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What if a teacher told your DC she was wrong, when really, she was right? - Page 6

post #101 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
One can also say that the scientist are working on converting matter into energy and vice versa. But even when it's done it will be a conversion, and "E" won't equal "M" all of a sudden. "Something" will have to happen to change one into another, something will have to convert "energy" we can't see into little particles of "matter" we can. The difference is still there, and the next Einstein will have to have a good grasp on those differences to actually do this discovery.
As someone else pointed out, you give the impression that matter has never been converted to energy or vice versa, but that is simply not true. Consider as the simplest example what happens when a proton and anti-proton collide - they annihilate and matter equal to twice the proton mass is converted to energy. A reverse process happens in photo-pair production, when a photon of sufficient energy creates an electron and anti-electron - energy has been converted into twice the electron mass.

Many more complex examples from particle physics exist. For example, photo-pion production, in which a proton and a photon can interact to produce a pion. The mass of the pion results from the conversion of energy to matter. For this reason, matter and energy are frequently taken to be interchangeable in physics. In fact you will often see the "c^2" omitted from equations entirely, and particle masses quoted in units of MeV (energy).
post #102 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katfka View Post
I actually remembered the context last night - we were making paper, and she said that paper money was made from trees. That it was made from wood pulp.
So that would be incorrect.

I'm still in contact with that specific wonderful teacher, she made it into a learning experience.

The answers that reflect 'dont question authority' and 'you dont want your daughters teacher to get a chip on her shoulder' make me really, really sad. Teaching that concept to a little kid makes me cringe.
Well in that case your teacher was just wrong. It made a much better correlation to the OP's situation the way I originally understood it though.
post #103 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Strictly speaking, matter is not converted into energy during nuclear fusion, it's released. Energy is stored in matter, and nuclear reaction is a release of that energy. When the nucleus of certain elements is "broken" the energy is released, it's not "created" or "converted".
Energy is stored in matter and can be released. This is what happens when you burn a log. The energy stored inside the log is given off as heat and light. When you burn a log there is no loss of matter. All the matter that was contained in the log before still exists as matter, though a lot is given off as gases, water vapor, etc. The point is everything that was matter before burning the log is still matter afterwards and everything that was (stored) energy is still energy afterwards. This is a completely different process from a nuclear reaction (the nuclear reaction in the Hydrogen bomb is fission, breaking atoms, not fusion, putting atoms together, by the way). In a nuclear reaction the atomic structure is changed. A part of what was matter before ceases to exist as matter after because it is, strictly speaking, converted into energy. My understanding of the theory is that the sum total of energy AND matter in the universe is constant with none ever being created or destroyed, but one can change into the other. The equation E=Mc2 can be thought of as a conversion formula. It tells me how much energy I will get if I convert a specific amount (mass) of matter.
post #104 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
Does anyone else just want this thread to end?

Maybe this will give those of you who want it some closure.

DD took the book in today-- her choice. I told her not to say much (not "My mom said . . ." like she WAS going to say) except maybe "This is where I got my information."

The book was not in her backpack when she got home. I asked her why, and she happily reported the teacher was going to read the book to the class tomorrow. I think that made DD feel really good . . .not any sort of "vindication" or anything, but because she loves Magic School Bus and is so pleased to have it shared with the class. I think that action by the teacher demonstrates that she is trying to help DD have a sense of belonging in the classroom. I very much appreciate that.

I also told DD that apparently, the topic is debated among scientists, but if she wanted to discuss it further, a good person to chat with would be her friend's father who is a physicist. She was satisfied with that.

And all I can say is that I am just amazed at the level of discussion brought to this thread (albeit much of it was like another language to me . . .). Just another reason I am thankful MDC exists.

Thanks, everyone!
I am so glad to hear that! And congratulations to your dd for having the courage and determination to bring in the book and talk to the teacher herself. Good for her!
post #105 of 129
When dh was in elementary school, his teacher one year did a lesson on light. She turned off the classroom lights and closed the blinds, but left the hallway door open. "Look, children," she said. "We can still see. Light is coming in through the door. But look! That light is coming into the hallway from windows that aren't in a straight line with our door. Therefore, light bends!" Somehow she had never come across the idea that light is reflected off of surfaces. Instead she thought light turned corners. I doubt that this is an totally unusual belief for elementary school teachers (and other non-science oriented people) to hold. A lot of people probably haven't really thought about it much. That doesn't tend to be a problem unless you're then passing on this "knowledge."

