Learning to Read the Numbers

Integrating Critical Literacy and Critical Numeracy in K-8 Classrooms A Co-Publication of The National Council of Teachers of English and Routledge

By David J. Whitin, Phyllis E. Whitin

© 2011 – Routledge

136 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415874311
pub: 2010-08-30
US Dollars$41.95
Hardback: 9780415874304
pub: 2010-09-08
US Dollars$145.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Being a critical reader of numerical information is an integral part of being literate in today’s data-drenched world. Uniquely addressing both mathematics and language issues, this text shows how critical readers dig beneath the surface of data to better evaluate their usefulness and to understand how numbers are constructed by authors to portray a certain version of reality. Engaging, concise, and rich with examples and clear connections to classroom practice, it provides a framework of critical questions that children and teachers can pose to crack open authors’ intentions, expose their decisions, and make clear who are the winners and losers – questions that are essential for building democratic classrooms.

Explaining and illustrating how K-8 teachers can engage students in developing the ability to be both critical composers and critical readers of texts, Learning to Read the Numbers is designed for teacher education courses across the areas of language arts, mathematics, and curriculum studies, and for elementary teachers, administrators, and literacy and mathematics coaches.

Learning to Read the Numbers is a co-publication of The National Council of Teachers of English (www.ncte.org) and Routledge.

Table of Contents


1. Learning to Read the Numbers: It’s Everybody’s Business

2. Getting What You Ask For: Examining the Question

3. Definitions and Categories: Deciding What Gets Counted

4. Creating the Visual: Playing Statistical Hide and Seek

5. What We Don’t Know: Critiquing the Sample and the Conclusions

6. Learning to be Critics: A Case Study of Children’s Television Advertising

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C



About the Authors

David J. Whitin teaches mathematics education courses in the Elementary Education Department at Wayne State University.

Phyllis E. Whitin teaches language arts education courses in the Elementary Education Department at Wayne State University.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Mathematics