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Off-Trail Learning

93 EpisodesProduced by Blake BolesWebsite

Interviews with innovative educators, self-directed young people, and others who think differently about learning, teaching, and schooling. Hosted by Blake Boles (, author of "Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?" and founder of Unschool Adventures.


Alfie Kohn on Progressive Education

Alfie Kohn ( is the author of fourteen books and a well-known advocate of progressive education. Mr. Kohn discusses the purpose behind his 30+ years of advocacy, his critique of “grit” and “growth mindset”, and his take on the classic progressive school models (Montessori/Waldorf/Reggio) as well as homeschooling, unschooling, and highly self-directed schools & centers. He expresses concern over the extreme varieties of self-directed education and argues for the vital role of teachers (and other actively-involved adults) in education. We end by identifying common ground between the self-directed and progressive education movements.

The following articles are referenced in this interview:

The Trouble with Pure Freedom (by Alfie Kohn):

The Progressive Teacher’s Role in the Classroom (by Alfie Kohn):

Rewards Are Still Bad News (25 Years Later) (by Alfie Kohn):

Differences Between Self-Directed and Progressive Education (by Peter Gray):

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