Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thomas Edison's Birthday--Let's Celebrate Educational Freedom :)

Today is Thomas Edison's birthday! We likely wouldn't be celebrating him today had his mother not decided to pull him from school at the age of 7 and homeschool him. Well, and had his parents not decided, at a certain point, to give him freedom in what to learn. Once he was able to read, write and do math well enough, around age 9 or 11, I've forgotten which, he was pretty much left to his own devices but with the understanding he was to continue learning. He discovered a science book at one point that guided him through all kinds of activities/experiments. He became hooked, obsessed, and for a while, ignored his previous voracious reading of literature and history. His father started to bribe him to read history books. Tom read them--and then used the money to buy more materials for science experiments. 

Would Edison have become the man he became had he been in the education system we see today? Or even if his parents had required him to study the same things kids were studying in school at that time or follow a government-decided curriculum? Not very likely. So, today, I honour Edison's birthday and educational freedom. 

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