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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 11:43 AM

Year 7 last lesson. Question from pupil, "Sir, what century is 2000?".

Me: "Erm.. 21st century - you remember what we did last lesson..."

Pupil: "Ah.. I thought you'd say that Sir. However if you look at this book it says that as Jesus was born in the year 0, the first century is the hundred years that follow."

Me: "Fair enough.."

Pupil: "So, this means that 0 to 100 is the first century.. meaning 101 to 200 is the second century... so surely then this means 2000 is the twentieth century?"

Later edit...

Sorry - got even more confused - the fire alarm went off and I had to evacuate. Anyway, the question still stands - which century is the year 2000 in?



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#2 Lindsay_Merrony

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 02:51 PM

2000 was the last year of the 20th Century. There is no such year as zero. How could we count from 'In the year of our Lord 0'.

The year before Christ was born was 1 B.C.

Christ was born (well at least we count time from this arbitry point) in Anno Domini 1.

1 to 100 is a set of 100 years. The first century A.D.

101 to 200 is the second set of 100 years (count 'em). The second centrury A.D.

and so on...

1901 to 2000 is the 20th set of one hundred years - 20th century A.D.

Here we are in 2002 - the second year of the 21st set of 100 years. It will end at 11.59:59, December 31st 2100. Or maybe sooner, but thats a different issue.


I hate those books and posters that have Christs birth stated as 'A.D. 0'

http://www.astronomy...com/millennium/

Still, the student in your class asked you a better question than one in mine. "Sir, which century were you born in"?

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#3 Stephen Drew

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 03:42 PM

Lindsay is correct.:D

This is of course a bit like the thing about celebrating the new millenium a year early as we did on January 1st 2000 when it did not start until Jan 1st 2001. :angry:
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#4 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 04:27 PM

I always go with 0-99 as the first century, the first hundred years of the common era.

My reckoning is this - it's like a 100m race - the race time doesn't start at 1, it starts at 0.
The first second of the race goes UP to 0.999, then they are into the second second, 1.000-1.999.

So the first year couldn't start, mathematically at 1ad. You could say in the 'First Year', and each month being 1/0, 2/0, 3/0.....11/0, 12/0, until the next year, the 'Second Year' which would be Year 1 ad.

To say the millenium started in 2001 would mean that we'd haveto stop saying first century for 0-99ad, second for 100-199ad, nineteenth for 1800-1899 etc etc.

I'm sure there's loads of websites for and against this, but I'm against the cranks on this.

When you are born, you are 0. You have your first birthday at the start of your second year, not your first. If I was born on 01/01/1900, when would I have lived 100 years? On first Jan 2000, or 2001?
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#5 Nichola Boughey

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 04:31 PM

Andrew -

We drew a timeline on the board and placed important periods and famous historical people on it. I then asked the class to write about one famous person off the board.

One girl went on to describe Cleopatra - the all British girl band, how they sing and the fact that they like to dance.

Centuries were suddenly the last thing on my mind...

:blink:

#6 Lana

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 05:15 PM

From one of my Y9 girls:

"Mee-iss, why do we have to study history anyway? What's the point of going into stuff that's already in the past?"

followed immediately (and before I could respond) by

"Mee-iss, why is that President Bush going to declare war on Iraq anyway?"


Maybe its just that their brains work too fast for me to keep up...

;)

#7 A Finemess

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 05:21 PM

A hoary old chestnut this one! Lindsay is right though. All to do with the absence of the concept of zero when whatever Council (Nicea?) established the year of birth of JoN. At least you can tell all your pupils for the next several years that they have the honour of being born in the same century as yourself. Confuse them even more by telling them that JoN was born in 7A.D. (or was it B.C.?) Watch their eyes roll back into their heads as they grapple with the concept! All to do with an error in their calculations apparently!

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#8 Andrew Field

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 06:28 PM

Thanks for this. I was persuaded by other teachers a few years ago that 2000 was part of the twenty-first century, and hadn't thought about it since. Good explanation.

I must admit I told the kids about JoN being born in 7AD, so the whole thing was by-the-by anyway!

Wasn't there also some monk who got all the dates wrong anyway and we're actually in (either - I can't remember) 1600 or 2060ish?

:huh:


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#9 Dafydd Humphreys

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 06:47 PM

I'm confused, Andrew - who do you agree with? :blink:
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#10 Lesley Ann

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 07:14 PM

thought JC was born in 6BC or 4BC?
Now that confuses them? B)
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#11 Stephen Drew

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 07:36 PM

Time is but a relative concept invented by Fascist / Communist (take your pick!) dictators to enslave the masses with their lies and propaganda.:blink:

I am thinking of adopting what is known in my school as 'Year 11 time'. This is when the minute that is 2.00pm when Period 5 starts after lunch can last for anything up to 13 minutes!

Indeed what is particularly good about this method of time organisation is that the older you get in the school the longer the opening minute of the lesson lasts. So whereas for the Year 7s the first minute of the lesson lasts but 60 seconds, by Year 9 it has extended to anything up to six minutes, for Year 10 it has reached up to 9 minutes, but for Year 11 it is the aforementioned 13 minutes.

Of course as a 29yr old who is effectively in Year 24, I believe that the first minute of the lesson now lasts the full hour, so I can avoid turning up at all to teach my Year 10s without being late! :P
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#12 Lesley Ann

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 07:58 PM

now that is confusing!

I found this gem when teaching RE

'God finished creation at 9am on Friday 23rd October 4004 BC'
Calculated by Archbishop Ussher in C17th
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#13 Nichola Boughey

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 08:04 PM

Right now I pity the poor kids that all of us teach.

Maybe we should just leave timelines out of our SOW from now on...

:D :lol:

#14 Andrew Field

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 08:22 PM

This is good though - it shows there are a number of different ways that things are considered - a helpful introduction to historiography!

Both arguments ring true - Dafydd's concept of a race and ages, where time starts at 0 and goes up. This would seem the most obvious.

However, the idea that 1-100 is the first century seems to make sense too.

They are quite an able set, so I think I'll print out these comments and let them decide next lesson!

As for what I believe - I think the Millenium should have been celebrated twice to keep everyone happy. :rolleyes:


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#15 Andrew Field

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Posted 16 September 2002 - 08:25 PM

.. However, I'm also confused as I'm waiting for our new computer to be delivered.

I'm promised delivery from Dell between 6pm and 10pm. It's now 21:26.

Will it arrive???

The pigs don't seem too near to take-off....

:angry: :angry: :angry:


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