Here's What's Missing from a High School Physics Education

If you want to be a world leader in science and technology, it's important that your kids learn all about the science that makes technology work, right? Physics forms the backbone of our understanding of the universe, but our high school physics curriculum are more than a little lacking when it comes to things from the past 150 years.


MinutePhysics explains the situation perfectly in this open letter to the President, and while its hard to imagine Obama sitting down and watching YouTube videos, maybe the message will get to the right people sometime, somehow. In the meantime, might as well go bone up on some physics. [YouTube]


Not gonna work.

You can't just force feed modern physics in general and expect to produce great thinkers of history. First of all, every person thinks at a different pace. Some people just gets logic while others have a harder time and takes a while to get it. Second, people just think differently. Some people learn better from ground up; others prefer the top-down approach.

If this is implemented as a standard into school curriculum, you would basically be setting up most kids for failure. Maybe 10% of the kids will get it and they will be smart. But what about those 90% who didn't get it and ended up getting low grades? Think of how this will reflect on them when they try to apply for other jobs. Forcing that ham-handed approach is not going to work well for everyone.

I think of K-12 as a petri dish for children; a stage where you can set in the basics and start to see the potential in everyone. Some kids will be smarter than others and I believe parents and teachers should encouraged them to learn at a different level. Some kids will end up as just average, and certainly don't think there's anything wrong with that. I say let them have the chance to build up on other strengths.