[Numeracy 292] Re: What is numeracy?

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Michael Gyori tesolmichael at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 5 13:33:54 EDT 2010


Greetings Chip and everyone,

In fact, when one is "literate" with respect to whatever it may be, doesn't one possess competence in "it"?

As for teaching being "instrumental,"  I fully agree, I think. Teachers too often feel the need to teach a certain ability (say mastery of the multiplication tables to remain true to numeracy), and that need takes on a life of its own, one that can even become overbearing and stifling.

Unfortunately, with the heavy-handed "accountability" system being imposed on public education and its insistence on measuring "success" by means of multiple choice tests, we not only fail to shed light on the reasoning processes our learners use in arriving at an answer, but we deny the very "chaotic" (no pun intended)  nature of the teaching learning cycle itself.

Ambiguity, confusion, and yes, even chaos are essential ingredients of learning (whether by teachers or students - and we're both at all times, even if we wish to deny it), and once we allow ourselves to immerse in it, unexpected understandings can emerge.  One cannot plan them.  Tolerance for ambiguity is key. Instrumental teaching doesn't make for a good bedfellow.

Michael
 
Michael A. Gyori
Maui International Language School 
www.mauilanguage.com




________________________________
From: Chip Burkitt <chip.burkitt at orderingchaos.com>
To: numeracy at nifl.gov
Sent: Sun, April 4, 2010 7:15:41 PM
Subject: [Numeracy 289] Re: What is numeracy?

Michael and all,

As you describe it, I don't see a difference between literacy and competence. Also, I'm not sure we should have such an instrumental view of teaching. Often people's goals change in unexpected directions as they learn more. Unless we offer more than students need, they won't know enough to make informed decisions about what they want.

Chip Burkitt

On 4/4/2010 1:58 PM, Michael Gyori wrote:
Hello Melissa and everyone,

>

>In fact, there are so many "literacies" that its original meaning, the ability especially to read, has evolved into a plethora of skills that are associated with the ability to be successful (in the eyes of the beholder and by no means restricted to financial well-being).  Think of financial literacy, health literacy, social literacy, workplace literacy, parental literacy, interpersonal literacy, and legal literacy, just to name a few.

>

>I regard the state of being literate (or numerate in this case) of having the requisite skills to accomplish and master the demands of particular life domains. The necessary skills vary from person to person, depending upon what an individual human being needs or would like to be able to do in face of the life circumstances he or she needs to maneuver.

>

>In that respect, numeracy still begs to be operationally defined.  For example, in the case of vectors previously mentioned, when and why would one need to understand them?

>

>I believe it is important to know what and why we attempt to successfully teach given the characteristics, goals, and desired life outcomes of those we work with.  That is what led me to ask what we meant, for example, by being "numerate."

>

>Michael 

> 

>Michael A. Gyori

>Maui International Language School 

>www.mauilanguage.com

>

>

>

>

>

________________________________
From: "melissakeith at verizon.net" <melissakeith at verizon.net>

>To: numeracy at nifl.gov

>Sent: Sat, April 3, 2010 9:40:31 AM

>Subject: [Numeracy 285] Re: What is numeracy?

>

>Hi everyone. This is my first time posting here, but I  have been lurking for some time.  I'm in the process of developing an online numeracy course for adult education teachers.  One analogy that I've heard (I can't remember who to credit this to), and used many times to help teachers understand numeracy is:  Reading is to Literacy as Math is to Numeracy. 

>Melissa

>

>

>On Apr 3, 2010, Michael Gyori <tesolmichael at yahoo.com> wrote:

>Hi all,

>>It just struck me: how might we define being "numerate," one of the multiple literacies?

>>Michael

>> 

>>Michael A. Gyori

>>Maui International Language School 

>>www.mauilanguage.com

>>

>>________________________________



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>

>

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