IIIc. Hot and Cold: making and connecting scales

In educational measurement, we don’t yet know if we are measuring heat or temperature.

A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure. Lee Segal

Building, calibrating, and equating instruments

Meaning comes from experience and experience comes from ignorance. You learn what hot means by touching the stove; you learn what cold is by not wearing your mittens. Nothing here answers the question of where cold ends and hot begins or what’s the line between “medium” and “medium rare;” those points are subjective, arbitrary, and personal; hopefully not capricious.

Temperature is one of the first lessons we learn: what things are too hot to touch? When is the weather too cool to not wear a jacket? When is it warm enough to go barefoot? How much fever warrants staying home from school? These concepts may define meaningful temperature bands, but “because mom says so” is not very objective, and definitely not measurement. Continue reading . . . Hot and Cold

Previous: IIIb. The Aspect of Color                Next: IIId. On Any Given Sunday

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