Quality Education

2020 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Pinar Gökçin Özuyar, Tony Wall

Numeracy and the Education Value Chain

  • Munirah GhazaliEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-95870-5_86

Definition of Numeracy

This section discusses views on the existing definitions of numeracy and its related components. The discussion focuses on what it means to be numerate, knowledge and skills to be numerate, and the cognitive as well as affective factors related to be numerate.

Numeracy is not a subset of mathematics, but they are interrelated. All numeracy is underpinned by some mathematics, hence the “basic mathematics” needed for every day or perhaps the basic building blocks of mathematics and involving a grasp of the interplay between mathematics and the social contexts within which it is used (Neill 2001; Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers 1997; Malaysia Ministry of Education 2010, 2011; Ministry of Education New Zealand 2012).

Further, while knowledge of mathematics is necessary for numeracy (Neill 2001), having that knowledge is not in itself sufficient to ensure that learners become numerate. A numerate person has the capacity to bridge the gap between...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Askew M, Brown M, Rhodes V, Wiliam D, Johnson D (1997) Effective teachers of numeracy: report of a study carried out for the teacher training agency. King’s College, University of London, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Aubrey C (1999) Children’s early learning of number in school and out. In: Thompson I (ed) Teaching and learning early number. Open University Press, London, pp 20–29Google Scholar
  3. Aunola K, Leskinen E, Lerkkanen M-K, Nurmi J-E (2004) Developmental dynamics of math performance from preschool to grade 2. J Educ Psychol 96(4):699–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (1997) Numeracy = everyone’s business. Report of the numeracy education strategy development conference. Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, AdelaideGoogle Scholar
  5. Awi A, Ghazali M, Othman AR (2012) Numerasi: Definisi dan Kepentingannya Kepada Golongan Dewasa Dalam Dunia Kehidupan Sebenar dalam Proceeding current issues in education research. Sekolah Pascasarjana, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, pp 75–83Google Scholar
  6. Baroody AJ (2009) Fostering early numeracy in preschool and kindergarten. Encyclopedia of language and literacy development. Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, London, pp 1–10Google Scholar
  7. Baroody AJ, Lai M, Mix KS (2006) The development of young children’s early number and operation sense and its implications for early childhood education. In: Spodek B, Saracho ON (eds) Handbook of research on the education of young children, 2nd edn. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 135–152Google Scholar
  8. Behr M, Lesh R, Post T, Silver E (1983) Rational number concepts. In: Lesh R, Landau M (eds) The acquisition of mathematical concepts and processes. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Bennett N, Wood L, Rogers S (1997) Teaching through play: teachers’ thinking and classroom practice. Open University Press, BuckinghamGoogle Scholar
  10. Blevins-Knabe B, Musun-Miller L (1996) Number use at home by children and their parents and its relationship to early mathematical room. Early Dev Parenting 5(1):35–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bruner J (1986) Actual minds: possible worlds. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. Cai J (2003) What research tells us about teaching mathematics through problem solving? In: Lester FK (ed) Teaching mathematics through problem solving: prekindergarten – grade 6. NCTM, Reston, pp 241–253Google Scholar
  13. Dearing E, McCartney K, Taylor BA (2009) Does higher quality early child care promote low-income children’s math and reading achievement in middle childhood? Child Dev 80:1329–1349.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01336.x
  14. DEEWR (2009) Belonging, being and becoming: the early years learning framework for Australia. DEEWR, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  15. DfEE (1998) The implementation of national numeracy strategy: The final report of numeracy task force. Department for Education and Employment, SudburyGoogle Scholar
  16. Duncan GJ, Dowsett CJ, Claessens A, Magnuson K, Huston AC, Klebanov P et al (2007) School readiness and later achievement. Dev Psychol 43(6):1428–1446CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Evans J (2000) Adults’ mathematical thinking and emotions: a study of numerate practices. RoutledgeFalmer, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Feigenson L, Dehaene S, Spelke E (2004) Core system of number. Trends Cogn Sci 8:307–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. FitzSimons GE (2008) A comparison of mathematics, numeracy, and functional mathematics: what do they mean for adult numeracy practitioners? Adult Learning 19(3–4):8–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fleer M, Raban B (2007) Early childhood literacy and numeracy: building good practice. Commonwealth of Australia, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  21. Goos M, Jolly L (2004) Building partnerships with families and communities to support children’s numeracy learning. In: Putt I, Faragher R, McLean M (eds) Mathematics education for the third millenium: towards 2010. Proceedings of the 27th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Townsville. MERGA, Sydney, pp 279–286Google Scholar
  22. Griffin S (2004) Building number sense with number worlds: a mathematics program for young children. Early Child Res Q 19(1):173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Griffin S, Case R, Sieger R (1994) Rightstart: providing the central conceptual prerequisites for first formal learning of arithmetic to students at risk for school failure. In: McGilly K (ed) Classroom lessons: integrating cognitive theory and classroom practice. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp 25–49Google Scholar
  24. Halberda J, Feigenson L (2008) Developmental change in the acuity of the “number sense”: the approximate number system in 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds and adults. Dev Psychol 44:1457–1465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Janvier C (1987) Representations and understanding: the notion of function as an example. In: Janvier C (ed) Problems of representations in the learning and teaching of mathematics. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, pp 67–73Google Scholar
