"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Einstein Never Would Have Passed a Standardized Test

Albert Einstein might or might not have had dyslexia but he didn't do well with the  standardized curriculum in Germany primarily because of its authoritarianism . That's a fact and his parents left Germany because they didn't like the rote memorization and mindlessness inherent in the German schools. It's all in his biography.

Mindlessness and blind obedience is not a recipe for a healthy society.

From the American Museum of Natural History:

He loathed Germany's rigid education system, which was based upon rote learning. "It's a true miracle," he commented years later, "that modern education hasn't yet completely smothered the curiosity necessary for scientific study." If Albert had remained in Germany until he was 16, he would have been obliged to perform military service. The sight of soldiers marching through the streets had always frightened and appalled him, and he was not willing to join them. So Einstein left high school and Germany, and joined his family in Milan.

Here's more info on people who had dyslexia and would have done poorly on a standardized test:

Agatha Christie - (15 September 1890 - 12 January 1976) Agatha Christie was the world's best selling book writer of all times only truly surpassed by the Bible and equaled by Shakespear, her books sold approximately 4 billion copies worldwide. Agatha suffered from dyslexia but in no way did it stop her from being creative and learning how to write, her mystery novels have always been some of the most captivating of all times. Her bestselling book was without a doubt "And then there was none" which was a source of inspiration for novelists and movie makers even many years after.

Albert Einstein - (March 14, 1879 - April 18, 1955) Being one of the most important great minds of his century Albert Einstein was then known to suffer from dyslexia mainly because of his bad memory and his constant failure to memorize the simplest of things. He would not remember the months in the year yet he would succeed in solving some of the most complicated mathematical formulas of the time without any trouble. He may have never learned how to properly tie his shoelaces but his scientific contributions and theories still have a major effect on all of todays current knowledge of science

.Alexander Graham Bell - (3 March 1847 - 2 August 1922) Well known as the inventor of the telephone Alexander was actually attempting to find a way that could make deaf people hear. His mother was slowly becoming deaf when Alexander was only 12 years old making him extremely sensitive to disabilities. Once older he was constantly seeking a way to cure them through technology. He himself had dyslexia which would cause him problems at school, but he always kept his interest for science, especially biology. He would show a great indifference for everything else and would have poor grades. Today Alexander Graham Bell is also well know as one of the founders of the National Geographic society.Cher - (Born May 20, 1946) Cher was a fatherless child and was most of the time very poor. Her mother tried to make money by singing and acting which ultimately brought Cher to follow into her footsteps. Due to dyslexia cher decided she would quit school and try to take some acting lessons in Los Angeles to finally do what she loved. One day while at the renowned Aldo's Coffee Shop her life changed upon meeting Sonny Bono, which was at the time successful in show business. They eventually made songs together and through fantastic duos with Sonny.

Dale S. Brown - Dale Brown is a strategic leadership consultant at Washington D.C and an author. Her most recent book is called "Steps to Independance for people with Learning Disabilities" which was published by Learning Disabilities Association of America in 2005. Dale suffers herself from dyslexia and wants to tell the world that learning disabilities does not have to stop you from being who you want to be. It does not have to stop you from striving or harm your capabilities to integrate to everyday life.

Danny Glover - (Born July 22, 1947) A great actor in both Lethal Weapon with Mel Gibson and Predator 2. Danny Glover suffered dyslexia at school when he was younger and the school staff would label him retarded. This definitely was not very encouraging for him but he ended up finding ways to feel better about himself. He says that dyslexia had given him the feeling that he was not worthy to learn and that the people around him would not care of what would happen to his education. With time he eventually regained his self esteem and became a great actor.George Burns - (January 20, 1896-March 9, 1996) An Academy-Award winning Jewish-American actor and comedian George Burns was a man filled with joy. He and his wife Gracie Allen would frequently team up on radio and television which made them both well known. George was an entertainer until a few years before his 100th birthday. Dyslexia never kept him from being who he was, a legend who had one of the longest American careers in show business history

.Hans Christian Andersen - (April 2 1805 - August 4 1875) Being an author of children's fantasy stories, he was a victim of dyslexia and showed the world that when you want something, nothing can stop you from obtaining it. The books that he wrote have been translated into hundreds of different languages and continue to be distributed even today in millions of copies. Hans wrote books such as "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Princess and the Pea" "Thumbelina", "The Snow Queen", "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Mermaid".

