A Teacher’s Response to Elon Musk’s Criticism of Public Schools

Elon MuskI recently received a question from a reader about Elon Musk’s recent comments on “traditional schools” and how he thinks they fail students. As a retired school teacher and current homeschool educator, this is an exceptionally relevant conversation that I am particularly qualified to address.

As I see it, Elon Musk has a few core concerns when it comes to traditional education. The objections he discusses most frequently tend to boil down to two major categories: problem solving and creative thinking. In a recent interview, Musk had this to say:

“It’s important to teach problem-solving. Let’s say you’re trying to teach how engines work. Now, a traditional way is to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches, which is a very difficult way to do it. A good approach would be like: Here’s an engine, let’s take it apart and how are we gonna do that? We need a screwdriver or a wrench for that. When we teach like this, something important happens, the relevance of the tools becomes apparent.”

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