# Numeracy

"Innumeracy" redirects here. For the book of same name, see Innumeracy (book).
Numeracy is a contraction (or portmanteau word) of "numerical literacy", and refers to an ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts. The word was coined in 1959 by the UK Committee on Education, presided over by Sir Geoffrey Crowther.[1] Innumeracy is a lack of numeracy.[2]

In the United States, numeracy it is also known as Quantitative Literacy, and is familiar to math educators and intellectuals. There is also substantial overlap between conceptions of numeracy and conceptions of statistical literacy.

The UK's Department for Education and Skills defines numeracy in their National Strategy documents as follows:

Numeracy is a proficiency which is developed mainly in mathematics but also in other subjects. It is more than an ability to do basic arithmetic. It involves developing confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It requires understanding of the number system, a repertoire of mathematical techniques, and an inclination and ability to solve quantitative or spatial problems in a range of contexts. Numeracy also demands understanding of the ways in which data are gathered by counting and measuring, and presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.

## Numeracy in childhood

Mathematics is a core subject in child education. IQ tests include an assessment of numeracy and it can therefore be seen as a key component of intelligence.

There is some evidence that humans may have an inborn sense of number. In one study for example, five-month-old infants were shown two dolls, which were then hidden with a screen. The babies saw the experimenter remove one doll from behind the screen. Without the child's knowledge, a second experimenter could remove or add dolls. When the screen was removed, the infants showed more surprise at an unexpected number (for example, if there were still two dolls). Some researchers have concluded that the babies were able to count, although others doubt this and claim the infants noticed surface area rather than number[3].

Jean Piaget found that children's concepts of number and quantity developed with age. For example, if an experimenter empties liquid from a short wide container into a tall thin container, a five-year-old typically thinks the quantity of liquid increases, whereas a ten-year-old realizes that the quantity of liquid stays the same.

The TIMSS international study of mathematical achievement tests children at fourth grade (average 10 to 11 years) and eighth grade (average 14 to 15 years) level in 49 countries. The assessment included tests for number, algebra (called patterns and relationships at fourth grade), measurement, geometry, and data. The latest study, in 2003, found that children from Singapore at both grade levels had the highest performance. Hong Kong SAR, Japan, and Taiwan also had high levels of numeracy. The lowest scores were found in South Africa, Ghana, and Saudi Arabia. In most countries, the difference by gender was negligible, but there were exceptions (for example, girls performed significantly better in Singapore and boys performed significantly better in the United States).[4]

## Numeracy and employment

A high level of numeracy is required for some jobs, for example: mathematician, physicist, accountant, actuary, financial analyst, engineer, and architect.

Even outside these specialized areas, poor numeracy can reduce employment opportunities and career progress.[5] For example, carpenters and interior designers need to be able to measure, use fractions, and handle budgets.[6]

The Poynter Institute includes numeracy as one of the skills required by competent journalists, and Max Frankel (former executive editor of The New York Times) argues that "deploying numbers skillfully is as important to communication as deploying verbs." However, journalists often show poor numeracy skills; for example, in a study by the Society of Professional Journalists, 58% of job applicants interviewed by broadcast news directors lacked an adequate understanding of statistical materials. [7]

## Innumeracy

Innumeracy is a portmanteau of "numerical illiteracy"; it refers to a lack of ability to reason with numbers. The term innumeracy was coined by cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter and popularized by mathematician John Allen Paulos in his 1989 book, Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences. Possible causes of innumeracy are poor teaching methods and standards and lack of value placed on mathematical skills. Even prominent and successful people will attest, sometimes proudly, to low mathematical competence, in sharp contrast to the stigma associated with illiteracy. [8]

Paulos outlined some potential consequences of innumeracy:[8]
• Inaccurate reporting of news stories and insufficient skepticism in assessing these stories
• Financial mismanagement and accumulation of consumer debt, specifically related to misunderstanding of compound interest
• Loss of money on gambling, in particular caused by belief in the gambler's fallacy
• Belief in pseudoscience. According to Paulos, "Innumeracy and pseudoscience are often associated, in part because of the ease with which mathematical certainty can be invoked, to bludgeon the innumerate into a dumb acquiescence."
• Poor assessment of risk, for example, refusing to fly by airplane (a relatively safe form of transport) while taking unnecessary risks in a car (where an accident is more likely)
• Limited job prospects
Pathological innumeracy, known as dyscalculia, is often associated with neurological lesions.

