NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1057429
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: EISSN-1744-1803
More... or Less? Towards a Critical Pedagogy of Adult Numeracy
Ackland, Aileen
Adults Learning Mathematics, v9 n2 p7-21 Nov 2014
The development of socio-cultural understandings of mathematics combined with policy interest in adult numeracy as a result of international studies, which compare skill levels in different countries, have impacted adult education practice in recent years. In Scotland, a "social practice approach" is espoused and adult numeracy tutors are encouraged to add more to the learning experience--more context, more activity. But is this a sufficient pedagogic response to the insights from social practices theory and a socio-cultural perspective of mathematics? This paper draws on evidence from studies of practitioners' understandings of social practices theory to argue that these responses are limited and potentially limiting of adult learners and represent a neo-deficit approach. Instead a critical pedagogy is required, which may require that the tutor bring less, not more, to the learning experience. Critical pedagogies would involve exploring with learners the powerful uses of mathematics in society. Adult numeracy learners could learn not only to understand the mathematics in use but to use mathematics for their own projects. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the kind of teacher education required to support tutors to become more critical in their pedagogy.
Adults Learning Mathematics. 26 Tennyson Road, Kilburn, London NW6 7SA UK. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)