Twelve Things I Wish They Taught at School
1.I attended junior and senior high school，public institution in New York and New Jersey，just after the Second World War. It seems a long time ago.The facilities and skills of the teachers were probably well above average for the United States at that time.Since then，i''ve learned a great deal. One of the most important thing i''ve learned is how much there is to learn，and how much I don''t yet know. Sometimes I think how grateful i would be today if I had learned more back then about what really matter. In some respects educations is terribly narrow；the only thing I ever learned in school about Napoleons was that the United States made a Louisianna Purchase from him（On a planet where some 95% of the inhabitants are not Americans，the only history that was thought worth teaching was American history.）In spelling， grammar，the fundamentals of math，and other vital subjects，my teachers did a pretty good job.But there''s no much else I wish they''d taught us.
2.Perhaps all the deficiencies have since been rectified.It seems to me there are many things（often more a matter of attitude and perception than the simple memorization of facts）that the schools should teach——things that truly would be useful in later life，useful in making a stronger country and a better world，but useful also in making people happier. Human beings enjoy learning. That''s one of the few things that we do better than the other species on our planet. Every student should regulary experience the “Aha！”——when something you never understood，or something you never knew was mystery becomes clear.
3.So here''s my list：Pick a difficult thing and learn it well
4.The Greek philosopher Socrates said this was one of the greatest of human joys，and it is. While you learn a little bit about many subjects，make sure you learn a great deal about one or two. It hardly matters what the subject is，as long as it deeply interests you，and you place it in its broader human context. After you teach yourself one subject，you become much more confident about your ability to teach yourself another. You gradually find you''ve acquired a key skill. The world is changing so rapidly that you must continue to teach yourself throughout your life. But don''t get trapped by the first subject that interests you，or the first thing you find yourself good at. The world is full of wonders，and some of them we don''t discover until we''re all grow up. Most of them. sadly，we never discover.
Don''t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions.
5.Many apparently naive inquiries like why grass is green，or why the Sun is round，or why we need 55.000 nuclear weapons in the world ——are really deep questions. The answers can be a gateway to real insights. It''s also important to know，as well as you can，what it is that you don''t know，and asking questions is the way. To ask “stupid” questions requires courage on the part of the asker and knowledge and patience on the part of the answerer. And don''t confine your learning to schoolwork. Discuss ideas in depth with friends. It''s much braver to ask questions even when there''s a prospect of ridicule than to suppress your questions and become deadened to the world around you.
6.Many conversations are a kind of competition that rarely leads to discovery on either side. When people are talking，don''t spend the time thinking about what you''re going to say next. Instead，try to understand what they''re saying，what experience is behind their remarks，what you can learn from or about them. Older people have grown up in a world very different from yours，one you may not know very well. They. and people from other parts of the country and from other nations，have important perspectives that can enrich your life.
Everybody makes mistakes
7.Everybody''s understanding is incomplete. Be open to correction，and learn to correct your own mistakes. The only embarrassment is in not learning from your mistakes.
Know your planet
8.It''s the only one we have. Learn how it works. We''re changing the atmosphere，the surface，the waters of the Earth，often for some short-term advantage when the long-term implications are unknow. The citizens of any country should have at least something to say about the direction in which we''re going. If we don''t understand the issues，we abandon the future.
Science and technology.
9.You can''t know your planet unless you know something about science and technology. School science courses，I remember，concentrated on the unimportant parts of science，leaving the major insights almost untouched. The great discoveries in modern science are also great discoveries of the human spirit. For example，Copernicus showed that ——far frombeing the center of the universe，about which the Sun，the Moon，the planets，and the stars revolved in clockwise homage——the Earth is just one of many small worlds. This is a deflation of our pretensions，to be sure，but it is also the opening up to our view of a vast and awesome universe. Every high school graduate should have some idea of the insights of Copernicus，Newton，Darwin，Freud，and Einstein. （Einstein''s special theory of relativity，far from being obscure and exceptionally difficult，can be understood in its basics with no more than first-year algebra，and the notion of a rowboat in a river going upstream and downstream.）
Don''t spend your life watching TV.
10.You know what I''m Talking about.
11.Gain some exposure to the great works of liturature，art and music. If such a work is hundreds or thousands of years old and is still admired，there is probably something to it. Like all deep experiences，it may take a little work on your part to discover what all the fuss is about. But once you make the effort，your life has changed；you''ve acquired a source of enjoyment and excitement for the rest of your days. In a world as tightly connected as ours is，don''t restrict your attention to American or western culture. Learn how and what people elsewhere think. Learn something of their history，their religion，their viewpoints.
12.Many people believe that we live in an extraordinarily selfish time. But there is a hollowness，a loneliness that comes from living only for yourself. Humans are capable of great mutual compassion，love and tenderness. These feelings，however，need encouragement to grow.
13.Look at the delight a one-or two- year old takes in learning，and you see how powerful is the human will to learn. Our passion to understand the universe and our compassion for others jointly provide the chief hope for the human race.