucks Across America return trip, the lessons learned along the way, and how the documentary will be organized. Plus a long monologue on some of my personal take-aways. And how some are a little hard to swallow. The Patreon version includes 45 additional minutes of audio, including a pre-show, out-takes, and my previously unreleased San Francisco driving meltdown. View all shows from School Sucks Across America 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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[PODCAST] #539: School Is A Choice – A Conversation With A Real Public School Teacher

Special occasion! Brian Huskie is a public school teacher in New York. He joins me to discuss his discoveries about public school over ten years of teaching, his process of coming to terms with those discoveries, and the solutions he is working to develop. Brian founded a self-directed learning program called Huskie's Heros that we'll discuss in detail in this episode. His website is titled School Is A Choice. He is also the founder of the Albany High/Capital District Refugee Scholarship Endowment, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, and author of A White Rose: A Soldier’s Story of Love, War, and School Please Support School Sucks We do cool things! Thanks to your support. School Sucks is one of the longest ...

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[PODCAST] #538: The Block Is Hot – With Roger Ver

At School Sucks, we strive to provide young people with the building blocks of intellectual, financial and lifestyle independence. Over the last year, we have overlooked a phenomenon that certainly relates to the last two: Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency explosion. My guest today is a man who has been one of the most prominent figures in Bitcoin promotion, education, growth and recent controversies. Roger Ver was the first investor in many successful Bitcoin startups, and he has worked for over 5 years on the adoption of Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat money, both inside and outside the voluntaryist community. Roger has referred to this effort as "the separation of money and state." And as far as financial freedom is ...

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[PODCAST] #537: The Richmond Autodidacts Roundtable

(#SchoolSucksAcrossAmerica - DAY THIRTY-EIGHT - NOV 21 - RICHMOND, VA) The final meetup: Nick and I were very happy to encounter a diverse, open and thoughtful group in Richmond, VA. Huge thanks to Larry, Travis, Isaac, Herzan, Allen and Kal for sharing their stories and their wisdom. View all shows from School Sucks Across America 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 ...

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[PODCAST] #536: Raising Adults – Why Two Knoxville Radio Hosts Chose Home-Education

(#SchoolSucksAcrossAmerica - DAY THIRTY-SEVEN - NOV 20 - Knoxville, TN) Huge thanks to Keri for organizing (on very short notice) and participating in this event. Sherry and Daniel run the popular Speaking Freely talk show on WETR in Knoxville. They join me to discuss some of the lessons they learned in school and how they each applied those lessons to the home-education/unschooling of their own children. View all shows from School Sucks Across America 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 ...

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[PODCAST] #535: The Wheels Off Liberty Reunion

(#SchoolSucksAcrossAmerica - DAY THIRTY-FOUR - NOV 17 - Ardmore, OK) Mike and Brett fill Jamie in on what he missed after he slipped into an alternate universe 6 years ago. The guys then go on to address and solve all of society's current ills, including the Trump Presidency, political correctness, gender dysphoria, Bitcoin usability difficulties, Hollywood sexual harassment, unfresh Greek pastries, the unsolved murder of JFK, low testosterone, conflicts over the nature of reality, etc... Also featuring Nick the African. Fake-sponsored by George's Famous Baklava, Down Drake Beard Company and TarrinLupo.com WARNINGS: If you where not a fan off Wheels Off Liberty, this show is not for you. This is intended as comedy; School Sucks Project is not responsible for ...

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[PODCAST] #534: Cut Your Own Path (With Michael, Kristin and Elle)

(#SchoolSucksAcrossAmerica - DAY THIRTY-TWO - NOV 15 - Outside Albuquerque, NM) Kristin and Michael are a young couple raising their eight-year-old daughter Elle in the enchanted land of New Mexico. The first three days of travel from Los Angeles were somewhat tiring and stressful, but when Nick and I arrived at their home my mood changed and I was quickly reminded of why I wanted to take this trip. After Elle gave us a tour of their spectacular backyard, Kristin and Michael told me their daughter "likes to make her own paths." View all shows from School Sucks Across America Please Support School Sucks We do cool things! Thanks to your support. School Sucks is one of the longest running ...

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