Here, the teacher either doesn't understand how to do math problems very well, or she didn't give it a passing thought despite his answer and diagram, and also may have wanted to mark him wrong to prove a point that he's not infallible and/or not at as high a level as his testing and previous learning suggests.

Certainly possible, but IMO, the more likely explanation is that she wants him to think in the same way I described--"What is the answer the teacher wants me to give?" because she knows it will serve him in the education system. She doesn't want him to overcomplicate things or to think outside the box on a question that was intended to be simple.

We have run into various versions of this ourselves, and I agree that it's frustrating and that a better teacher would respond differently. I still remember an essay on "What Being An American Means to Me" I had to write in 6th grade; I said I was too young to know this or to have any perspective on the question. I had a good teacher, and she loved it and gave me an A, but I could have been failed.

Edited by ultramarina (12/09/11 12:14 PM)