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Nobel Prize winners & school

January 25th, 2004 · 1 Comment

Yesterday I skimmed through Linda Dobson’s Homeschooling The Early Years. Although I already knew and have lived some of what she wrote I found some helpful sections. The chapters I appreciated the most were practical ones: Accommodating Younger Learners (how to homeschool with baby siblings), Keeping House (and Sanity!) as You Homeschool (organizational ideas) and Enjoying the Road Less Traveled (how to handle homeschooling challenges within your family). Also the Arithmetic chapter gave me some good ideas I will implement immediately.

I came home – after reading the book in the car – and spied the link from Atypical Life to Nobel Prize Winners Hate School a site with quotes describing how some prize winners hated school or who were homeschooled….including this piece from Albert Einstein:

The hitch in this was, of course, the fact that one had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect [upon me] that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year. In justice I must add, moreover, that in Switzerland we had to suffer far less under such coercion, which smothers every truly scientific impulse, than is the case in many another locality. …It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.

Tags: homeschool

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Gordon Weakliem // Jan 26, 2004 at 12:11 pm

    One of my favorite stories about good problem solving was Gauss, who’s credited with discovering that the sum of the numbers 1..n is n * (n+1) / 2 when the instructor gave him the problem (compute the sum 1..100) as busy work and he solved it in about a minute. The full story is here: