Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Science and Mathematics Education Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 35

Full-Text Articles in Science and Mathematics Education

Numeracy And Social Justice: A Wide, Deep, And Longstanding Intersection, Kira Hamman, Victor Piercey, Samuel L. Tunstall Jan 2019

Numeracy And Social Justice: A Wide, Deep, And Longstanding Intersection, Kira Hamman, Victor Piercey, Samuel L. Tunstall

Numeracy

We discuss the connection between the numeracy and social justice movements both in historical context and in its modern incarnation. The intersection between numeracy and social justice encompasses a wide variety of disciplines and quantitative topics, but within that variety there are important commonalities. We examine the importance of sound quantitative measures for understanding social issues and the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration in this work. Particular reference is made to the papers in the first part of the Numeracy special collection on social justice, which appear in this issue.


On "Icky" Data, The Political Classroom, And Towards Equity And Social Justice In Mathematics Education: A Conversation With Tonya Bartell, Samuel L. Tunstall, Oyemolade Osibodu, Tonya Gau Bartell Jan 2019

On "Icky" Data, The Political Classroom, And Towards Equity And Social Justice In Mathematics Education: A Conversation With Tonya Bartell, Samuel L. Tunstall, Oyemolade Osibodu, Tonya Gau Bartell

Numeracy

Tonya G. Bartell, ed. 2018. Towards Equity and Social Justice in Mathematics Education (Switzerland: Springer International Publishing) 341 pp. ISBN 978-3319929064.

This brief interview with Tonya Bartell introduces Towards Equity and Social Justice in Mathematics Education to the Numeracy audience. The interviewers also discuss with Tonya connections between quantitative literacy and mathematics for social justice, particularly in the context of US K-12 schooling. Tonya shares her perspective on topics ranging from the placement of quantitative literacy in K-12 mathematics education and how one might get started in incorporating a social justice lens into their teaching to paradigms for research ...


Calculus Of The Impossible: Review Of The Improbability Principle (2014) By David Hand And The Logic Of Miracles (2018) By Lásló Mérő, Samuel L. Tunstall Jul 2018

Calculus Of The Impossible: Review Of The Improbability Principle (2014) By David Hand And The Logic Of Miracles (2018) By Lásló Mérő, Samuel L. Tunstall

Numeracy

David J. Hand. 2014. The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day (New York, NY: Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 288 pp. ISBN: 978-0374175344.

Lásló Mérő. 2018. The Logic of Miracles: Making Sense of Rare, Really Rare, and Impossibly Rare Events (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press) 288 pp. ISBN: 978-0300224153.

David Hand and Lásló Mérő both grapple with the occurrence of seemingly impossible events in these two popular science books. In this comparative review, I describe the two books, and explain why I prefer Hand's treatment of the impossible.


Six Propositions Of A Social Theory Of Numeracy: Interpreting An Influential Theory Of Literacy, Jeffrey Craig, Lynette Guzmán Jul 2018

Six Propositions Of A Social Theory Of Numeracy: Interpreting An Influential Theory Of Literacy, Jeffrey Craig, Lynette Guzmán

Numeracy

We share our experiences comprehending social theory as it applies to numeracy scholarship. We build on existing arguments that social theory—explicitly acknowledging the presence and influence of histories, power, and purposes—offers something important to scholars who study and discuss numeracy. In this article, we translate the six propositions of one particular social theory of literacy into propositions about numeracy, then we explore the meaning of each proposition, its connections to existing scholarship, and its implications. This article emerges from two literature reviews: one on social theories (especially their application to and development in literacy) and one on numeracy ...


Improving Literacy And Numeracy In The Pacific, Elizabeth Cassity Jun 2018

Improving Literacy And Numeracy In The Pacific, Elizabeth Cassity

International Developments

ACER is collaborating with member nations of the Pacific Community to address the common education challenges they face. Elizabeth Cassity reports.


Parts Of The Whole: Hands On Statistics, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2018

Parts Of The Whole: Hands On Statistics, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

In this column we describe a hands-on data collection lab for an introductory statistics course. The exercise elicits issues of normality, sampling, and sample mean comparisons. Based on volcanology models of tephra dispersion, this lab leads students to question the accuracy of some assumptions made in the model, particularly regarding the normality of the dispersal of tephra of identical size in a given atmospheric layer.