Henry Winkler - Henry Franklin Winkler (born October 30, 1945) is a Golden Globe Award-winning American actor, director, producer and author. He is perhaps most famous for his role as Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on the popular sitcom Happy Days (1974-1984). Winkler attended the McBurney School and received his bachelor's degree from Emerson College in 1967 and his MFA from the Yale School of Drama in 1970. In 1978, Emerson gave Winkler an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Winkler has also received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Austin College. Having struggled throughout his school years with unidentified dyslexia Winkler, at age 31, finally understood what he'd been grappling with all his life, when making a documentary about dyslexia, Winkler himself found that he was dyslexic.

Jackie Stewart - Sir John Young Stewart, OBE (born 11 June 1939 in Milton, West Dunbartonshire), better known as Jackie, and nicknamed The Flying Scot, is a Scottish former racing driver. He competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships. Former F1 champion Sir Jackie Stewart, said he thought he was "thick" at school before discovering he was dyslexic. Sir Jackie said "word blindness" meant he had to race to keep up with other pupils. In those days dyslexia wasn't something that got identified in many schools.Leonardo Da Vinci - Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, (April 15, 1452 - May 2, 1519) was a Tuscan polymath: scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. As an engineer, Leonardo conceived ideas vastly ahead of his own time, conceptualising a helicopter, a tank, concentrated solar power, a calculator, and the double hull, and outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics. He also had the gift of dyslexia. Most of the time, he wrote his notes backwards. Although unusual, this is a trait shared by many left-handed dyslexic people. Most of the time, dyslexic writers are not even consciously aware that they are writing this way.Magic Johnson - Earvin Effay Johnson, Jr. (born August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan) is a retired American National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson is acknowledged as one of the most popular NBA basketball players of all time, being well-known for his uncanny passing and dribbling skills, and for his cheerful nature on and off the court. In the words of Magic Johnson: "The looks, the stares, the giggles . . . I wanted to show everybody that I could do better and also that I could read.

"Thomas Edison - Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 - October 18, 1931) was an American inventor of Dutch origin and businessman who developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph and a long lasting light bulb. In school, the young Edison's mind often wandered. He was noted to be terrible at mathematics, unable to focus, and had difficulty with words and speech. This ended Edison's three months of official schooling. The cause of Edison's deafness has been attributed to a bout of scarlet fever during childhood and recurring untreated middle ear infections. Thomas Edison was dyslexic, a problem child, and a mischief-maker. He talked when he was supposed to be listening and did not listen when the teacher talked. He had no patience. He was not well-coordinated and did poorly in sports. He applied himself with a passion to whatever caught his attention, but his attention was easily diverted.

Tom Cruise - Thomas Cruise Mapother IV (born July 3, 1962), more commonly known as Tom Cruise, is an American actor and film producer. Cruise has said that he suffered from abuse as a child. This was partially due to him suffering from dyslexia. He stated that when something went wrong, his father came down hard on him. Having gone through fifteen schools in twelve years, Cruise, who dropped his father's name at age twelve, was also a victim of bullying at school

.Walt Disney - Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 - December 15, 1966) was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Disney is notable as one of the most influential and innovative figures in the field of entertainment during the twentieth century. Walt Disney had dyslexia, which is a learning disorder characterized by reading difficulties. While Walt Disney was attending high school he also went to the Academy of Fine Arts. This caused him to have double the school work than an average student on top of the fact that he also dealt with being dyslexic

.Whoopi Goldberg - Whoopi Goldberg (born November 13, 1955) is an American actress, comedian, radio host, TV personality, game show host, and author. Whoopi Goldberg was born Caryn Elaine Johnson in New York City. Whoopi had a lot of difficulty in school, but it was not until she was an adult did she learn that she had dyslexia. Despite her dyslexia, Whoopi Goldberg has gone on to have a highly successful film and television career.

