As some of you may know, I watch the occasional Ellen show.
Recently, Justin Bieber was on. If you don’t know who he is, ask any girl under 22 about him.
He has sold lots of “albums” (or is it downloads?), concert tickets and I think he is also finding talent and signing them to his own record label.
Ellen asked him about his education, since he’s only 18.
He said something like, Well, I study when I’m tour and doing all my work to learn the stuff I need to know.
Ellen asked, What do you mean?
He said, Well, I don’t need to know stuff like what is x + Q-squared. Who does? I’m learning things that are important to what I’m doing to make money, like how to negotiate contracts and have business meetings and such.
Ellen said, Yeah, You know, I’ve been around for a while and I can honestly say that I have never used x + Q-squared either.
You could claim this was a small sample size of two folks who have had good success in show biz and not everybody is like that.
But, I’ve worked in engineering and finance — two fields that do require a good working knowledge of math. I don’t think I’ve used x + Q-squared either or most of the math beyond high school algebra.
I think Justin and Ellen are on to something. Maybe kids should be in the classroom less. Maybe they need fewer extracurricular activities. Maybe kids beyond elementary or middle school should get a job, learn a trade, start a band, or start businesses and use school to learn more about how to be productive at those activities.