ERIC Number: ED396154
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov
What Does "100% Juice" Mean? Exploring Adult Learners' Informal Knowledge of Percent.
Ginsburg, Lynda; And Others
A study examined 60 adult students' informal knowledge of percent and its relationship to their formal computational skills. The students studying in adult education programs were interviewed to ascertain the following: (1) their ideas of the meanings of three benchmark percentages--100, 50, and 25 percent--as they appear in advertising and media contexts; (2) their ability to use these numbers in everyday mental math tasks; and (3) their visual representations of these quantities. Students also completed school-like, computational percent exercises. Students' responses were examined to determine the nature of their informal knowledge and skills; a number of patterns of informal knowledge and formal skills were identified. The range and fragility of student responses and the diversity of existing knowledge gaps suggested the need to broaden the content of percent instruction beyond computation. Mathematics assessments should be expanded to include performance of real-world tasks and should involve probing of responses to explore depth of understanding. (Contains 25 references.) (Author/YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Computation, Educational Research, Mathematical Concepts, Mathematics Skills, Numeracy, Percentage, Student Evaluation
National Center on Adult Literacy, Publications, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 (order no. TR95-06).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center on Adult Literacy, Philadelphia, PA.