Quantitative Literacy for Pre-service Teachers via the Internet

Jane Watson, Jonathan Moritz

Abstract


Quantitative literacy involves not just basic number skills, often called numeracy,
but also the ability to integrate basic skills in contexts that require high levels of
literacy to interpret situations and make judgments. This paper discusses the
development, implementation, and evaluation of a unit designed to assist preservice
teachers of mathematics to see the relevance of quantitative literacy to
daily life, to understand and discuss aspects of quantitative literacy themselves,
and to prepare and deliver lessons in schools using an internet site as a teaching
resource. Forty pre-service teachers (a) selected a newspaper article and developed
student questions and brief comments for discussion with teachers, identifying
issues for mathematics teaching; (b) developed a teaching unit for one or more
class lessons and implemented it in the classroom; (c) prepared an evaluation of
the experience; and (d) discussed their colleagues’ work in relation to these tasks
online. Responses indicated most of the pre-service teachers could engage with
these tasks and came to believe that they supported effective teaching in the
classroom. Some difficulties are identified, however, related to the implementation
of the project, and suggestions are made for future variations.

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