Adult Numeracy Demand and Provision in Adult Numeracy: A Reader
This report provides an overview of issues related to the provision of numeracy instruction to adult learners in the United States and offers suggestions on how to improve that instruction.
This report provides an overview of issues related to the provision of numeracy instruction to adult learners in the United States and offers suggestions on how to improve that instruction. It provides evidence of the national need for improved numeracy and describes the current state of numeracy instruction in adult education. Issues about the appropriateness and effectiveness of that provision are raised and apparent gaps are noted. The current limitations in our knowledge about adult numeracy instruction, learning, and outcomes are of concern. Also, the report points out how rationales and structural issues may have unintended negative consequences for high quality adult numeracy provision. And it looks at such provision in other countries. The report is informed by the author’s many years of mathematics and math education teaching, her research with adults and children, and her involvement in multiple professional development initiatives. It also reflects discussions with or information from over 20 nationally-recognized experts within the adult education community. The existing research base on this topic is very light, but the report refers to pertinent research whenever it is available. Some research on children or other populations is relevant and provides some guidance; it is cited when used.
This resource provides an excellent overview of why we need to shift our thinking away from the idea that being numerate only means being able to execute a set of mathematical procedures. The idea that mathematical proficiency is much broader than this is well-supported in the research literature, and this resource does an excellent job of outlining what a shift to this improved definition would mean for the field. This resource details the implications of this improved definition on the types of instructional materials we use, how instruction is conducted, how professional development is carried out, and how we assess student learning. A limitation of this resource is the fact that it does not contain specific examples of classroom techniques; resources should not only give practitioners an outlook, they should help them achieve it.
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