I was never any good at Math
This is a phrase that mathematics teachers hear far too often; a phrase that is not only socially acceptable, but too often celebrated. “I was never any good at reading” is an equivalent phrase that has almost vanished from our society to a place that mathematics teachers hope the former phrase will also go.
Numeracy is much more than what is commonly known as “Math”. A numerate individual is not only able to “do” Math, but is able to reason, solve problems, make connections and communicate mathematically, as well as appreciate and value mathematics in our society.
Students are curious, active learners with individual interests, abilities, needs and career goals. They come to school with varying knowledge, life experiences, expectations and backgrounds. A key component in developing mathematical literacy in students is making connections to these backgrounds, experiences, goals and aspirations.
The learning environment should value, respect and address all students’ experiences and ways of thinking, so that students are comfortable taking intellectual risks, asking questions and posing conjectures. Students need to explore mathematics through solving problems in order to continue developing personal strategies and mathematical literacy. It is important to realize that it is acceptable to solve problems in different ways and that solutions may vary depending upon how the problem is understood.
All learners should be expected to:
All of these processes should be used in the teaching and learning of mathematics.