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Components of Numeracy September 17 - 21, 2007

Discussion Announcement

From September 17th - 21st, the Special Topics list will hold a discussion with Mary Jane Schmitt, Myrna Manly and Dr. Lynda Ginsburg, authors of The Components of Numeracy, an occasional paper published by the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy in December 2006.

Authors' Biography

Lynda Ginsburg is a senior researcher for mathematics education at Rutgers University and is currently conducting NSF-sponsored research on adult learners' work with their children on mathematics homework and on mathematics learning in out-of-school settings. Prior to this position, she worked at the National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL) for 12 years where she participated in the development of a number of adult education projects including Captured Wisdom, the Professional Development Kit (PDK) and LiteracyLink. She has taught mathematics in high schools, in ABE/GED and workplace programs, and in community college developmental classes. She holds a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Myrna Manly (B.A. Mathematics, M.A. Education, M.S. Applied Mathematics) has experience teaching mathematics at many academic levels, most recently as a Professor of Mathematics at El Camino College. In that capacity, she developed curricula designed to adapt the foundation courses for the needs of at-risk students. She also is the author of The GED Math Problem Solver, a textbook that integrates all the strands of math into a coherent approach to test preparation. In addition to instruction, she has been involved with the assessment of the mathematics proficiency of adults as the Mathematics Specialist for the 1988 version of the GED test and as a member of the numeracy team for the Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALL). She also brings experience in Professional Development to the project, having worked with states and programs, facilitating staff-development and train-the-trainer workshops (e.g. Making Math Meaningful in CA and VA, GED as Project in VA, GED Math Institute in Washington, DC) that were aimed at improving mathematics instruction to adults.

Mary Jane Schmitt has been an adult educator for over 35 years. She has taught mathematics in ABE, GED, and ESL programs, has worked at the Massachusetts Department of Education, and is currently a project director at TERC in Cambridge, MA, where she directs the Adult Numeracy@TERC projects. Mary Jane is the co-author and co-principal investigator for the Extending Mathematical Power (EMPower) Project Mathematics Curriculum for Adult Learners recently published by Key Curriculum Press. She is a co-founder of the Adult Numeracy Network (ANN). Mary Jane's undergraduate degree is in mathematics and she holds an M.Ed. from Harvard University. She is the 2004 recipient of the Kenneth J. Mattran Award for exemplary work at the national and international levels given by the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE).

Discussion Preparation Recommended Readings

The Components of Numeracy
(especially the summary on page 34)

The Adult Numeracy Network's "Teaching and Learning Principles" and "Professional Development Principles."

The Inclusion of Numeracy in Adult Basic Education, Volume 3, Chapter 5, Review of Adult Learning and Literacy

To gain insight into the importance of numeracy or quantitative literacy in today's society, select a few chapters that interest you from "Mathematics and Democracy: The case for Quantitative Literacy."

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