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The 2017 Alternative Education Tour - #SchoolSucksAcrossAmerica
John Taylor Gatto - The Underground History of American Education
Peter Gray - Self-Directed Education

Latest Podcasts

August, 2018

  • 20 August

    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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  • 11 August

    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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  • 6 August

    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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July, 2018

  • 26 July

    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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June, 2018

  • 30 June

    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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Premium Content

June, 2018

  • 3 June

    [BONUS] THE MASTERMIND – Pilot Episode – “PodcastMasterMind”

    (AUDIO, 126 MINUTES) The new weekly supporter-only series! Fellow Podcastmasters Jason Osborne and Gardner Goldsmith join Brett to launch The Mastermind. These shows will typically begin with a "pain point," which is a pressing problem of a personal, professional, political, cultural or educational nature. A rotating group of co-hosts will then discuss the problem in detail and contemplate/debate solutions. Today's Pain Point: Are we correct that schools and entertainment media are engaged in an expanding (both overt and covert) campaign to sexualize young children? Or have we just become stupid old conservatives? There is also a related pain point about how this kind of indoctrination is affecting one of our families, but due to its very personal natural, it is ...

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May, 2018

  • 27 May

    [BONUS] The State of STEM – A Report From the Field

    (AUDIO, 108 MINUTES) STEM = Science + Technology + Engineering + Math My friend works in educational technology sales and he recently attended a STEM conference. He actually wound up being a judge in some of the student competitions at the event. In this show, he'll shares his notes. Some of the student projects are impressive in scope but their attitudes about and plans for the world are pretty foreboding. He judged one competition called "Prepared Presentations." The topic on which students were presenting: The Future Is Ours. After listening to summaries of these student presentations, I certainly hope not. Or click HERE

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  • 23 May

    [BONUS] This Is America? An Analysis

    (AUDIO, 75 MINUTES) Brett, Andrew and James discuss 2 most emotional issues of our day - guns and race - as they are presented in This Is America. Is this more of the same - the safest and most socially acceptable way to think disguised as the revolution, to use the angst of young people as political fuel? Or has Donald Glover created something more meaningful? This is the video that finally helped me understand the cultural appropriation argument. I'll explain. In a nutshell, it raises a question: Are most white people guilty of embracing the black art, while ignoring the black plight? Also: the problem with Jordan Peterson Or click HERE

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  • 18 May

    [BONUS] Drive Journal – New Orleans To Pittsburgh, Hour 25

    Drive Journal - A trip recap, in a state of delirium. With fellow travelers Andrew and Larry. How NOLA is both amazing and gross - and some thoughts about the event. Here's a link to the audio version: New Orleans To Pittsburgh Hour 25 Related PostsShit Has Gone Too Far (Bonus Content Preview)Tags: bonus, a/vPre-Show 9-13-12Tags: a/vFood Is Not A Liquid (Bonus Content Preview)Tags: bonus, a/vPre-Show 7-26-12Tags: a/vHacky Sack 8-24-13Tags: a/v

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  • 3 May

    [BONUS] CUT SEGMENT – From Episode #562 With Thaddeus Russell

    (AUDIO, 37 MINUTES) I cut 35 minutes of discussion from the final version of episode #562. This was a difficult decision, because it was a captivating segment and I don't want to censor anything, but I need to consider what is best for the School Sucks brand, along with respect for other recent guests. The prompt for this portion of the discussion was this listener input: Peter M. - While I was intrigued by Thad's self interest approach to sobriety, and by the idea of replacing the puritan with an accountant, I think obligation to others still has an important role to play. Thad mentioned that part of his need to be sober involved wanting to have a relationship with ...

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The realization that school sucks actually marks the beginning of a new and exciting educational journey.


Welcome to SchoolSucksProject.com. We strive to provide young people with the building blocks of intellectual, financial and lifestyle independence. This includes in-depth explorations into higher-level thinking, organization and productivity, emotional and physical health, habit and lifestyle optimization, history and philosophy, psychology, self-directed learning, entrepreneurship, and communication/negotiation strategies. It's all essential information, but almost none of it is taught in school.

Our content is ideal for frustrated high school and college students (deschooling), home-educating parents (unschooling), and adults who are interested in independently furthering their education and achieving self-actualization (self-directed learning). To see every topic at a glance, check out the site map.