Bill gates, Steve Jobs, Woody Allen. All college dropouts. Einstein’s PhD dissertation was rejected twice. Thomas Edison dropped out of school at age fourteen. While some geniuses (Marie Curie and Sigmund Freud, for example) were stellar students, most were not.
In a study of some 300 creative geniuses, Dean Simonton found that the majority made it only halfway through what was considered a modern education at the time. Any more, or less, was detrimental. So while some education is essential to creative genius, it seems that beyond a certain point, more education does not increase the chances of genius but instead lowers it.
The deadening effect of formal education manifests itself surprisingly early. Psychologists have identified the exact year when a child’s creative thinking skills plateau: the fourth grade.
Recently I have been learning a valuable lesson. One which differs from what I thought to be true as a kid. Growing up, I always heard, “honesty is the best policy.” Perhaps this is true when you’re a young, naive, and innocent child. But now, in my early twenties, I’m beginning to realize that there is such a thing as being too honest and I dance this line far too often. For one, not every person can handle honesty. And for two, not everyone deserves it.
This old pre-school assignment was found by a dear friend of mine. Together, the class created their “Classroom Rules” by having each child write one rule. Not only do I find this list incredibly endearing, but I believe it to be an advanced treasure. As you read over these rules, I think you’ll agree that they remain applicable to our current lives. If all adults followed these rules, the world would be a better place. Oh the joy and wisdom of children! 😉