Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Not Just a Number: Critical Numeracy for Adults :: Numeracy Mathematics Education Essays
Not Just a Number Critical Numeracy for AdultsIt is difficult to understand why so many people must struggle with c at a timepts that be actually simpler than most of the ideas they jalopy with every day. It is far easier to calculate a percentage than it is to drive a car. (Dewdney 1993, p. 1) To many people, the words maths and simple do not fail in the same sentence. Math has such an aura of difficulty or so it that even people who are quite competent in separate areas of feel are not ashamed to admit they cant do math. Innumeracy is to a greater extent socially acceptable and tolerated than illiteracy (Dewdney 1993 Withnall 1995). Rather than discussing specific ways to memorise math to affluenty growns, this Digest looks at emerging perspectives on numeracy and their social, cultural, and political implications as a context for new ways of thinking about adult numeracy instruction.What Is Numeracy?Numeracy involves the functional, social, and cultural dimensions of mat hematics. Numeracy is the type of math skills accepted to function in workaday life, in the home, workplace, and community (Withnall 1995). Although not always recognized as such, math is used in many everyday situations-cooking, shopping, crafts, financial transactions, traveling, using VCRs and micro-cook ovens, interpreting training in the media, taking medications. Different people need different sets of math skills, and their numeracy needs change in response to changes in life circumstances, such as buying a car or house or learning a new hobby (Gal 1993 Withnall 1995). equivalent literacy, numeracy is not a fixed entity to be earned and possessed once and for all (Steen 1990, p. 214), nor a skill one either has or doesnt have. Instead, peoples skills are situated along a continuum of different purposes for and levels of accomplishment with numbers.Beyond free-and-easy living skills, numeracy is now being defined as knowledge that empowers citizens for life in their part icular society (Bishop et al. 1993). Thus, numeracy has economical, social, and political consequences for individuals, organizations, and society. Low levels of numeracy limit approaching to education, training, and jobs on the job, it can hinder performance and productivity. Lack of numeracy skills can gravel overdependence on experts and professionals and uncritical acceptance of charlatans and the claims of pseudoscience (Dewdney 1993). Inability to interpret numerical information can be costly financially it can limit full citizen participation and make people vulnerable to political or economic manipulation.