Mapping the Adult Numeracy Curriculum: Cultural Capital and Conscientization

Helen Oughton


Abstract

This study explores learners’ accounts of what they want from an
adult numeracy curriculum, using mindmaps to construct and present a
snapshot of their current conceptions of the curriculum. Analysis of the
resulting maps finds that for most participants, the desired curriculum is
constructed in terms of school mathematics. However, for one group,
exposed to wider issues of social justice, the curriculum is constructed in
terms of situated practice and financial literacy. The discussion draws on
Bernstein’s theories of curriculum and ideology; Freire’s conscientization;
and research on adults’ motivations for learning numeracy. It is suggested
that most learners in this study value the cultural capital associated with
school mathematics, and that these learners wish to engage with the
challenge set by school mathematics. However, a minority of learners
appeared to undergo a process of conscientization, formulating ideas for a
numeracy curriculum relevant to adults’ lives.

Full Text

PDF

References

Anderson-Inman, Lynne and Ditson, Leslie (1998) Computer-Based Concept Mapping: Promoting meaningful learning in science for students with disabilities, Information Technology and Disabilities 5 www.rit.edu/~easi/itd/itdv05.htm

Anderson-Inman, Lynne and Ditson, Leslie (1999) Computer-based Concept Mapping: A tool for negotiating meaning, Learning and Leading with Technology, vol 26, no 8, pp 7–13.

Baker, Carolyn (1982) Adolescent-adult Talk as a Practical Interpretive Problem, in Payne, G and Cuff, E, Eds, Doing Teaching: the Practical Management of Classrooms, Batsford, London, pp 104-125, cited in Silverman, D, Interpreting Qualitative Data, London, Sage

Baker, Carolyn (1997) Membership Categorization and Interview Accounts, in Silverman, D, Ed, Qualitative Research: Theory, method and practice, 130-143. London, Sage

Baker, Dave (2005) Access and Equal Opportunities: Is it sufficient for maths/numeracy, development and social justice?, Reepham, Uppingham Seminar 2005.

Baxter, Mark, Leddy, Eamonn, Richards, Liz, Tomlin, Alison, Wresniwiro, Topo and Coben, Diana (2006) Measurement Wasn't Taught When They Built the Pyramids -Was it? National Research and Development Council, London.

Benn, Rosanne (2001) All for One and One for All: Citizenship and mathematics education, in Schmitt, M J and Safford-Ramus, K, Eds, A Conversation between Researchers and Practitioners, Adults Learning Mathematics – 7, Proceedings of ALM-7 the Seventh International Conference of Adults Learning Mathematics – A Research Forum Cambridge, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), Harvard University Graduate School of Education, in association with ALM, pp. 109-115.

Bernstein, Basil (1975) Class, Codes and Control, Vol 3, Towards a Theory of Educational Transmissions, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

Bernstein, Basil (1996) Pedagogy, Symbolic Control and Identity, Taylor & Francis, London.

Bourdieu, Pierre (2003) The Forms of Capital, in Ball, S, Ed, The Routledge Falmer Reader in Sociology of Education, Routledge Falmer, London, pp. 15-29 (English version first published in Richardson, J (1986) Handbook for Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, pp 241–258).

Basic Skills Agency (BSA) (2001) The Adult Numeracy Core Curriculum, Basic Skills Agency, London.

Buzan, Tony (1993) The Mind Map Book: Radiant thinking – The major evolution in human thought, BBC Books, London.

Coben, Diana (2002) Use Value and Exchange Value in Discursive Domains of Adult Numeracy Teaching, Literacy and Numeracy Studies: An international journal in the education and training of adults, vol 11, no 2, pp 25-35.

Coben, Diana (2006) The social-cultural approach to adult numeracy: Issues for policy and practice, in Tett, L, Hamilton. M and Hillier, Y, Eds, Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Language: Policy, practice and research, Open University Press, Maidenhead.

Cohen, Louis, Manion, Laurence, and Morrison, Keith (2007) Research Methods in Education, RoutledgeFalmer, London.