Models As Weapons: Review Of Weapons Of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality And Threatens Democracy By Cathy O’Neil (2016), Samuel L. Tunstall Jan 2018

Models As Weapons: Review Of Weapons Of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality And Threatens Democracy By Cathy O’Neil (2016), Samuel L. Tunstall

Numeracy

Cathy O’Neil. 2016. Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (New York, NY: Crown) 272 pp. ISBN 978-0553418811.

Accessible to a wide readership, Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy provides a lucid yet alarming account of the extensive reach of mathematical models in influencing all of our lives. With a particular eye towards social justice, O’Neil not only warns modelers to be cognizant of the effects of their work on real people—especially vulnerable groups who have less power to fight back—but ...


A Quantitative Reasoning Approach To Algebra Using Inquiry-Based Learning, Victor I. Piercey Jul 2017

A Quantitative Reasoning Approach To Algebra Using Inquiry-Based Learning, Victor I. Piercey

Numeracy

In this paper, I share a hybrid quantitative reasoning/algebra two-course sequence that challenges the common assumption that quantitative literacy and reasoning are less rigorous mathematics alternatives to algebra and illustrates that a quantitative reasoning framework can be used to teach traditional algebra. The presentation is made in two parts. In the first part, which is somewhat philosophical and theoretical, I explain my personal perspective of what I mean by “algebra” and “doing algebra.” I contend that algebra is a form of communication whose value is precision, which allows us to perform algebraic manipulations in the form of simplification and ...


Connecting Numbers With Emotion: Review Of Numbers And Nerves: Information, Emotion, And Meaning In A World Of Data By Scott Slovic And Paul Slovic (2015), Samuel L. Tunstall Jan 2017

Connecting Numbers With Emotion: Review Of Numbers And Nerves: Information, Emotion, And Meaning In A World Of Data By Scott Slovic And Paul Slovic (2015), Samuel L. Tunstall

Numeracy

Scott Slovic and Paul Slovic (Eds.). Numbers and Nerves: Information, Emotion, and Meaning in a World of Data (Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2015). 272 pp. ISBN 978-0-87071-776-5.

It is common to view quantitative literacy as reasoning with respect to numbers. In Numbers and Nerves, the contributors to the volume make clear that we should attend not only to how students consciously reason with numbers, but also how our innate biases influence our actions when faced with numbers. Beginning with the concepts of psychic numbing, and then psuedoinefficacy, the contributors to the volume examine how our behaviors when faced ...


Providing Open-Access Know How For Directors Of Quantitative And Mathematics Support Centers, Michael Schuckers, Mary B. O'Neill, Grace Coulombe Jan 2017

Providing Open-Access Know How For Directors Of Quantitative And Mathematics Support Centers, Michael Schuckers, Mary B. O'Neill, Grace Coulombe

Numeracy

The purpose of this editorial is to introduce the quantitative literacy community to the newly published A Handbook for Directors of Quantitative and Mathematics Centers. QMaSCs (pronounced “Q-masks”) can be broadly defined as centers that have supporting students in quantitative fields of study as part of their mission. Some focus only on calculus or mathematics; others concentrate on numeracy or quantitative literacy, and some do all of that. A QMaSC may be embedded in a mathematics department, or part of a learning commons, or a stand-alone center. There are hundreds of these centers in the U.S. The new handbook ...


Review Of Sustainable Energy -- Without The Hot Air By David Mackay (2009), Kira Hamman Jul 2016

Review Of Sustainable Energy -- Without The Hot Air By David Mackay (2009), Kira Hamman

Numeracy

David MacKay. Sustainable Energy: Without the hot air. (Cambridge, England: UIT Cambridge Ltd., 2009). 384 pp. ISBN 978-0954452933 (also available as a free e-book).

Physicist David MacKay transforms what has historically been a debate fraught with skepticism and hysteria into an informed conversation. He does this by providing clear, accurate quantitative information on energy production and consumption in a form that allows comparison and invites thoughtful analysis. By recalibrating power into kilowatt-hours per day per person, he makes the numbers meaningful on an individual level. He then meticulously estimates the productive capacity of various renewable energy sources, explores alternative energy ...


Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 3: Designing General Education Mathematics Courses, Samuel L. Tunstall, Vincent Melfi, Jeffrey Craig, Richard Edwards, Andrew Krause, Bronlyn Wassink, Victor Piercey Jul 2016

Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 3: Designing General Education Mathematics Courses, Samuel L. Tunstall, Vincent Melfi, Jeffrey Craig, Richard Edwards, Andrew Krause, Bronlyn Wassink, Victor Piercey

Numeracy

In this paper, we describe the process at Michigan State University whereby we have created two courses, Math 101 and 102, designed to foster numeracy and alleviate mathematics anxiety. The courses--which are not sequential--provide a means of satisfying the University's general education requirement without taking college algebra or calculus, among other options. They are context-driven and broken into modules such as "The World and Its People" and "Health and Risk." They have been highly successful thus far, with students providing positive feedback on their interest in the material and the utility they see of it in their daily lives ...


Words Matter: Discourse And Numeracy, Samuel L. Tunstall Jul 2016

Words Matter: Discourse And Numeracy, Samuel L. Tunstall

Numeracy

Here I discuss elements of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and their importance in relation to quantitative literacy (QL). Through an overview of theory, synthesis of research, and examples, I argue that the discursive nature of textbooks has a nontrivial impact on students' mathematical dispositions - an important component of QL. In particular, texts are a means of disseminating the culture of mathematics, one which has a tendency to paint mathematics as esoteric and male-dominated. Such a characterization has profound implications for the numeracy community, one of which is that we cannot assume that changes in curriculum are sufficient for effecting QL ...


Random Number Simulations Reveal How Random Noise Affects The Measurements And Graphical Portrayals Of Self-Assessed Competency, Edward Nuhfer, Christopher Cogan, Steven Fleisher, Eric Gaze, Karl Wirth Jan 2016

Random Number Simulations Reveal How Random Noise Affects The Measurements And Graphical Portrayals Of Self-Assessed Competency, Edward Nuhfer, Christopher Cogan, Steven Fleisher, Eric Gaze, Karl Wirth

Numeracy

Self-assessment measures of competency are blends of an authentic self-assessment signal that researchers seek to measure and random disorder or "noise" that accompanies that signal. In this study, we use random number simulations to explore how random noise affects critical aspects of self-assessment investigations: reliability, correlation, critical sample size, and the graphical representations of self-assessment data. We show that graphical conventions common in the self-assessment literature introduce artifacts that invite misinterpretation. Troublesome conventions include: (y minus x) vs. (x) scatterplots; (y minus x) vs. (x) column graphs aggregated as quantiles; line charts that display data aggregated as quantiles; and ...


Review Of Case Studies For Quantitative Reasoning: A Casebook Of Media Articles By Bernard L. Madison, Stuart Boersma, Caren L. Diefenderfer, And Shannon W. Dingman, Samuel L. Tunstall Jul 2015

Review Of Case Studies For Quantitative Reasoning: A Casebook Of Media Articles By Bernard L. Madison, Stuart Boersma, Caren L. Diefenderfer, And Shannon W. Dingman, Samuel L. Tunstall

Numeracy

Bernard L. Madison, Stuart Boersma, Caren L. Diefenderfer, and Shannon W. Dingman. Case Studies for Quantitative Reasoning: A Casebook of Media Articles (Pearson Learning Solutions, 2012). 215 pp. ISBN 9781256512875.

Concisely organized and timely to a tee, Case Studies for Quantitative Reasoning contains a wealth of articles and exercises to promote higher-order thinking in any course where quantitative literacy is a goal. The text is a self-contained package complete with just enough mathematics to ensure that all students can join in. It contains a total of twenty-four case studies, each of which highlights how numbers appear in day-to-day media. The ...


Parts Of The Whole: Moderating Competition In The World Of Ideas, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2015

Parts Of The Whole: Moderating Competition In The World Of Ideas, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

In both biological and mathematical dynamical systems, competition may be moderated by the presence of a top predator of both competing species. Applying this principle in memetics sheds light on why some strategies are more likely than others to promote quantitative literacy in various kinds of institutions.


