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FNF: Famous Self-Taught People (Charles D. Hayes) SOURCE: Autodidactic Profiles - AUTODIDACTIC PRESS - lifelong learning advocate
Famous Self-Taught People
"Allt háskólanám er sjálfsnám."
   (Ţórir Kr. Ţórđarson, prófessor)
"Founded in 1987, by Charles D. Hayes, Autodidactic Press
represents an intellectual odyssey through more than 20
years of intensive self-education. Read Self-University and
then Beyond the American Dream and you will gain a
profound understanding of the concept of lifelong learning."
Famous Self-Taught People
Bill Gates      See Source

If he’s not the most famous college dropout in American history, he is for sure the wealthiest. Bill Gates as if you didn’t know is co-founder of Microsoft and easily the richest man in the world."

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922)

Self-taught inventor of the telephone and telegraph. His college experience consisted only of attending a few lectures.

Richard Branson (1950-)

Flamboyant British billionaire Branson chose business instead of college. He is the owner of Virgin Records, and Atlantic Airways among others.

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Often referred to as Scotland’s National Bard, poet and songwriter Robert Burns educated himself principally through reading."

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)

An icon of the era of American industrialization and at one time the richest man in the world, Andrew Carnegie said “no man becomes rich unless he enriches others.”  He received his education not through school but through work and became one of the world’s greatest philanthropists.

Arthur C. Clarke (1917-)

Arthur C. Clarke is one of America’s most celebrated science fiction writers. Too poor to go to college, he educated himself by reading magazines. He has written more than 60 books, with 50 million in print. These include 2001: A Space Odyssey, and 2010: Odyssey Two.

Walter Cronkite (1916-)

One of America’s most celebrated journalists and longtime CBS news anchor, Cronkite dropped out of college to work for the Houston Post in 1935.

Michael Dell

College dropout turned richest man in Texas. Dell left college after one semester to sell computers. Today Dell is considered one of the most dynamic computer companies in America. Would you hire this dropout at your high tech company or would you require an MBA?

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Thought by many scholars to be the greatest English novelist of all times Charles Dickens had his childhood schooling cut short in favor of factory labor while his father served time in debtor’s prison. With his formal education over at the age of 15 he furthered his learning in the courts as a clerk and as a newspaper journalist. Charles Dickens’ works are too numerous to mention, but a few you’ll likely recognize are David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleakhouse, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and Little Dorrit.

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931)

Thought by some of his teachers to be too stupid for school, Thomas Edison was taught at home by his mother in his early years. Eventually this self-taught scientist would himself become the big bang of technology, holding more than 1000 patents and pioneering such technology as the electric light and the phonograph.

"Thomas Alva Edison was beaten at school with a heavy leather strap because his teacher considered him "addled" for asking so many questions.

He was chastised so much that his mother took him out of school after only three months' formal education. He went on to become probably the most prolific
inventor of all time."



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World history

From:    NEWS  GO  LK

"We need colleges and universities just as we need teachers and people who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge with others.

But the idea that the only learning respectable enough for economic compensation comes from institutions, which treat it as a scarce resource, is patently absurd.

The people named in the following list demonstrate this beyond doubt."


See Source Article




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Autodidact)


Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning.

An autodidact is a mostly self-taught person (also known as an automath), or someone who has an enthusiasm for self-education, and usually has a high degree of self-motivation. Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan and Newton's contemprory Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz were largely self-taught in mathematics.

Occasionally, individuals have sought to excel in subjects from outside the mainstream of conventional education. Jean Paul Sartre's Nausea depicts an autodidact who is a self-deluding dilettante. However, other autodidacts have excelled at their disciplines and brought innovative perspectives.

For example, physicist and judo expert Moshe Feldenkrais developed an autodidactic method of self-improvement based on his own experience with self-directed learning in physiology and neurology prompted by a crippling knee injury. In addition to Feldenkrais, Gerda Alexander, William Bates, Heinrich Jacoby and a number of other 20th-century European innovators worked out methods of self-development which stressed intelligent sensitivity and awareness.

A successful autodidact may become an autodidact at nearly any point in his or her life. While they may have been educated in a conventional manner in some fields, they may choose self-education in others.

And it should be said, self-teaching and self-directed learning are not necessarily lonely processes. Some spend a great deal of time in libraries and/or on educative Web sites. Many (according to their plan for learning) avail themselves of instruction from family members, friends, or other associates, although strictly speaking this might not be considered autodidactic. Indeed, the term 'self-taught' is something of a journalistic trope these days, and is all too often used to signify 'non-traditionally educated', which is not the same thing at all.

Inquiry into autodidacticism has implications in learning theory and educational theory, educational research, educational philosophy and educational psychology.




Famous autodidacts

Mythologist Joseph Campbell is one of the most famous autodidacts, and is seen by some as a poster-boy for autodidacticism. Following completion of his masters degree, Campbell decided not to go forward with his plans to earn a doctorate, and he went into the woods in upstate New York, reading deeply for five years. According to Campbell, this is, in a sense, where his real education took place, and the time when he began to develop his unique view on the nature of life.

