Second International Handbook of Mathematics Education

Volume 10 of the series Springer International Handbooks of Education pp 75-102

Mathematical Literacy

  • Eva JablonkaAffiliated withFreie Universität Berlin

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This chapter investigates different perspectives on mathematical literacy that vary with the values and rationales of the stakeholders who promote it. The central argument is that it is not possible to promote a conception of mathematical literacy without at the same time — implicitly or explicitly — promoting a particular social practice. It is argued that mathematical literacy focussing on citizenship also refers to the possibility of critically evaluating aspects of the surrounding culture a culture that is more or less colonised by practices that involve mathematics. Thus the ability to understand and to evaluate these practices should form a component of mathematical literacy.