Why Do We Lie To Students?

Minute Physics points us to a fact that I’ve always wondered about.  Why do we lie to young physics students?


I recognize that general relativity is not the easiest thing for an 8th grader to wrap her head around, but why not tell the truth?  Why not preface everything with “What I am about to teach you is a lie.  It just happens to be a good enough lie that it will work for most of what you will have to do.”?  And then at least show them the truth.  Or at least the truth as we know it now.  (Come on, unified field theory!)  Having to unwind years of “truth” can be very difficult.  Letting kids know that the truth is out there even if we don’t teach it to them in full now could lead to a much brighter scientific future for the world!