It is completely backwards that we first teach children Newtons laws of physics, folk- “common sense” and day to day knowledge that is not directly what we want them to know best. For example, how does Newtons laws help someones ability to learn quantum physics? I would argue it is less than helpful to our ability to learn quantum physics to first learn Newtonian physics and knowledge about the day to day world we generally consider “common sense”.
The real definition of “common sense” should be what is actually sensical, like how the universe works, which is quantum physics and relativity. The folk-version of “common sense” is that quantum physics is none-sensical, that quantum physics is not logical, yet, it is so, it is a fact, atoms function that way, so it should be considered “common sense” to everyone, even if it takes effort to understand it, even if it culturally counter-intuitive today. Because when you understand quantum physics, everything makes sense, like of course you don’t kick a dense object like a rock even though its mostly empty space, because the rock has the energy released in a nuclear bomb so moving it has to add a lot of energy, energy your toe might not be able to handle. Electricity, magnetism, movement, chemistry, weather, geology, nuclear physics, biology, evolution, history, evolutionary psychology, logic, reason, it all benefits greatly, perhaps most, from just quantum physics and relativity (quantum physics is everything, except gravity, pretty much).
It is then a real question, why don’t we teach the most important stuff, that which explains everything we know, first? A child learns to speak in 2 years, and can understand chess at age 3, surely a child can understand quantum physics and its mathematical formula that fits on a pencil before the child begins school. We should at least try a few thousand methods for learning quantum physics to children before we say it is impossible. Having the understanding of quantum physics engrained in everyone from an early age would be a better economic and intellectual stimulus package than there ever has been, because the quantum world is the future.
Nano-technology is chemistry by using quantum mechanics to find conditions where materials like carbon nanotubes self-assemble from normal pencil-carbon, and carbon nanotubes are the strongest material there ever will exist in the universe due to quantum physics. Microscopic engines, microscopic machines, intelligent drugs, super-computers that make the computers of today look like triple A batteries compared to a nuclear powerplant, self-assembling products, self-designing products, are just some of the benefits we will see from quantum physics over the next century. But it won’t happen if we go over two decades before we learn quantum physics, and if some go without understanding quantum physics all their lives. It would be like we today had people that went two decades or more of their lives without the ability to add and subtract, the world would not be able to function if that was the case (the simplest economics would be out of reach, even farmers that grow all their own food need a basic understanding of economics today, and that includes basic mathematics).
The world of the future will depend on everyone knowing their quantum mechanics and relativity. If not by heart in their head, they must be able to understand it equally well as we do adding and subtracting on paper today. Even if we can not add and subtract everything in our heads, we can calculate it on paper, and know the entire causal logic behind what we are doing, and why the result is what it is, and even if we add and subtract thousands of numbers, we still understand it even if we can’t imagine the numbers.
That 2+2 equals 4 was not a part of folk common sense at one time, but it became so, now we need to make M*C^2 equals E common sense, as well as the slightly more complex quantum mechanics formulas.