Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Language of Measurement

What does precision mean to you? Exactness is what it means to me. I think of precision engineering and I imagine things that need to be made to exact measurements with a low margin for error.

What about accuracy? To me, if something is accurate then it is both exact and true. But is there really a great distinction between accurate and precise?

Repeatable? Repeatable means that I can do something again, but does it mean that I get the same results each time, it does in science education.

I find the language stifling. The fact that during the nine years I have been teaching It has changed three times and that prior to 2011 there was no consensus on the use of terms shows what a difficult topic it can be.

I worry that there is too much emphasis on using certain, contrived, key words to score marks when we should be concentrating just as much on the thoughts of the student as on the accurate way they communicate them.

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Location:South West, UK

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