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ERIC Number: EJ1159823
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
In Pursuit of an Orientation for Life-Preparation: A Case Study of the Subject Mathematical Literacy in South Africa
North, Marc
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v21 n3 p234-244 2017
Current practices in the South African secondary school subject Mathematical Literacy afford a limiting education experience for thousands of learners, the majority of whom are black and located in poor socio-economic environments: learners are confronted with pseudo-realistic contexts and engage only elementary mathematical contents. The consequence is limited mathematical competence and preparation for real-world participation, and dilution of their aspirations and hopes. This article employs a case study method to highlight the problematic nature of current practices and offers theoretically and analytically informed generalisations of an alternative structure of practice centred on the notion of a life-preparedness orientation. Theoretically, Bernstein's work on horizontal and vertical discourses is used to identify the discursive structure of the practices associated with this orientation and to distinguish these from mathematical practice. Analytically, the orientation is characterised by a dominant agenda for sense-making in authentic contextual scenarios, and is facilitated through engagement with four domains of practice comprising everyday knowledge, mathematical competency, modelling and criticality borne of contextual reasoning and reflective knowing. Each of these characteristics is demonstrated in reference to a text-based task drawn from the subject Mathematical Literacy. The requirement for further research to assess the realisability of this construct in assessment and pedagogic practices, and the associated complexities of this, is highlighted.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A