More on Ontario and importance of numeracy skills

April 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm Leave a comment

In furtherance of the April 12 blog about an organization numeracygap.ca  and the Ontario philosophy behind current teaching mathematics practices, today’s Toronto Star includes an op ed by Graham Orpwood and Emily Brown titled “The importanct of closing our numeracy gap” (page A13 of the print edition).

Selected from today’s Star (online):

“Evidence has been mounting for a number of years that many Ontarians, both children and adults, are lacking basic levels of numeracy. This difference — between necessary numeracy and actual numeracy — is the numeracy gap, a gap that needs understanding, explaining and most important of all, closing.”

“Numeracy is related to mathematics but is not exactly the same thing. Where mathematics is abstract, numeracy is concrete. Where mathematics is about conceptual knowledge and procedural skill, numeracy is about using these to solve practical problems. Where mathematics education is about obtaining correct answers to simplified problems, acquiring numeracy is about fluency and confidence in grappling with real-world and often open-ended problems. Numeracy is, in summary, the ability and the confidence to use mathematical knowledge and skills in concrete real-world situations.”

“Ontario should adopt and then act on these two principles:

  • Everyone can be numerate as well as literate.
  • Everyone needs to be numerate as well as literate to function fully in the 21st century.

A campaign to change public attitudes to align with these principles is a foundation for closing the numeracy gap. Along with this public awareness campaign, a Provincial Roundtable on Numeracy is required to develop a comprehensive strategy for closing the numeracy gap and to advise on its implementation.”

Go to the numeracygap.ca site for more information about the proposed roundtable.

Check it out!

Rowan

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