Richard Feynman Hated School

Richard Feynman Hated School

Image credit: alileospendulum.org

“Study hard and contribute to science” is the mantra of many schools and teachers. But can you win a Nobel Prize if you hate school? Yes, as long as you love to learn. This is the case for Richard Feynman, the winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize for Physics.[1] He is known for being a scientist, teacher, musician, and raconteur aside from being a physicist who assisted in the creation of the atomic bomb.[2]

Richard Feynman was born in Queens, New York City on May 11, 1918. Like Albert Einstein, he is also a late in speech and by the time he was three, he cannot utter words. His love of learning was greatly influenced by his father who made him think using the orthodox method. The young Richard Feynman, he already has a passion for experimenting—especially radios. Most of the things he knows, he taught himself. Since his high school days, he already learned trigonometry, advanced algebra, and higher mathematics without the help of his teachers. Although he attended school, he hated it because of the method the teachers employed during those times.[3] He considered school as an “intellectual desert” because of the school’s inability to harness creativity.

His application to Columbia University was denied so he opts for Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his bachelor’s degree. He later on taught at California Institute of Technology where he deviated from the traditional teaching he loathed into a series of lectures that would foster creativity among students.

[1] NobelPrize.org, “Richard Feynman: Biography”
[2] http://www.feynmanonline.com
[3] http://learninfreedom.org/Nobel_hates_school.html