Episode 73 Doing college differently at Wayfinding Academy


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In this episode Lars talks to Michelle Jones and November Pollack, respectively principal and founder, and a student at Wayfinding Academy in Portland, Oregon.

Wayfinding Academy is an alternative, two year college that offers a different approach to higher education. Despite its small size, and short history (first cohort started in 2016), Wayfinding has already gotten some recognition, and recruits students from all over the US.

We talk about how society is steering more and more young people towards college, what we hope to get out of school and studies, how curiosity often doesn’t survive the many years of formal schooling, and what the role of the teacher should be.

Hear Michelle’s TEDx-talk from 2019, and read about Wayfinding in The Times Chronicle of Higher Education(Nov 2019) and The New York Times (June 2019).

These are examples of the kinds of experiments and different ideas about learning we’ve been talking a lot about on the podcast.

Books mentioned in the episode:

John Holt, Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better, Sentient 2003 [1976]

Derrick Jensen, Walking on Water: Reading, Writing and Revolution, Chelsea Green Publising, 2005

If you want to hear more about these topics, here’s an episode from Blake Boles’ podcast Off-Trail Learning (recorded at Wayfinding Academy last year), where Blake, Bill Deresiewicz (author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life from 2015) and Dev Carey discusses what it means to be educated, and the power and peril of self-education.

We would love your feedback on this episode. What are your thoughts, experiences, counterarguments, and ideas about how to spread such ideas about education? Please contact us on the email address below.


Our logo is by Sveinung Sudbø, see his works on originalkopi.com

The music is by Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen, see the facebook page Nygrenda Vev og Dur for more info.


Thank you for listening. You can contact us on our facebook page or by email: larsogpaal@gmail.com

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