Fiducial or fiduciary – that is the question!

Very quickly:

A fiducial marker (noun) or fiducial for short is an object used to indicate a measurement reference point either to indicate scale or an original position or to aid more precise measurement.

A fiduciary (noun) is a person who holds a position of trust between parties for legal or financial reasons. The word fiducial (adjective) in this context indicates the actions or activities of a fiduciary.

I can see the confusion these two terms might cause. But it’s not a confusion a scientist is likely to make because we learned our words proper-like. So this leads me to think that the legal team at the DfE drew up the plans for the AS and A Level physics*. For, lo and behold, in the DfE guidance for the AS and A Level physics – students must be aware how to: fiduciary_dfe

It’s ok, one thinks, the subject specialists at the exam boards will pick it up.

AQA spec:

fiduciary_AQA

OCR spec:

fiduciary_OCR

EdExcel spec:

fiduciary_EDEXCEL

WJEC spec:

fiduciary_WJEC

So once again, the DfE blunders (due in part to their desire to over-specify every part of the curriculum) will come to shape the teaching of physics students up and down the country, and they won’t know what the correct word for a fiducial marker is.

Spotted by the excellent Carol Davenport @drdav on the Twitters who is as frustrated by DfE physics blunders as I am.

*It doesn’t really, it’s probably just an administrative mistake.

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Whatever it is they’re peddling, it sure ain’t Physics!

[Note: I have posted again on this in more detail here]

Here is the latest offering from the DfE on what teachers and exam boards should be teaching and assessing in science at GCSE – you know the rigorous qualification where 5+ is needed for a good pass!

Last year the DfE released their draft GCSE subject content for combined science which resulted in a rather frustrated post about the mistakes in the document.

And tonight, they’ve released their GCSE_combined_science_content final draft. Turn to page 37….

Wrong again!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wrong again!

This is after they fixed it last time.

Hat tip to @hrogerson for the spot.

And @alby has noticed that Physics isn’t in the table of contents. Well I refer you dear reader back to the title of this post!