Stop Learning?

Today’s assignment was to watch a TED talk of our choice.  I chose “Forget what you know” by Jacob Barnett, a 14 year old that is also a PhD student in quantum physics.  If that’s not astonishing enough, he was diagnosed with Autism. {This can really reshape your view of “special needs” if you think about it!}

Jacob’s main idea was to stop learning in order to think.  At first, this doesn’t make sense. However, as he explained his thinking it became clear.  He gave two great examples, as well as his personal story.  Isaac Newton was forced to stop learning because the college he was attending shut down because of the plague.  During this time, he thought of several things that added greatly to what we know about science today. {I’m not sure exactly what they all are, but you can click here to read all about it!}

His next example was Albert Einstein. He wasn’t allowed into college because he was a Jew living in the pre-war era with Nazis.  Once again, he had to stop formal education, but that didn’t stop him.  He kept thinking and did more amazing things! {Here is a link to where you can read more details about him!}

Jacob was put in the Special Education at room where he said he didn’t learn anything.  Instead of sitting there and doing nothing, he read and learned high-level math and science by himself.  He then went on to solve a science problem on his own as well as several other accomplishments, earning him much publicity. {Don’t ask what it all is; It’s all above my head! This is an interesting article about him!}

I love history, but never knew about Newton or Einstein’s experiences.  I find it amazing that two of the “fathers of science” are most famous for things they did on their own, without support of an advisor or anyone else “teaching” them.  This really makes me think of my own students.  What could they accomplish if I gave them time to truly think on their own. How can I help instill that desire to learn and do things in them?!

 

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