Why do so many learners, even those who are successful, feel that they are outsiders in the world of mathematics? Taking the central importance of language in the development of mathematical understanding as its starting point, Mathematical Literacy explores students’ experiences of doing mathematics from primary school to university - what they think mathematics is, how it is presented to them, and what they feel about it. Building on a range of theory which focuses on community, knowledge, and identity, the author examines two particular issues: the relationship between language, learning, and mathematical knowledge, and the relationship between identity, equity, and processes of exclusion/inclusion.
In this comprehensive and accessible book, the author extends our understanding of the process of gaining mathematical fluency, and provides tools for an exploration of mathematics learning across different groups in different social contexts. Mathematical Literacy’s analysis of how learners develop particular relationships with the subject, and what we might do to promote equity through the development of positive relationships, is of interest across all sectors of education—to researchers, teacher educators, and university educators.
Table of Contents
Part I: Inclusion and Exclusion
Chapter 1: Formulating the Problem: Identifying Mathematical Literacy
Chapter 2: Experiencing Mathematics: Building Classroom Cultures and Mathematics Histories
Chapter 3: Mathematical Moments and Mathematical Lives: Doing Mathematics at Northdown School
Chapter 4: Moving On and Moving Up? Entering the World of the Undergraduate Mathematics Student
Chapter 5: Doing Undergraduate Mathematics: Questions of Knowledge and Authority
Chapter 6: Creating Spaces: Identity and Community Beyond The First Year
Part II: Developing Inclusion
Chapter 7: Subject Positions: Explaining Exclusion from Mathematics
Chapter 8: Supporting Mathematical Literacy
Chapter 9: Relationships with/in Mathematics: Inclusive Mathematics Literacy in Practice
Appendix A: The Education System in England and Wales
Appendix B: The Students, the Data and the Analysis
Yvette Solomon is Reader in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University, England.