Assessing Numeracy In The Upper Elementary And Middle School Years, Carol Ann Gittens Jan 2015

Assessing Numeracy In The Upper Elementary And Middle School Years, Carol Ann Gittens

Numeracy

Numeracy is the ability or tendency to reason critically about quantitative information. The preponderance of published research on numeracy examines this construct among either pre-K or early elementary samples, students with developmental challenges, or is focused on post-secondary and adult cohorts. The numeracy skills of upper-elementary and middle school students is less documented and understood, most notably because of the lack of valid instruments that are developmentally appropriate for the age range. A numeracy scale for use among upper-elementary and middle school students is introduced in this paper. Scale validation was performed using a gender-balanced, racially / ethnically diverse sample of ...


Parts Of The Whole: Strategies For The Spread Of Quantitative Literacy: What Models Can Tell Us, Dorothy Wallace Jul 2014

Parts Of The Whole: Strategies For The Spread Of Quantitative Literacy: What Models Can Tell Us, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

Two conceptual frameworks, one from graph theory and one from dynamical systems, have been offered as explanations for complex phenomena in biology and also as possible models for the spread of ideas. The two models are based on different assumptions and thus predict quite different outcomes for the fate of either biological species or ideas. We argue that, depending on the culture in which they exist, one can identify which model is more likely to reflect the survival of two competing ideas. Based on this argument we suggest how two strategies for embedding and normalizing quantitative literacy in a given ...


History Of Numeracy Education And Training For Print Journalists In England, Steven Harrison Jul 2014

History Of Numeracy Education And Training For Print Journalists In England, Steven Harrison

Numeracy

If the history of journalism education has been a footnote to accounts of the profession’s development, then the history of numeracy training for journalists must be considered a footnote to a footnote. Despite the universally acknowledged centrality of numbers to a clear understanding of the world, many journalism students and entrants are proudly number-phobic; it is even suggested that an aversion to maths is a key reason why some choose journalism as a career. This study traces the development of numeracy education for journalists in England. It is only with the incipient professionalisation of journalism from the mid-19th century ...


Parts Of The Whole: Only Connect, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2014

Parts Of The Whole: Only Connect, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

This is the first of several columns that will focus on the mechanisms by which new ideas become accepted by a culture, offering some familiar examples, deriving basic principles from these examples, and applying them to the problem of promoting quantitative literacy in an educational system. In this essay we describe how new concepts become embedded in a culture through their connections to existing ideas, and use this principle to suggest strategies of discourse about numeracy that promote it among various constituencies in the culture.


Parts Of The Whole: The Educational Sieve, Dorothy Wallace Jul 2013

Parts Of The Whole: The Educational Sieve, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

This essay argues that the structure of course prerequisites affects retention of students in a course of study. The same argument suggests that the structure of degree requirements, including quantitative reasoning courses, affects retention in college. In particular, the same set of courses required in a rigid sequence will cause more students to exit the program early than if the same courses were offered in a flexible order.


Parts Of The Whole: The Virtue Of Books, Dorothy Wallace Jul 2012

Parts Of The Whole: The Virtue Of Books, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

This column argues that the majority of commercial textbooks do not serve students well. Strategies for change include clearly distinguishing the textbook requirements of different priority subjects and assembling writers who can address, in addition to content development, the cognitive level of the children as well as writing in an age-appropriate way. A discussion of the forces that produce current texts leads to the recommendation that textbooks be a focus of research and improvement rather than the byproduct of an individual’s lecture notes.


Quantitative Literacy Interventions At University Of Cape Town: Effects Of Separation From Academic Disciplines, Vera Frith Jan 2012

Quantitative Literacy Interventions At University Of Cape Town: Effects Of Separation From Academic Disciplines, Vera Frith

Numeracy

The aim of the Numeracy Centre at the University of Cape Town is to develop students’ quantitative literacy (QL) in a manner consistent with their programmes of study and intended roles in the community. Our theoretical perspective on the nature of QL is in line with that of the New Literacies Studies and sees academic QL as practices in different academic disciplinary contexts. This means that for us the ideal curriculum structure for developing QL would fully integrate it into the teaching of the disciplines. This is in practice not achievable in most cases, especially since many students do not ...