My real point in telling this story is that dh has a Ph.D. in physics now, and was strongly interested in science even back then. He clearly remembers this day. I believe he actually knew at the time that she was wrong, but I can't remember if he argued with her or not. It's hard to picture him not arguing about it, but I think that it's certainly true that kids who are very interested in science (or math, or any other content area) can probably benefit from learning when it's helpful to try to have a discussion about something with a teacher and when it's not. It can be so hard, because especially to kids, it can seem like, "Well, *I* find this fascinating. Doesn't everyone else?" It also depends a lot on the teacher. I think discussions at home about how to decide whether it seems better to drop something during a classroom discussion and then pick it up again at home could help. You could even share this cartoon with her. I'm sure it's familiar to a lot of us.

And in terms of "She's wrong, so she needs to learn to cope with being told that," well, sure, if the OP's dd is really sensitive to being wrong, it would be great for her to find ways of coping with that. At the same time, though, even if she had been wrong beyond the shadow of a doubt (which is clearly not the case, considering the length of this thread ), it really wouldn't take a lot of insight for the teacher to realize where she's gotten this idea. I would expect that the teacher's been exposed to E=MC^2 at some point. Wouldn't it be more helpful to respond in a way that honors the child's attempt to make connections and figure things out? Isn't that the whole idea behind "show your work"?
post #106 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
Does anyone else just want this thread to end?

Maybe this will give those of you who want it some closure.
I get where you are coming from; I think some of the answers here got a little heated, especially the ones where people wanted you to know that your daughter was wrong. It's encouraging that her teacher is willing to explore this more. For me the issue really would be trying to explain to my child the nature of the classroom, and how the curriculum is designed with a certain set of answers in mind, and the teachers teach those answers. I'm sure many of us remember similar things from our own days in school. I remember getting a spelling word marked as incorrect when it was misspelled on the original spelling list. When I pointed it out to the teacher, he was not all that interested in looking it up to double check. I think it's great when there can be more exploration and discussion, but sometimes that just isn't going to happen.

Recently my daughter was a little miffed when one of her math answers was marked as wrong. It asked, "How many squares do you see?" She wrote down how many she saw, not how many there were. She felt like since the question was worded that way, she shouldn't get it wrong. Normally I would think she was being a little too literal in her interpretation, but I sided with her that time. I told her she had a good point, and that was the end of it, but I think it's great that in this situation your daughter was willing to pursue it, and the teacher was willing to consider the topic further.
post #107 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
How is one to change the world and revolutionize scientific world if they simply accept basic definitions without questioning them?
I think to question, you have to understand the definition in the first place, otherwise, what is it that you are going to question, kwim?

I am not anti-research, or against breaking the rules in science. I did start a thread on how science will change in 100 years from now in ToA couple of months ago, where we discussed how what we know today will be completely turned upside down, and how science will evolve in the next century.

On a side note, glad to hear that the teacher read the book in class. What a great resolution for everyone involved.

P.S. Mass zero was interpreted as "no mass", photons do not fall or follow laws of gravity, as matter does (because it does have mass). You can't just "put them in a jar" as you can with matter. One way or another, even Einstein made a joke regarding photons, that if someone tells you they understand what photons are, they are not really truthful

P.P.S. Best thread ever!
post #108 of 129
*misunderstood a post* got it now
post #109 of 129
Quote:
photons do not fall or follow laws of gravity, as matter does (because it does have mass).
wait... isn't this what black holes are all about? No light escapes because the gravity is so strong?
post #110 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
wait... isn't this what black holes are all about? No light escapes because the gravity is so strong?
Yes. In Newtonian physics, light is unaffected by gravity because photons are massless. But that is not the whole story. In relativistic gravitation, the effect of gravity is to curve the space around it, and with it the trajectory of planets, photons, and everything else. Gravitational lensing is one example of how the effects of gravity on light have been observed.

Also, you *can* put photons in a jar. Just line your jar with something reflective.
post #111 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by TortelliniMama View Post
. You could even share this cartoon with her. I'm sure it's familiar to a lot of us.
That cartoon totally made me :

That is soo me! :

Thanks for the smile!
post #112 of 129
It depends on the teacher. Personally, I would love it if a child came in, showed me where I was wrong, and gave me the chance to re-explain something in class.

