Do you ever wonder what a technology titan like Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX) thinks about the way we teach our kids math?
When asked about his ideas for improving innovation in education today, Musk lamented that “teachers do not explain why kids are being taught a subject,” during a recent interview at the ISS R&D conference in Washington, D.C.
“You just sort of get dumped into math. Why are you learning that? It seems like, ‘Why am I being asked to do these strange problems?'” Musk said. “The why of things is extremely important because our brain is evolved to discard information that it thinks is irrelevant.”
Musk suggested that the focus of math education be on solving specific problems, like taking an engine apart or launching a satellite into orbit. “Tying math to solving a problem, I think, is very powerful for establishing relevance and getting kids excited about what they are working on and having the knowledge stick.”
The tech entrepreneur’s opinion carries some serious weight, as Musk has shown that he can learn new skills in almost any field of study. He has followed up building his fortune as a founder of PayPal with starting TESLA Motors and SpaceX, both of which he is currently CEO.
Musk is currently focused on getting a manned SpaceX rocket to Mars and making humanity a multi-planetary species.
You can check out the full interview and learn more about Musk’s thoughts on education, solar power, and reusable rockets: