But as Chad Orzel points out, it's unfair to paint the older physics as "boring", especially when a Newtonian approach is still very useful at the macro level. He also points out that getting people all fired up about "cool modern physics" à la Feynman or Tyson is a different business from showing them how to actually do and use physics.

In Britain, a couple of physics professors from Nottingham, while pleased to see some inclusion of modern physics in the prerequisite A-level courses, would like to see more. At the same time they realize that there's the risk of packing too much content into two years, not allowing students to properly grasp concepts. They mainly complain about how physics freshmen seem to struggle with math, partly as a result of physics-prep courses shying away from the use of calculus to derive basic physics concepts.

From Quebec to Japan, there has been an unfortunate downplay of algebra in high school math courses. I'm honestly clueless about what to do with a math curriculum for non-science bound students, but for those with an aptitude for math, science and engineering, a derivational approach with a barrel full of algebra leading to calculus should be the norm. It's ill-advised to expose those students to a mish-mash of topics in middle school and to a full grade 10 chapter of obscurities like the step-function.

The modern world is full of choices, spinning adolescent-heads in every direction. Ideally if there would be more young people who knew what they liked at an earlier age, they could take less courses and focus more on specific subjects. As for the danger of not creating well-rounded individuals, well that's what summers, winter vacations and spring break could be used for.

We're not likely to make up that deficit with a few humanities or general arts classes at the university level.