mathematically literate means to have "access to the central meaning making practices of mathematics"(p.3). Notice how this definition puts mathematical practices front and center. Traditionally the math content, as opposed to the math practices, has gained a lion's share of the attention, especially the further up the curriculum you travel. High stakes assessments have traditionally focused on content standards, with little or no attention given to process standards. This is likely because testing process standards is nowhere near as straightforward as testing content standards (which isn't straight forward either, but I digress). Our work at the CEML is meant to support math teachers with specific, actionable steps to support students' mathematical practices in the secondary mathematics classroom.
As far as other definitions, the most notable is that provided by PISA(2022):
"Mathematical literacy is an individual’s capacity to reason mathematically and to formulate, employ, and interpret mathematics to solve problems in a variety of real-world contexts. It includes concepts, procedures, facts and tools to describe, explain and predict phenomena. It assists individuals to know the role that mathematics plays in the world and to make the well-founded judgments and decisions needed by constructive, engaged and reflective 21st century citizens." (PISA,2022)
There is so much to unpack! That may be why the document used to unpack this definition is 95 pages long (PISA, 2022)! While appropriate for a large scale assessment, like the PISA, for a relatively short term focused PD we have chosen to zero in on mathematical practices! In upcoming posts we will explore other aspects/definitions of math literacy.
Let us know what you think! Talk soon!
REFERENCES: Pisa 2022 Mathematics Framework (draft) - OECD. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2022, from https://pisa2022-maths.oecd.org/files/PISA%202022%20Mathematics%20Framework%20Draft.pdf Solomon, Y. (2008). Mathematical literacy: Developing identities of inclusion. Routledge.