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ERIC Number: EJ1068204
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1744-1803
A Workplace Contextualisation of Mathematics: Measuring Workplace Context Complexity
Keogh, John J.; Maguire, Theresa; O'Donoghue, John
Adults Learning Mathematics, v9 n1 p85-99 Apr 2014
Recent research undertaken by the authors (Keogh, 2013; Keogh, Maguire, & O'Donoghue, 2010, 2011, 2012), identified the mathematics activity that underpinned what may be regarded as low-skilled, low paid jobs, and aligned it with the National Framework of Qualifications in Ireland. In the course of this research, it emerged that although the mathematics expertise deployed was modest in terms of complicatedness, it was used by workers in circumstances that were both sophisticated and volatile in varying degrees. To this extent, it was discernable that mastery of routine mathematics alone was a poor indicator of a person's ability to "do the job". Furthermore, a National Survey of People at Work in Ireland, while confirming the Mathematics use/denial paradox, revealed that work was not perceived to be "straightforward" despite widespread adherence to processes, procedures and routines. The authors argue that there exists a spectrum of factors that operate to "complexify" otherwise routine mathematics, with the possible consequence of concealing the role of mathematics and intensifying its invisibility in the workplace and all that that entails. This paper describes these affective factors as comprising a workplace contextualization of mathematics which elaborates the complexity of the workplace context in which mathematics at varying levels of complicatedness may be expressed. In this way, workers, employers and providers of learning opportunities may be better informed regarding employability and worker mobility in the long term.
Adults Learning Mathematics. 26 Tennyson Road, Kilburn, London NW6 7SA UK. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A