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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Why Do We Need Kindergarten?

abc and crayons on bookI really like teaching kindergarten! Thus, I began teaching kindergarten with a huge hole in my repertoire. You may really jump start their learning with even a single year of the kindergarten that really pre-teaches. These can obviously be based on the age of your own kindergarten class along with your school’s curriculum.

It is significant that a kid learns early that the world does not and will not revolve around him or her alone, and it aids the child to learn that we live in a multicultural society full of various different types of people. (more…)

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