An Obsesrvation of Sorts III


100619_142317_0.pngAn Observation of Sorts III -

In the last two blog entries, I have tried to write about the standards used to define units of measurement and weight and temperature. While I am not an expert, I do know what I am able to observe.

What does any of this, or all of this, have to say about education in the new classroom? From the content of the last two blog entries, it is possible to make a conclusion. That conclusion could very well be that the agencies responsible for the standards for units of measurement do in fact define them with ever-increasing precision. On the other hand, the implementation of those standards is without precision and is best represented as haphazard.

In fact, I might go a step further. I might even suggest that the implementation of the standards has been turned over to commercial interests who use those standards to refine their own practice, and perhaps increase their own profit. In some ways this implementation where the profit motive of the big companies who use the standards has become dangerous.   We do not in fact know what measurements are being used in any particular way.  In many ways, this feels as if the corporate world has taken control over the sensibilities of consumers.

But more importantly, how does this impact the world of the new classroom? Teachers and the current classroom move between standards of measurement with little attention to the learning needs of the students. This kind of relativism makes teaching a challenge.

It would seem then that the new classroom would adopt a single set of standards for measurements and weights and temperatures. Then teachers could teach one system, without having to unlearn, relearn and then repeat the learning every year.

Educators frequently lament the condition of science in the modern world, or at least the condition of science and modern American schools. I had read that Americans are among the most scientifically illiterate citizens of the world, despite our attempts to use STEM education as a tool to improve science knowledge.

I am always stuck answering the question about how science (or any subject for that matter) could be improved if students weren't forced to move between multiple systems of measurements.

I have heard it said that it is a good thing for students in high school to have different teacher expectations so that they learn to adjust. That is a valid claim, however, it loses validity when taken to the extreme.  Students, and teachers alike, benefit when they know the ground rules, when they have a standard operating system that they understand and can use.


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