numeracy, quantitative literacy, maths education, MAA Notes


Luke Tunstall, Gizem Karaali, and Victor Piercey, eds. 2019. Shifting Contexts, Stable Core: Advancing Quantitative Literacy in Higher Education. Math Notes 88. (Mathematics Association of America, MAA Press). Print ISBN 978-0-88385-198-2. Electronic ISBN 978-1-61444-324-7.

Mine is a rather UK-centric view. The ability to understand numbers is increasingly vital for citizenship in a world where almost every argument, no matter how bogus, comes with numbers attached. Maths and stats, however, are too important to leave to the mathematicians and statisticians alone. There are as many varieties of application as there are disciplines and interests. Maths faculty are not there to be polymaths. The best solution to this problem is as much interaction as possible between maths and stats and ‘applied’ disciplines. I don’t know about the US, but in the UK such interdisciplinarity is lauded in principle but crushed in practice by the target culture sweeping across education. In addition, I found many items on which to agree. In sum, I can report that Shifting Contexts is full of useful experiences and experiments for us to consider. Moreover, both sides of the Atlantic would benefit from a closer relationship and fuller discussion of what both of us are trying, and sometimes succeeding, to do



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