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BUILDING THE NUMERACY SKILLS OF UNDERGRADUATE AND ELEMENTARY STUDENTS

By Pam Boger

Abstract

This paper will describe a project designed to enhance the numeracy skills of students at two educational levels – elementary and undergraduate. Under the guidance of the university students, students in grades four through six will formulate a research question, gather the appropriate data and summarize the data using graphs. The graphs along with a written summary of the project will be displayed in a poster, which will be sent to the national poster competition sponsored by the American Statistical Association. Out there, in the streets that we travel, in the offices where we work, and in the newspapers we read and the television programs we watch await forces that would mislead and misinform us, exploiting the enormous public confusion over subjects like percentages, averages, fractions, compounding, and other basic mathematical ideas. This situation has no parallel in illiteracy. Literacy, after all, concerns a translation skill – learning to move easily between written and spoken speech. Numeracy concerns thought itself. You might exploit people’s innumeracy through an advertisement, for example, making a claim that seems to be valid but isn’t. But how would you exploit their illiteracy through an ad they can’t read? (Dewdney 1993, p.2) The Age of Information has the potential to drown us in a sea of numbers. Johnny’

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.194.8500
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