One too many wrong premises on this well crafted plot. I agree the teacher is right. But you are wrong; a x b = b x a. Your fundamental premise is based on reading Wikipedia article in a way that fits your view point of how to read 3 x 5(as 3 times 5). Even Wikipedia article is correct — it says a x b as as many copies of ‘one of them’ as the ‘other’. Note that it does not say , ‘as many copies of second operand as the first operand’.

The Order in multiplication is irrelevant. Repeated addition is ONLY a strategy for explaining multiplication.

This might not be so obvious but maths is not taught in English everywhere. a X b is NOT read as a (times) b. When I learnt maths in Malayalam, my teacher read it as 3(gunam) 5 — roughly translated 3 multiplied with 5. She was quick to add that 3 x 5 = 5 x 3.

I completely at a loss when you brought up the “4” == 4 analogy using a weakly typed programming language for reference. In programming ONLY 4 ==4. Because JavaScript is weakly typed it needs an additional operator “===” to qualify the equivalence including type.

So, does “Four” == 4 ?

Now, why is the teacher right?

Teacher is right. This is a test. Context is what was taught. What was taught was how to use different multiplication strategies in a structured way to add meaning to mathematical symbols. Student either is a rebel or did not pay attention in the class.

Student is right because of mathematical reasons.

Again, it seems only you are wrong :)