Gransnet forums


Why not gills, pecks and bushels or rods, poles and perches?

(10 Posts)
absent Sun 20-Jan-13 10:26:09

The egregious Michael Gove is not content with his creeping privatisation scheme for England's schools; he also want to dictate what teachers should teach by swingeing changes to the national curriculum. (I've always had doubts about having a national curriculum in the first place, but that's another issue.) His latest wheeze is to say that teachers must include imperial measurements in maths lessons. There is an valid argument in favour of some mention of miles because we still use this measurement (also mph etc.) and ditto pints because milk and beer (and probably some other things) are sometimes, but not invariably, sold in pints. I suspect, too, that many of us – particularly oldies – weigh ourselves in stones and pounds rather than kilos and blanch at a waist measurement in centimetres. But surely the stones and inches will gradually die out.

However, apart from the fact that you cannot just keep adding more things to be taught in an already crammed timetable, I wonder how many of this generation of teachers have any familiarity with imperial measurements and their relationship to metric measurements.

I think this is a daft idea.

Lilygran Sun 20-Jan-13 10:41:50

Agreed! Why do we get these loony ideologues in charge of education? And why aren't more people kicking up a fuss?

absent Sun 20-Jan-13 11:02:27

I think there has been such a succession ministers tinkering with schools, methods of teaching, the minutiae of the curriculum etc. that teachers have probably lost the will to live and the rest of us are just completely bemused. I think it is horrifying.

He's keen to return history to kings and queens with their dates and I think he wanted Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped on this list of books that primary school children should have read by the time they move on to secondary. The book is unreadable – even with degrees in English literature I can't make head nor tail of it. (Before anyone reminds me, I know RLS was born in Edinburgh.) The man is an anachronistic lunatic – Gove, not Stevenson (who did write some readable books too).

j07 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:09:35

Yes. I agree. Reluctantly. (because I hate to see old things die out)

(But I guess it's us old'uns that have got to die out)

j07 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:11:28

Actually, thinking a bit more about it, children have got very stretchable brains. So it might not be a bad idea.

Perhaps not particularly useful, but very English.

j07 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:12:19

I loved Kidnapped when I was a kid!

j07 Sun 20-Jan-13 11:13:03

Although it was probably an abridged version that I read.

Elegran Sun 20-Jan-13 11:20:43

When I was doing teacher training, our maths lessons included having to learn and work in other systems than a decimal one (binary, hexadecimal, dozens and gross, etc) not because we would have to teach it but to get practical experience in learnig a completely new system from scratch. This was to get some understanding of the mechanisms those we were to teach would have to ude to learn.

Boy, was it difficult! I don't know how we coped so well with imperial weights and measures.

Elegran Sun 20-Jan-13 11:22:01

Typo alert! That should read "learning" and "use".

absent Sun 20-Jan-13 11:25:52

As I write cookbooks (mainly), I am very familiar with moving backwards and forwards between metric, imperial and American cup measurements. I just have a problem with the weather forecast – they give the temperature in degrees Celsius and sometimes in degrees Fahrenheit but always omit the gas mark. hmm