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Changing the way we think about numeracy - EBSN Policy Brief

Successive OECD international literacy and numeracy surveys (IALS, ALLS, PIAAC and PISA surveys) identify the considerable scale of the challenge of raising adult numeracy levels at national and EU levels. However, EU and most national responses have been relatively weak. For the development of numerate behaviour, EBSN argue that it is not sufficient to focus only on what mathematical knowledge and skills are necessary and should be taught in a numeracy programme. The emphasis should also be on the way in which they are learned, and on the way teaching influences how they are learned. Developing numerate behaviour is a matter of acquiring and constructing knowledge and skills by solving real problems and meeting learner needs in authentic, meaningful situations, as well as learning how to reflect on new insights.

EBSN task force compliled this paper to inform the policy makers about key findings of recent research, forerunning practices as well as measureable results of targeted policies. The paper is intended to promote numeracy development in countries with significant basic skills shortages.


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European Basic Skills Network
Type of resource
National and Policy
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