Q&A #1834

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Dimensional analysis of measurements in Metric system

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From: Ame Barrier

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006090317:30:29
Subject: Dimensional analysis

Beware: apparently some math teachers freak out when we are teaching students this method of dimensional analysis to teach conversions. I don't really understand what the problem is because the method of using fractions to teach the method covers so many different areas of math and science together. I was having a discussion with a math teacher the other day and she was worried that students were getting lost because we were using the fraction method to teach conversions. Then I was having a conversation with a physics teacher who did not see that method of conversions as dimensional analysis. My concern is that we need to use a little bit looser language, even if it is not completely correct, so that students can hang on and not freak out between disciplines and even subjects within disciplines. These are just some of my thoughts. I will admit that I work with the most at risk students and see things from that perspective.

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