Winston Churchill - Churchill described himself as having a "speech impediment", which he consistently worked to overcome. After many years, he finally stated, "My impediment is no hindrance." Although the Stuttering Foundation of America has claimed that Churchill stammered, the Churchill Centre has concluded that he lisped. Churchill's impediment may also have been cluttering, which would fit more with his lack of attention to unimportant details and his very secure ego. According to several sources Winston Churchill was not dyslexic and had no learning disability whatsoever. In his autobiography he played up his low grades at Harrow, undoubtedly to convince readers, and possibly himself, how much he had overcome; but in this he exaggerated. He was actually quite good at subjects he enjoyed and in fact won several school prizes.

Woodrow Wilson - Former president of the United States. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856-February 3, 1924), was the twenty-eighth President of the United States. Wilson did not learn to read until he was about 12 years old. His difficulty reading may have indicated dyslexia or A.D.D., but as a teenager he taught himself shorthand to compensate and was able to achieve academically through determination and self-discipline. He studied at home under his father's guidance and took classes in a small school in Augusta.Fanny Flagg - (born September 21, 1944) is an American author and actress. Flagg has spoken publicly about being dyslexic. Flagg has said she was enormously challenged as a writer because she was "severely dyslexic and couldn't spell. So I was discouraged from writing and embarrassed". Her burgeoning writing career was put on hold for much of the 1970s, but Flagg overcame her fear and completed several novels and screenplays.George Patton - George Smith Patton GCB, KBE (November 11, 1885 - December 21, 1945) was a leading U.S. Army general in World War II in campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, France, and Germany, 1943-1945. Patton not begin his formal education until age 11, most likely due to dyslexia. Patton attended high school in Pasedena. Upon graduation, Patton was accepted at the Virginia Military Institute. He spent a year at VMI before being accepted to West Point.Harry Belafonte - Harold George Belafonte, Jr. (born March 1, 1927) is an American musician, actor and social activist. One of the most successful Jamaican musicians in history, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style in the 1950s. Due to problems with dyslexia, Belafonte dropped out of high school and at the age of 17, he joined the US Navy for a couple of years. After that, he returned to New York and settled there. Belafonte became involved with the American Negro Theatre and soon began singing in clubs around the city.Richard Branson - Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English entrepreneur, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. Richard Branson has been involved in a number of world record-breaking attempts since 1985, when in the spirit of the Blue Riband he attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest recorded time. Branson has dyslexia, resulting in poor academic performance as a student. School was something of a nightmare for him. He was the captain of football, rugby union and cricket teams, and by the age of fifteen he had started two ventures that eventually failed, one growing Christmas trees and another raising budgerigars.Nelson Rockefeller - Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 - January 26, 1979) was the forty-first Vice President of the United States, governor of New York, philanthropist, and businessman. Rockefeller was born in Bar Harbor, Maine. He was the son of John Davison Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. He was the grandson of Standard Oil's founder and chairman John Davison Rockefeller, Sr. Nelson Rockefeller died on the evening of Friday, January 26, 1979 at age 70 from a heart attack under circumstances whose details have never been completely revealed.Neil Bush - Neil Mallon Bush (born January 22, 1955 in Midland, Texas) is the fourth of six children of former President George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara Bush (Barbara Lane Pierce). Neil is the younger brother of President George Walker Bush, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and the late Robin Bush. At age 11, he entered the exclusive private St. Albans School in Washington, DC. He struggled through school. A counselor told his mother that it was doubtful the boy had the potential to graduate. He was later diagnosed as having dyslexia, and his mother spent much time coaching him through his learning disability. Eventually his grades 
What else is there to know?

1 comment:

  1. DeeDee3:39 PM

    I think this is such an important point. The idea that genius that does not work within a system can look like failure. The notion that Pierre Bourdieu touches on is that of education as a means to continue a system and its hierarchy. For those who want to charge a system, or even improve/add to it, they are seen as disappointment. This standardization can stifle and constrain game changers like those mentioned.