According to poet and author Robert Bly, a friend of Campbell, Campbell developed a systematic program of reading nine hours a day. It is speculated by some that Campbell felt the work he did during this time was far more rigorous than any doctoral program could have been, and more fruitful in developing his unique perspectives.

For a listing of famous autodidacts see Category:Autodidacts.


The Ignorant Schoolmaster

In The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Jacques Rancičre describes the emancipatory education of Joseph Jacotot, a post-Revolutionary philosopher of education who discovered that he could teach things he did not know (for instance, Jacotot taught Flemish students to speak French without speaking any Flemish himself). The book is both a history and a contemporary intervention in the philosophy and politics of education, through the concept of autodidactism; Rancičre chronicles Jacotot's "adventures," but he articulates Jacotot's theory of "emancipation" and "stultification" in the present tense. .


Autodidacticism quotations

  • "Institutions are not pretty. Show me a pretty government. Healing is wonderful, but the American Medical Association? Learning is wonderful, but universities? The same is true for religion... religion is institutionalized spirituality." – Huston Smith [1]
  • "If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." – Joseph Campbell
  • Actress Jada Pinkett Smith said of the Matrix directors: "The Wachowski Brothers are very unique. They are probably– Larry and Andy are probably two of the smartest people I know. Larry reads everything. He reads everything. I mean, everything, you know what I mean. One thing I learned through Larry, through Andy also, is that life is about research. Larry, he's constantly researching. And he's constantly reading and that's one thing that I've taken away from this project, that life is about research."
  • "The new age of education is programmed for discovery rather than instruction. Art as radar environment, radar feedback, early warning system: the antennae of the race." – Marshall McLuhan
  • "My education was of the most ordinary description, consisting of little more than the rudiments of reading, writing, and arithmetic at a common day school. My hours out of school were passed at home and in the streets." – Michael Faraday, who had little mathematics and no formal schooling beyond the primary grades, is celebrated as an experimenter who discovered the induction of electricity. He was one of the great founders of modern physics. It is generally acknowledged that Faraday's ignorance of mathematics contributed to his inspiration, that it compelled him to develop a simple, nonmathematical concept when he looked for an explanation of his electrical and magnetic phenomena. Faraday is considered by some to have possessed two qualities that more than made up for his lack of traditional education: fantastic intuition, and independence and originality of mind.
  • "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." – Albert Einstein
  • "It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education." – Albert Einstein
  • "I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker... I never learned anything at all in school and didn't read a book for pleasure until I was 19 years old." – Stanley Kubrick
  • "I never let schooling get in the way of my education." – Mark Twain



  • The Passion To Learn: An Inquiry into Autodidactism by Joan Solomon ISBN 0415304180
  • SELF-UNIVERSITY: The Price of Tuition is the Desire to Learn. Your Degree is a Better life. by Charles D. Hayes ISBN 0962197904
  • The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellen ISBN 0962959170
  • The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (Stanford Univ. Press, 1991) by Jacques Rancičre ISBN 0804719691.


See also


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Samvinna kennara og nemenda um námsefnisgerđ
Tvćr greinar í Fréttabréfi HÍ, mars 1991 

"Ţá er ţađ alkunna ađ enskukunnáttu stúdenta Háskólans hefur hrakađ stórlega á síđustu áratugum. En hvor sem mönnum líkar ţađ betur eđa verr, skipar enskan nú ţann sess sem latínan hafđi á miđöldum.

Enginn getur komist áfram í lífinu á ţess ađ hafa ensku fullkomlega á valdi sínu. Og nćr allar kennslubćkur eru á ensku.

En vegna tungumálaerfiđleika voru (skv. Kerfi Jóns Erlendssonar) menn látnir skipta kennslubókunum á milli sín og skrifa glósur yfir torskilin orđ, nokkrar síđur hver mađur. Fengu allir glósurnar afhentar, en hver mađur hafđi innt af hendi mjög lítiđ vinnuframlag. Skildu ţví allir bćkurnar.

Í prófinu í janúar bađ ég menn ađ svara aukaspurningu og láta uppi álit sitt og ganrýni á námskeiđinu (í stađ núverandi kennslumats sem gert er áđur en námskeiđum lýkur!), og lofuđu nemendur mjög ţetta kerfi.

Ég styđ hugmyndir Jóns Erlendssonar í ţessum efnum eindregiđ. Ég hef í tćpa fjóra áratugi sífrađ yfir ţví hver nemendur skortir framtak til sjálfstćđrar vinnu. Ţví segi ég og skrifa sömu setninguna í upphafi hvers misseris: Allt háskólanám er sjálfsnám. En mig hefur skort bćđi vit og verkfrćđilega hugvitssemi til ţess ađ gera eitthvađ í málinu, -- ţangađ til ég kynntist Jóni Erlendssynbi og stórmerkum ađferđum hans. Hann hefur ýmislegt fleira á prjónunum, sem ég rćđi ekki hér.

Ţórir Kr. Ţórđarson