Mapping the terrain of social practice perspectives of numeracy

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Numeracy as Social Practice Global and Local Perspectives, 2018, pp. 3 - 17
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In this chapter, we elaborate on what is meant by a perspective of numeracy as social practice (NSP). This perspective is influenced by several theoretical traditions which provide different analytical resources for raising and answering different kinds of research questions, rendering the terrain of NSP research sometimes difficult to navigate. While a diversity of perspectives enriches the broad numeracy research project, the sum of their contributions can only be viable as a resource for informing pedagogies and policy if the research terrain is mapped and signposted to indicate what could be gained from viewing numeracy through each of these different theoretical lenses. It is, therefore, imperative upon researchers of numeracy as social practice to clearly articulate the distinctive contributions their research perspectives can make to broaden debates about improving the numeracy of children and adults, and how this can be achieved. In what follows, we introduce a selection of theoretical lenses that have been used to study numeracy as social practice, and in doing so, we identify the kinds of questions that these theoretical lenses have helped to address in research studies. In addition, we discuss some of their common and distinctive orientations, and consider how their contributions to NSP studies can be represented in relationship to each other.
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