Numeracy, Financial Literacy, And Financial Decision-Making, Annamaria Lusardi Jan 2012

Numeracy, Financial Literacy, And Financial Decision-Making, Annamaria Lusardi

Numeracy

Financial decisions, be they related to asset building or debt management, require the capacity to do calculations, including some complex ones. But how numerate are individuals, in particular when it comes to calculations related to financial decisions? Studies and surveys implemented in both the United States and in other countries that are described in this paper show the level of numeracy among the population to be very low. Moreover, lack of numeracy is not only widespread but is particularly severe among some demographic groups, such as women, the elderly, and those with low educational attainment. This has potential consequences for ...


Disenfractioned: How A Blind Spot For Fractions May Be A Hindrance To Democracy, Matthew Salomone Dec 2011

Disenfractioned: How A Blind Spot For Fractions May Be A Hindrance To Democracy, Matthew Salomone

Bridgewater Review

No abstract provided.


Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 2: Connection To Financial Literacy, Dennis Gilliland, Vince Melfi, Alla Sikorskii, Edward Corcoran, Eleanor Melfi Jul 2011

Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 2: Connection To Financial Literacy, Dennis Gilliland, Vince Melfi, Alla Sikorskii, Edward Corcoran, Eleanor Melfi

Numeracy

The lack of capability of making financial decisions has been recently described for the adult United States population. A concerted effort to increase awareness of this crisis, to improve education in quantitative and financial literacy, and to simplify financial decision-making processes is critical to the solution. This paper describes a study that was undertaken to explore the relationship between quantitative literacy and financial literacy for entering college freshmen. In summer 2010, incoming freshmen to Michigan State University were assessed. Well-tested financial literacy items and validated quantitative literacy assessment instruments were administered to 531 subjects. Logistic regression models were used to ...


Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 1: Development And Initial Evaluation Of The Assessment, Alla Sikorskii, Vince Melfi, Dennis Gilliland, Jennifer Kaplan, Suzie Ahn Jul 2011

Quantitative Literacy At Michigan State University, 1: Development And Initial Evaluation Of The Assessment, Alla Sikorskii, Vince Melfi, Dennis Gilliland, Jennifer Kaplan, Suzie Ahn

Numeracy

Development, psychometric testing, and the results of the administration of a quantitative literacy (QL) assessment to undergraduate students are described. Three forms were developed covering a wide range of skills, contexts, and quantitative information presentation formats. Following item generation and revision based on preliminary testing and cognitive interviewing, a total of 3,701 consented undergraduate students at Michigan State University completed one of the three forms. Two of the forms contained 14 multiple-choice items, and one form contained 17 multiple-choice items. All forms were completed by students in less than 30 minutes. Evidence of validity and reliability were obtained for ...


Calculus, Biology And Medicine: A Case Study In Quantitative Literacy For Science Students, Kim Rheinlander, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2011

Calculus, Biology And Medicine: A Case Study In Quantitative Literacy For Science Students, Kim Rheinlander, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

This paper describes a course designed to enhance the numeracy of biology and pre-medical students. The course introduces students with the background of one semester of calculus to systems of nonlinear ordinary differential equations as they appear in the mathematical biology literature. Evaluation of the course showed increased enjoyment and confidence in doing mathematics, and an increased appreciation of the utility of mathematics to science. Students who complete this course are better able to read the research literature in mathematical biology and carry out research problems of their own.


Parts Of The Whole : Cognition, Schemas, And Quantitative Reasoning, Dorothy Wallace Jan 2011

Parts Of The Whole : Cognition, Schemas, And Quantitative Reasoning, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

Based loosely on ideas of Jean Piaget and Richard Skemp, this Parts of the Whole column considers the construction of knowledge in mathematics and quantitative reasoning. Examples are chosen that illustrate an important cognitive difference between quantitative numeracy and classical mathematics, and which illuminate the particular choices instructors must make in order to teach either or both of these.


Parts Of The Whole: Thinking About Variance: Standards, Targets, Tracking, And Other Thoughts, Dorothy Wallace Jul 2010

Parts Of The Whole: Thinking About Variance: Standards, Targets, Tracking, And Other Thoughts, Dorothy Wallace

Numeracy

Variation is a natural result of any process, including education. Understanding how variation propagates and increases is necessary for designing educational interventions that work for the intended population. We show how common strategies such as setting standards and tracking can accidentally produce unintended and undesirable results due to the way variation moves through a system.