## We Tell Students To Distrust Common Sense, Then We Criticize Them For Their Inability To Use Common Sense: a Comment on Archiv:1003.4288

**Authors:** Ron Bourgoin

The authors of Archiv:1003.4288 study a student named "Jim".
"Jim" displays a propensity for believing his mathematical
solutions rather than what his common sense tells him. He is
a student taking an introductory physics class. The authors
wonder why mathematical solutions take precedence over
common sense. In this brief note we cite as the root cause
of the problem the fact that we tell our students to distrust
their common sense. When we arrive at relativity theory,
for example, we inform our students that common sense
is useless in relativity theory. We tell them that common
sense is useless in quantum mechanics. Is it any wonder
our students believe whatever the math tells them?

**Comments:** 2 pages

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### Submission history

[v1] 3 Mar 2010

**Unique-IP document downloads:** 88 times

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