At the same time, the teacher's question was "what's the matter?" It almost sounds like, "What's wrong?" Are your sure your daughter didn't misunderstand the question? (I have only read the first message. I'll read more. This is just my initial thought)
post #113 of 129
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your continued thoughts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBronsil View Post
It depends on the teacher. Personally, I would love it if a child came in, showed me where I was wrong, and gave me the chance to re-explain something in class.

At the same time, the teacher's question was "what's the matter?" It almost sounds like, "What's wrong?" Are your sure your daughter didn't misunderstand the question? (I have only read the first message. I'll read more. This is just my initial thought)
No. The teacher asked "What is matter?" The other students had no idea, and where saying things such as "What is the matter?" and "What's wrong?" She told my DH (he had a conference with her that day but not about this) that she was impressed that DD said "energy" because (and I do not know the exact wording here-- just the impression I got from my DH) while not the correct answer, at least it was related to science. Don't hold me to what she said exactly, but that is part of why I have a feeling that the teacher may not have even considered that DD's answer was even in the ballpark of being correct.

But let's not open up that can of worms again!
post #114 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
Thanks everyone for your continued thoughts.
No. The teacher asked "What is matter?" The other students had no idea, and where saying things such as "What is the matter?" and "What's wrong?" She told my DH (he had a conference with her that day but not about this) that she was impressed that DD said "energy" because (and I do not know the exact wording here-- just the impression I got from my DH) while not the correct answer, at least it was related to science. Don't hold me to what she said exactly, but that is part of why I have a feeling that the teacher may not have even considered that DD's answer was even in the ballpark of being correct.

But let's not open up that can of worms again!
After reading a few other posts, I see what you mean.

I still think my point stands. As a teacher, I love it when I'm wrong. I recently posted that it's not me who makes my children work, but them who make me work. They ask questions that prove I'm stupid and I have to take the time to find out the answers

And I love it when a 5 year old knows I am wrong about something I said and can show me. It's a great learning experience for them, too. If the teacher ever gave my child a hard time for helping to correct them, they'd hear from me VERY quickly.
post #115 of 129
Too bad more teachers aren't like you. I'm sure plenty are, but there are plenty of teachers (also insert 'adults in general' ) who don't take a child correcting them very well. We've had to deal with this with DD, just not with teachers. Adults telling her she's wrong with the tone "I'm older and that means I'm the one who's right so stop being stubborn."
post #116 of 129
A friend of mine talked about her daughter who corrected her first grade teacher's names of shapes on the first week of school. "That's not an egg shape - that's an oval. An ovoid is more like an egg shape."

She said it was a hard first grade year
post #117 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBronsil View Post
A friend of mine talked about her daughter who corrected her first grade teacher's names of shapes on the first week of school. "That's not an egg shape - that's an oval. An ovoid is more like an egg shape."

She said it was a hard first grade year
Talk about hard first year... in first grade DD learned the meaning of the phrase "Don't patronize me!" Suffice to say her teacher had to be very careful about how she corrected DD that year.
post #118 of 129
I read through most of this, and as an English teacher all of the science talk went right over my head, LOL.

Suggestion: all future discussions with the teacher should be over the phone or in person. SO much can get lost in the written word. I would also discuss how your child is feeling in the class, etc.

My son had a certain 3rd grade teacher and it was an election year. One of the questions on the test was ______________ will be electing a new president this year. The teacher wanted the answer: The government. Well, she and I went round and round about that. My son KNEW that answer was wrong so he put citizens and it was marked wrong. She refused to change the grade even after a one hour conversation about the political system in this country (I am a poli sci minor, dh is a poli sci major who used to be a political columnist. Politics are often discussed in our house, LOL). She actually told me my son was learning too much at home!

However, when my 1st dd was in third grade, the test had been changed. Oh, and neither of my girls have had her as their teacher. :smile:
post #119 of 129
lol... I would have been angry that the answer wasn't "voters" ... although, with the way the last few elections have gone, she may have been right...
post #120 of 129
I was going to say - the teacher was officially wrong, but technically...? :
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