Expanding and Deepening the Terrain: Numeracy as social practice
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- Numeracy as Social Practice Global and Local Perspectives, 2018, pp. 243 - 254
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The editors identify salient themes from the contributions in this volume and consider implications for policy and practice. Themes include: the ‘invisibility’ of mathematics in everyday practices; the fluidity, instability and context-contingency of numeracy practices; the interplay between local and global influences on the continual evolution of numeracy practices; the role of both humans and objects in enacting numeracy practices; and finally the political nature of numeracy as social practice. The findings present both opportunities and challenges for teachers, curriculum writers and policy-makers motivated by social justice. In this chapter, the editors revisit the terrain in light of the salient themes. The editors first discuss some of the emergent themes and then draw out implications for policy and practice. Much research that reflects a numeracy as social practice perspective is motivated, in part, to make visible the mathematics that 'everyday' people do, in their everyday lives – and thus to position people as competent and capable of engaging in mathematics. The chapter indicates that 'everyday' numeracy practices are not standardised or static. Instead, they are fluid, unstable and context-dependent. It supports the premise that an approach to numeracy/mathematics education that is built on a deficit model misses the mark. The chapter problematises the call to make workplace practices visible in formal mathematics schooling curricula. Because the workers' numeracy practices are embedded in workplace practices, the value and feasibility of meaningfully extracting aspects to incorporate into a formal mathematics curriculum are questionable.
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