What have we learned ... and have yet to learn?
This resource discusses Quantitative Literacy (QL) and suggests that instruction for QL is not just the responsibility of the grades 10 to 14 but the responsibility of all levels of mathematics from basic through the highest levels. The article gives recommendations on how to instruct for QL by understanding three key points:
- The curriculum should include much more statistics and other alternatives to the calculus trajectory that are focused more on data analysis, modeling, etc.
- Mathematics instruction should be contextualized and avoid the abstraction associated with the traditional curriculum.
- Quantitative knowledge and skills for QL should have a much more cross-disciplinary agenda, rather than one situated primarily in mathematics curricula.
Bernard L. Madison and Lynn Arthur Steen, the editors of this set of papers, are prestigious members of the mathematical and educational communities, as are other authors of the background papers and forum papers within these Proceedings.
“What We Have Learned…” is an excellent summary of the discussion about the proceedings of the forum on quantitative literacy, and on contextualization in numeracy education. Additional articles from the proceedings are also quite valuable in giving examples of what Hyman Bass discusses in his article:
Quantitative Literacy Goals: Are We Making Progress? by Rita CoIwell
Quantitative Literacy: A Science Literacy Perspective, by George D. Nelson
Statistics and Quantitative Literacy, by Richard L. Scheaffer
Steen, Lynn Arthur, ed. 2001. Mathematics and Democracy: The Case for Quantitative Literacy. Princeton, NJ: National Council on Education and the Disciplines.