Numerical and Non-Numerical Aspects of Mathematics Education: A Case for Sense-Making

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)


In this talk, the speaker will discuss on his journey as a pure mathematician who, of late, ventured into the field of mathematics education. As an observer, he will talk about the issues resulting from a need for more clarity in understanding numeracy education at the school level and consider some of the underlying foundational structures of mathematics pedagogy, mathematical thinking, and current challenges. The purpose is to open a conversation about shifting the focus from the narrower conceptual boundaries concerning numeracy and mathematics in our school education.

One of the challenges for a discipline concerns effective communication of its scope. While it is arguably the case that in the early years of education, foundational skill development based upon numeracy and literacy is essential, there are other urgent considerations as we leave 1st quarter and advance further into 21st-century teaching and learning – in particular- are there any new and essential skills required that extend well beyond the standard and common notions of numeracy and literacy. While non-numerical aspects of mathematics can be thought of in terms of a capacity for abstraction, critical thinking, and problem-solving, the scope of speaker's talk presents a case for sense-making and questioning as fundamental.

In briefly considering theoretical perspectives, the speaker will present some specific examples that he use in his classes to contextualise mathematics education and discuss some basic parameters for shifting the focus from numeracy in mathematics education to Data Literacy. With data ubiquity now characterising our age, what questions must we ask to determine its precise literacy scope?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2023


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