In our rush to cover 'everything' there is often little time to develop genuine understanding of the math we teach and, in this case, I think I'm being generous to my daughter's teacher. I don't think she understood the concept of rotation herself and so could not answer the question meaningfully. All too often though, especially in math, we want children to remember things, for later, without fully understanding them. This seems to be what Mr Gove, the current Education Secretary in the UK seems to want teachers in that country to do. "A mountain of data" his critics say, to be memorized by rote. Facts to be learned without any sense of what they mean or when they should be used. Things are so bleak that the teachers' union has passed a lack of confidence vote in the Education Secretary and HM Inspector of Schools chief.
Their goal is to have an education system that is "robust and rigorous", words that always seem to mean lots of fact retention and memorization especially in math. "Back to the basics" yet again; a basic lack of understanding. I call it the "Because It Is" curriculum.