Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 17, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
THE Lc i HBRIDGt HcRALD Friday, August 11 Teacher ponders metric lessons TORONTO (CP) Myricyl Butterfield, a Grade 3 teacher in Toronto, is having her doubts about the coming school year. Her problem is a decision by the board of education to abandon the imperial system of measurement in Grades 1 to 3 for the metric system. "The biggest problem in changing over to the metric system in my class will be she said in an inter- view. "The children will be coming in learning something new. But I have been teaching feet and inches for more than 25 years. I'm going to have the prblem." Toronto teachers this fall will be attending workshops on the metric system as the board and other Ontario boards move to conversion a year ahead of the big push in schools coming September. 1974. During the next 10 years Canada gradually will eliminate the pound, inch and gallon for the gram, metre and litre and educationists say the best hope for a smooth transition rests in the schools. "You have to educate the young generation first in this area because they will be operating the metric machines of tomorrow." said Maurice Richer, secretary-general of the Canadian Council of Ministers of Education. COSTS ARE HIGH Jack Bell, co-rdinator of the Ontario ministry of education's metric switch, estimates tyhe total cost in the province's schools at "more than a million and less than a billion dollars." He said a more precise estimate is impossible because it is not known how many milling machines" and other expensive shop equipment will have to be replaced. When the education ministers meet next month in Charlottetown they will set up Committees in five regions to co-ordinate the conversion. Mr. Bell said there were "political hassles" involved in metric conversion, especially on who is going to pay for the system. In the past year, he has given more than 100 seminars in the province and is workin on print material that will help introduce the sysyem in On- tario. Canadian text-book publiushers are facing economic and technical problems in the changeover. Because school boards are moving toward a chaneover at different speeds; publishers are not cer- tain whether there will be a large enough market to warrant revisions and new editions in the next two years. School can be fun, too These youngsters at General Stewart School get an informal approach to education, particularly in the all-important aspect of communication. Students talk with their teacher (below) as she speaks to them through everyone's favorite, Snoopy. It's a lot of fun, and much more personal, than the standard get-acquainted sessions offered beginners in past years. Messing around There may be a lot of "messing around" here, but it's all part of the city's pre-school program introducing five and six-year-olds to the wonders of the classroom. Bubble-blowing, pain- ting, miniature construction, playhouse and other interesting skills are part of this project at Galbraith School.