## Notes

1. ^ Fowler's Modern English Usage, R.W. Burchfield, ed.
3. ^ Numbers in Mind
4. ^ Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
5. ^ Parsons S. & Bynner J. (1997). Numeracy and employment Education + Training, Volume 39, Number 2, 1997 , pp. 43-51(9) Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
6. ^ Orr, Tamra B. (2002) Paradon me…do you speak numeracy? Career World, Sept, 2002
7. ^ Scanlan, Chip (2004). Why Math Matters Poynter Online, September 8, 2004.
8. ^ John Allen Paulos (1989). Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences. Hill and Wang.

Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences is a 1989 book by mathematician John Allen Paulos (1988 1st ed., 135 p. ; 24 cm. New York : Hill and Wang; ISBN: 0809074478) about "innumeracy", a term he used to describe the equivalent of illiteracy that involves
A portmanteau (IPA: /pɔərtˈmÃ¦ntoʊ/) is a word or morpheme that fuses two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded meaning.
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
Mathematics (colloquially, maths or math) is the body of knowledge centered on such concepts as quantity, structure, space, and change, and also the academic discipline that studies them. Benjamin Peirce called it "the science that draws necessary conclusions".
Mathematics education is a term that refers both to the practice of teaching and learning mathematics, as well as to a field of scholarly research on this practice. Researchers in maths education are in the first instance concerned with the tools, methods and approaches that
intellectual is one who tries to use his or her intellect to work, study, reflect, speculate, or ask and answer questions about a wide variety of different ideas.

There are, broadly, three modern definitions at work in discussions about intellectuals.
Statistical literacy is a term used to describe an individual's or group's ability to understand statistics. Statistical literacy is considered by many to be necessary for citizens to understand material presented in publications such as newspapers, television and the internet.
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) was a United Kingdom government department between 2001 and 2007. It was responsible for the education system and children's services in England. On 28 June 2007 the department was split in two by Gordon Brown.
Mathematics (colloquially, maths or math) is the body of knowledge centered on such concepts as quantity, structure, space, and change, and also the academic discipline that studies them. Benjamin Peirce called it "the science that draws necessary conclusions".
Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, positive judgment and well-developed wisdom.
intelligence quotient or IQ is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests attempting to measure intelligence. IQ tests are used as predictors of educational achievement. People with low IQ scores are sometimes placed in special-needs education.
Intelligence is a property of mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use language, and to learn. There are several ways to define intelligence.
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Jean Piaget

Born July 9 1896
NeuchÃ¢tel, Switzerland
Died September 16 1980 (aged 84)

Residence Switzerland

Anthem
March of the Volunteers[1]

Capital None[2]
Largest district (population) Sha Tin District
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Republic of China. For other uses, see Taiwan (disambiguation).
Taiwan (Traditional Chinese: or ; Simplified Chinese:

Motto
"There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is His messenger" (the Shahadah)
Anthem
"Aash Al Maleek"
"Long live the King"
Motto
"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
Anthem
mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics.

## Problems in mathematics

Some people incorrectly believe that mathematics has been fully understood, but the publication of new discoveries in mathematics continues at an immense
physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena spanning all length scales: from the sub-atomic particles from which all ordinary matter is made (particle physics) to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole
Accountant, or Qualified Accountant, or Professional Accountant, is a certified accountancy and financial expert in the jurisdiction of many countries. Such as other legally-restricted professions including medical doctors and lawyers, different countries have their
actuary is a business professional who deals with the financial impact of risk and uncertainty.

Actuaries have a deep understanding of financial security systems, their reasons for being, their complexity, their mathematics, and the way they work