  26. Jordan NC, Kaplan D, Ramineni C, Locuniak MN (2009) Early math matters: kindergarten number competence and later mathematics outcomes. Dev Psychol 45(3):850–867CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kaput J (1991) Notations and representations as mediators of constructive processes. In: von Glaserfeld E (ed) Radical constructivism in mathematics education. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 53–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kelleher H, Nicol C, Martin L, Anderson A (2003) Assessing early numeracy: BC early numeracy project (K-1). Ministry of Education, Province of British Columbia, British ColumbiaGoogle Scholar
  29. Kemp M, Hogan J. (2000) Planning for an emphasis on numeracy in the curriculum Retrieved 16 Sept 2003, from http://www.aamt.edu.au
  30. LeFevre J, Skwarchuk S, Smith-Chant BL, Fast L, Kamawar D, Bisanz J (2009) Home numeracy experiences and children’s math performance in the early school years. Can J Behav Sci 41:55–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lesh R (1981) Applied mathematical problem solving. Educ Stud Math 12:235–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lesh R, Landau M, Hamilton E (1983) Conceptual models in applied mathematical problem solving. In: Lesh R (ed) The acquisition of mathematical concepts and processes. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  33. Lesh R, Behr M, Post M (1987) Rational number relations and proportions. In: Janvier C (ed) Problems of representation in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp 41–58Google Scholar
  34. Lipton J, Spelke E (2006) Preschool children master the logic of number words meanings. Cognition 98:B57–B66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ministry of Education, Malaysia (2010) Manual Am Numerasi. Author, Kuala Lumpur, p 3Google Scholar
  36. Ministry of Education Malaysia (2011) Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR). Matematik Tahun 1. Retrieved 17 May 2012, from http://kssr.bpk.my/dokumen_nkurikulum/tahap_i/modul_teras_asas/matematik
  37. Ministry of Education New Zealand (2012) Develop numeracy skills in accounting. Retrieved from New Zealand Curriculum Guides Senior Secondary: https://seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz/Socialsciences/Accounting/Pedagogy/Numeracy-skills-in-accounting
  38. Montoya S (2018). Meet the SDG 4 data: measuring youth and adult literacy and numeracy. Retrieved from UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS): http://uis.unesco.org/en/blog/meet-sdg-4-data-measuring-youth-and-adult-literacy-and-numeracy
  39. Mullis IVS, Martin MO, Beaton AE, Gonzalez EJ, Kelly DL, Smith TA (1997) Mathematics achievement in the primary school years: IEA’s third international mathematics and science study (TIMSS). Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy, Boston College, Chestnut HillGoogle Scholar
  40. Munirah Ghazali and Abdul Razak Othman, (2014) Numeracy Studies in Malaysia in Sriraman, B. Cai, J. Lee, K. Fan, L, Shimizu Y, Lim, C.S & Subramaniam, K (eds). The First Sourcebook on Asian Research in Mathematics Education, China, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia and India. IAP Publishing, Charlotte, N.C.Google Scholar
  41. Neill WA (2001) Research gate. Retrieved from The Essentials of Numeracy: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250752991_The_Essentials_of_Numeracy
  42. OECD (2004) The PISA 2003 Assessment Framework: Mathematics, Reading, Science and Problem Solving Knowledge and Skills, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,  https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264101739-en
  43. PIAAC Numeracy Expert Group (2009) PIAAC numeracy: a conceptual framework, OECD education working papers, no. 35. OECD Publishing, © OECD, pp 1–64.  https://doi.org/10.1787/220337421165
  44. Pritchard, R. (2004). Investigating parental attitudes and beliefs in mathematics education. In I. Putt, R. Faragher & M. McLean (Eds.), Mathematics education for the third millennium: Towards 2010 (Proceedings of the 27th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia, Townsville, pp. 478–485). Sydney: MERGAGoogle Scholar
  45. Ranz-Smith DJ (2007) Teacher perception of play: in leaving no child behind are teachers leaving childhood behind? Early Educ Dev 18(2):271–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. SCQF (2009) SCQF handbook: user guide. The SCQF PartnershipGoogle Scholar
  47. Starkey P, Klein A (2000) Fostering parental support for children’s mathematical development: an intervention with head start families. Early Educ Dev 11:659–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) (2016) United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). Retrieved from United Nations Statistics Division Web site: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/report/2016/goal-04/
  49. van Groenestijn, M.(2000), Assessment of adult students’ mathematical strategies. In I. Gal (Ed.), Adult numeracy development: Theory, research, practice. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton PressGoogle Scholar
  50. Vygotsky L (1967) Play and its role in the mental development of the child. Sov Psychol 5(3):6–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Western Australian Department of Education and Training. (2004) Numeracy: demands and opportunities across the curriculum. Catholic Education Office of Western Australia Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia, Leederville. Retrieved 7 May 2012, from http://www.dest.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/7B31EC08-F53D-4B04-8F9B-716D29ADA5E0/4582/wa_brochure.pdf
  52. Westwood P (2000) Numeracy and learning difficulties: approaches to teaching and assessment. ACER, CamberwellGoogle Scholar
  53. Wood E (2008) Conceptualising a pedagogy of play: international perspectives from theory, policy and practice. In: Kurschner D (ed) From children to red hatters: diverse images and issues of play. Play and culture studies, 8. Rowman & Littlefield Pub. Group, Lanham, pp 166–190Google Scholar
  54. Wright RJ (1994) A study of the numerical development of 5- year-olds and 6-yearolds. Educ Stud Math 26:25–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wynn K (1996) Infants’ individuation and enumeration of actions. Psychol Sci 7:164–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Young-Loveridge JM (2004) Effects on early numeracy of a program using number books and games. Early Child Res Q 19:82–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Educational StudiesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia
  2. 2.RCE Penang@USMMindenMalaysia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Johannes M. Luetz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CHC Higher EducationBrisbane/CarindaleAustralia
  2. 2.University of New South Wales (UNSW)SydneyAustralia