Education matters

The benefit for education is an important but often ignored reason for completing the UK’s metric changeover. Metric Views welcomes a new report that has recently appeared on the subject, entitled “Metrication in education”. Our article includes a link to download the report.The author, Alan Young also known a Dr Metric, has provided this introduction to his new report.

“As many of you know, I strongly believe now more than ever that we must make MPs aware of the situation because they are the only ones who can change the road signs and legislate for the retail sector. Complaining to each other will stimulate us to continue the fight, but unless we can target the decision makers big time, we will continue to get nowhere.

This is why I have written my latest document, ‘Metrication and Education’. You can download it by going to http://www.drmetric.com/education/ and clicking on the link to the pdf document. If everyone who is on this theme printed out a copy and sent it to their MP, that would be quite a lot of MPs made aware of the situation.

In this document, I have tried to cover all the aspects of the effect of the continued use of medieval units on our children’s education and answer most of the common objections to metrication, thus (I hope) giving you much ammunition. It is 106 pages long, but is presented in the form of a report and has a good many illustrations and photographs.

Please let me know how you get on. I hope this helps.

Alan Young
DrMetric.com”

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7 Responses to Education matters

  1. Jack Black says:

    Stop Press
    AutoExpress have invented the abbreviation "mpl" to describe fuel economy ranking.
    That's right, miles per litre, had to happen in mishmash UK. Not even mi/L. A debasement of science from the liberal arts muppets that brought you kph. There really is no hope for YUCK, so hate it and leave it.
    Jack, Japan. Currently wintering in Penang

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  2. Stan says:

    A very interesting document certainly.

    I do wonder though whether there has been any serious study about the interaction of children learning in school with their experience in the world outside the classroom. Children don't stop learning once they go home or are not doing their homework.

    Mathematics in particular suffers from that ivory tower effect where children seldom relate their academic experience to the practical problems of everyday life. They tend to learn the subject in a vacuum.

    Give an able mathematics student sums to do, or equations to solve etc, presented as they normally are during exercises in class or at home and in tests in the exams room and they generally do quite well. Then try giving them real world problems and leave them to identify the relevant mathematics and they don't do so well. A well known phenomenon in the teaching profession.

    Although this is implied to some degree in Alan Young's report, in the sense that children are exposed to non-metric units which may well discourage children from applying their learning, it doesn't seem to address it explicitly.

    I would welcome comments from anyone out there who could point to any work that does focus on this crucial issue.

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  3. Ezra Steinerg says:

    We can surely thank the metric muddle for this "mpl" monstrosity from AutoExpress.

    Reminds of Binky, the three-eyed fish that Bart Simpson caught near the waters off of Springfield's nuclear power plant:

    http://kuweight64.blogspot.com/2011/11/three-eyed-fish.html

    Too much measurement "pollution" can produce these kinds of results, alas!

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  4. Martin Vlietstra says:

    Sometimes the gap between the classroom (or the workplace) and home can be quite large. My wife's bridesmaid for example was quite happy to weigh out 100 grams of sodium chloride in the laboratory, but she got in a flap if she had to weigh out 100 grams of salt at home for children's playdough or whatever.

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  5. Ezra Steinberg says:

    So, Northumbria University almost killed two students by overdosing them in an experiment:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-38744307?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_breaking&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=news_central

    30 g of caffeine instead of 0.3 g?

    Does this tell us that the UK has way too much innumeracy and not enough familiarity with metric amounts? Scary! And government policies have certainly not helped.

    (Of course in the USA ignorance of metric is a thousand times worse. But I keep hoping the UK will show us the way and this incident at Northumbria U is not an encouraging sign, sadly.)

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  6. Martin Vlietstra says:

    I agree with Ezra about Northumbria University. To put this university into perspective, the website http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2016 ranks it in the bottom 215 universities out of the 916 universities that were graded. (The US took 5 of the top 10 places, the UK took 4 of the top 10 and Switzerland 1 of the top 10).

    The test would have been far more useful if the students had been given a specific amount of coffee and told to back-calculate the amount of caffeine in the coffee (which can be done from the label on the coffee jar).

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  7. BrianAC says:

    @Martin & Ezra
    There are those, possibly typing right now, that would blame that mistake on the university using metric instead of those nice 'alternative facts', Imperial measures.
    Surely no one could make mistakes with grains and teaspoons and whatever small measures even I don't know of. 1/64 of whatever could never translate to 1/4 nor 1/6 nor 164 by mistake?

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