Elon Musk is not a fan of conventional schooling and isn’t shy to talk about it either. He is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors and chairman of SolarCity. Back in 2014, Elon Musk said during an interview, ‘I think a lot of things that people learn probably there’s no point in learning them because that they never use them in the future because kids just in school kinda puzzled as to why they’re there.’
Elon Musk has also explained that his experience in the school – public school – was nothing short of horrible filled with bullying and lessons that were far from interesting or valuable. Probably that is why Musk is least bothered with whether his employees have degrees or not. He has already said, ‘There’s no need even to have a college degree, or even high school really. If someone graduates from a good university that may be an indication that they are capable of great things, but that is not necessarily the case.’
Musk has also used Twitter for raising his concerns. A tweet that said, ‘You can’t succeed in life without a degree. That’s why you need schooling if you want to go to Harvard’, got the following response from him, ‘That’s not true. Don’t confuse schooling with education. I didn’t go to Harvard, but the people that work for me did.’
Musk is also practicing what he preaches and didn’t opt for conventional schooling for his children. Back in 2015, he said that he had made a school for his children; ‘I didn’t see the regular schools doing the things I thought should be done…Some people love English or languages. Some people love math. Some people love music. Different abilities, different times. It makes more sense to cater the education to match their aptitudes and abilities.’
He firmly believes that the approach of conventional schooling – memorizing and regurgitating answers – is not as important as is the hands-on experience. He said, ‘It’s important to teach problem-solving or teach to the problem and not the tools. Let’s say you’re trying to teach people about how engines work. A more traditional approach would be saying, ‘we’re going to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches.’ This is a very difficult way to do it.’
What do you think? Is conventional schooling as important as it is publicized to be? Or maybe we should be more focused on how to best nourish the child’s brain in a manner that enables the kid to pursue his or her dreams – something that isn’t possible with conventional schooling? Do let us know!