Rapper Kanye West pitched an education initiative Thursday that would “be a mix of education that empowers people and gives them modern information” during a meeting with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
The pitch came during a rambling, 10-minute monologue in which West also touched on his proposal to replace Air Force One with a hydrogen-fueled plane, declared that he had been misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder and commended the president for his efforts on criminal justice reform.
West would call the education initiative “Yeezy Ideation Centers.” (Yeezy is one of the rapper’s monikers.) A West representative did not respond to an immediate request for comment.
Here’s what West, whose late mother was a college professor, had to say about education: “I think it’d be cool to have Yeezy Ideation Centers, which would be a mix of education that empowers people and gives them modern information.”
“Like, sometimes people say this kid has ADD, this kid has ADD. He don’t have ADD, school is boring! It was boring, it’s not as exciting as this,” West said. “We have to make it more exciting, we have to mix curriculums to play basketball while you’re doing math.”
Teachers have, for decades, blended different disciplines in lessons. This approach, sometimes called integrative learning, urges teachers to design lessons that teach multiple subjects at once. A teacher might use theater and dancing to teach kindergartners math, or might blend lessons on the Great Depression with a project to raise funds for a food bank.
West is hardly the first person to think basketball could be a vehicle to teach math. Some curriculums use basketball analytics to teach statistics. A company called NBA Math Hoops has designed a board game and curriculum to teach math.
The Education Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has championed unconventional teaching, once highlighting a school science program housed within the Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Lincoln, Neb.
West attended Chicago State University, where his late mother was chair of the English department, but dropped out before he earned his degree. His first album, “The College Dropout,” launched him to fame.
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