Department for Education and Skills (DfES) (2001) Delivering Skills for Life: The national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills, Department for Education and Skills (DfES), London.

Dowling, Paul (1998) The Sociology of Mathematics Education: Mathematical myths/pedagogic texts, Falmer Press, London.

Edwards, Richard and Usher, Robin (2000) Globalisation and Pedagogy: Space, place and identity, Routledge, London, cited in Mannion, G and Ivanič, R (2007) Mapping literacy practices: theory, methodology, methods, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, vol 20, no 1. pp 15–30.

Evans, Jeff and Tsatsaroni, Anna (2000) Mathematics and its publics: texts, contexts and users, Social Epistemology, vol 14, no 1, pp 55-68. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02691720050199306

Freire, Paolo (1972) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Harmondsworth, Penguin.

Freire, Paolo (1976) Education: The Practice of Freedom, translated by Bergman Ramos, M, Writers and Readers, London cited in Coben, D, O'Donoghue, J and FitzSimons, G, eds, (2000) Perspectives on Adults Learning Mathematics, Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers The Netherlands.

Kress, Gunther and Mavers, Diane (2004) Social semiotics and multimodal texts, in Somekh, B and Lewin, C, Research Methods in the Social Sciences London, pp 172-179.

Kress, Gunther, Jewitt, Carey, Bourne, Jill, Franks, Anton, Hardcastle, John, Jones, Ken (2004) English in Urban Classrooms: A multimodal perspective in teaching and learning, Routledge, London. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203397305

Lave, Jean (1988) Cognition in Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511609268

Lerman, Stephen (2000) The Social Turn in Mathematics Education Research, in Boaler, J, ed, International Perspectives on Mathematics Education, Ablex, Westport, CT pp 19–44.

Mannion, Greg and Ivanič, Roz (2007) Mapping Literacy Practices: Theory, methodology, methods, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, vol 20, no 1, pp 15–30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09518390600924063

Mavers, Diane and Somekh, Bridget with Restorick, Jane (2002) 'Interpreting the Externalised Images of Pupils' Conceptions of ICT: Methods for the analysis of concept maps', Computers and Education, vol 38, no 1-3, pp 187– 207. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0360-1315(01)00074-4

Novak, Joseph and Gowin, Bob (1984) Learning How to Learn, Cambridge University Press, New York. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139173469

Oughton, Helen (2007) Constructing the 'Ideal Learner': A Critical Discourse Analysis of the adult numeracy core curriculum, Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol 12, no 2, pp 259-275. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13596740701387536

Papen, Uta (2005) Adult Literacy as a Social Practice: More than skills, Routledge, Oxford. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203347119

Pearson, Matthew and Somekh, Bridget (2000) Concept Mapping as a Research Tool: A study of primary children's representations of ICT, British Educational Research Association Conference, Cardiff accessed 18 August 2008 www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/newnews.htm.

Silverman, David (2000) Doing Qualitative Research: A practical handbook, Sage London.

Silverman, David (2001) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for analysing talk, text and interaction, Sage, London.

Swain, Jon (2005) 'Beyond the Daily Application': Motivations for adults attending numeracy classes, Research in Post-Compulsory Education, vol 10, no 3, pp 305-323. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13596740500200207

Swain, Jon, Baker, Elizabeth, Holder, Deborah, Newmarch, Barbara and Coben, Diana (2005) Beyond the Daily Application: Making numeracy teaching meaningful to adult learners, National Research and Development Council (NRDC), London.

Tomlin, Alison (2002) 'Real life' in everyday and academic maths, in Valero, P and Skovsmose, O, eds, Proceedings of the 3rd International MES Conference, Copenhagen, Centre for Research in Learning Mathematics, pp 1-9.

Tomlin, Alison, Baker, Dave and Street, Brian (2002) Home and School Numeracy Practices: Where are the borders and overlaps?, in Valero, P and Skovsmose, O, eds, Proceedings of the 3rd International MES Conference, Copenhagen, Centre for Research in Learning Mathematics, pp 480-488.

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM