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ERIC Number: EJ920560
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Reasoning with Real-World Data
Wiest, Lynda R.; Amankonah, Frank O.; Thomas, Troy A.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v16 n8 p492-498 Apr 2011
Mathematics education is replete with activities that explore real-world problems. A variety of these problems are added to lessons in the belief that merely applying mathematics knowledge to everyday contexts will enhance the transfer of that knowledge to other settings. However, these contexts are hypothetical rather than authentic. This distinction may be important for creating classroom tasks that have a greater likelihood of helping students develop mathematics knowledge and skills that can be used effectively beyond the classroom. Quantitative literacy (QL) is also an important part of mathematics education. QL holds that what people need most in their everyday and work lives is fundamental mathematics knowledge that is applied in varied and complex contexts requiring common-sense reasoning. QL means considering hard facts and going beyond the data. In this article, the authors describe two quantitative literacy lessons in which students examine popular songs and movies to find patterns and trends. The lesson involving songs was taught to a fifth-grade class; the lesson on movies, to a sixth-grade class. Both tasks were also completed by a graduate-level teacher education class on mathematical problem solving. (Contains 2 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 5; Grade 6; Higher Education; Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A