Len Vacher (above) is the founder and co-editor of Numeracy -- the new
peer-reviewed publication of the National Numeracy Network.
NUMERACY (NNN) JOURNAL
Numeracy is an open-access, peer-reviewed
journal launched in 2008. Numeracy aims to support
education at all levels that integrates quantitative skills across
disciplines. The journal seeks evidence-based articles. See Vacher's
Len Vacher (left) and Dorothy Wallace (right)
are editors of Numeracy: Advancing Education in Quantitative
Literacy. Numeracy is published by the National
Numeracy Network, supported by the U. of S. Florida Libraries and hosted
the Berkeley Electronic Press™.
Assessing Quantitative Reasoning by Corrine Taylor, NNN
President. [On Dartmouth's attitude assessment] "I hope that more
institutions will also adopt this excellent (and carefully tested)
instrument [for assessing students’ changes in attitudes after
having taken QR coursework. For assessing students’ QL skills,
I am impressed with the variety of instruments that have been
developed and are being tested—each for different specific purposes.
Here I briefly describe three..." "JMU’s QR Test is narrow and
deep." "The AAC&U’s QL rubric, in contrast to the JMU test, is much
broader in scope." [No evaluation of Carleton's rubric for
Integration with Writing Programs: A Strategy for Quantitative
Reasoning Program Development by Nathan D. Grawe and Carol A.
Rutz. "One of the most common and frustrating objections to QR
programs in higher education is that the subject matter is entirely
remedial..." "The interdisciplinary nature of QR represents one of
the greatest challenges to effective programming."
"Framed as a necessary rhetorical tool, QR became immediately
relevant to the entire campus." "Finally, collaboration with
the Writing Program has helped us surmount institutional inertia."
"No matter how beneficial the cooperative approach may be for a QR
initiative, writing programs must be convinced that integration
serves their goals as well." "Readers should think seriously
about the tradeoff between across-the-curriculum participation and
the importance of a strong methods emphasis when considering
adoption of QuIRK’s model of programming." "Our experience has
convinced us that engaging faculty directly in the assessment of
student work provides the impetus for curricular change. The
examination of QR in student work also offers us the chance to show
colleagues in traditionally nonquantitative disciplines how QR may
be relevant to their courses." "Designing an effective QR
program is inherently challenging due to the interdisciplinary
nature of the subject."
Quantitative Literacy Assessments: An Introduction to Testing Tests
by Dorothy Wallace, Kim Rheinlander, Steven Woloshin, and Lisa
Schwartz. "To formally assess content validity of the MDIT,
Woloshin and Schwartz asked 20 Dartmouth Medical School faculty who
teach evidence-based medicine (but were not involved in the study)
to complete the data interpretation test and then formally rate its
content validity using criteria derived from Feinstein’s Index of
Sensibility (Feinstein, 1987). Specifically, they were asked to rate
the clarity of the test items, how well the data interpretation test
covers the important concepts in the domain of critical reading
skills, and whether a person scoring poorly on the test would have
very limited ability to interpret medical data."
Measuring Resource Inequality: The Gini Coefficient by Michael
T. Catalano, Tanya L. Leise, and Thomas J. Pfaff
Engaging Math-Avoidant College Students by M. Paul Latiolais and
Review of Calculation vs. Context: Quantitative Literacy and Its
Implications for Teacher Education by Bernard L. Madison and
Lynn Arthur Steen (Editors). Reviewed by Maura B. Mast.
In reviewing Schield's paper: Schield recommends "the
establishment of alternatives (in the form of QL or Statistical
Literacy) to Algebra II at the high school level. This is an
excellent suggestion and is perhaps the most practical way to bring
QL into the pre-college curriculum. Such a course is ideal for
students in their fourth year of high school who are not planning to
go into a quantitative-based major in college (or perhaps who are
not even planning to go to college). " In reviewing the papers
by Taylor, Lutsky and Best: "One interesting aspect of these three
essays is the set of opinions about who should teach QL and what
that means. Best clearly wants to bring it out of the
mathematicians’ hands and position it (as its relates to critical
thinking) across the curriculum; Lutsky agrees, with his own
perspective that QL is central to building and evaluating arguments,
and also sees a natural place for this in many different
disciplines. In contrast, Taylor views the responsibility for
developing QL skills as resting primarily on the mathematics
teachers, but calls for reinforcement and support from teachers in
quantitative disciplines and in English."
Review of Stat-Spotting: A Field Guide to Identifying Dubious Data
by Joel Best. Reviewed by Joe Swingle. "Stat-Spotting is a
practical, do-it-yourself manual for detecting questionable claims
reported in the media. Using examples drawn mostly from mass media
sources, Stat-Spotting provides readers with a number of useful tips
for identifying potentially problematic statistics. The author’s
skillful analyses and explanations presented in clear and concise
prose make Stat-Spotting an ideal guide for anyone who reads a
newspaper, watches television, or surfs the Web. In short,
All the More Reason for QR across the Curriculum.
Bernard L. Madison "College mathematics enrollments, although
generally increasing, have lagged behind overall college
Confronting Challenges, Overcoming Obstacles: A Conversation about
Quantitative Literacy. Bernard L. Madison and Lynn A.
"I teach a course now that is the first real general education
course in mathematics on our campus."
Establishing the Quantitative Thinking Program at Macalester.
David Bressoud "Money is important. The task was much
larger than anyone envisioned. For those who would seek
to create a program in Quantitative Reasoning at their own college
or university, my advice would be to first articulate your goals in
a language that makes sense for your institution, keep in mind the
lessons learned at Colby-Sawyer and Macalester, and remember that an
effort like this is only do-able and worthwhile if it is something
you care deeply about and enjoy."
The Case for Infusing Quantitative Literacy into Introductory
Geoscience Courses. Jennifer M. Wenner, Eric M. Baer,
Cathryn A. Manduca, R. Heather Macdonald, Samuel Patterson, and Mary
Quantitative Literacy on the Web of Science, 2 – Mining the Health
Numeracy Literature for Assessment Items. H L. Vacher and Todd
Review of The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers by Jane E.
Miller. Review by Neil Lutsky. "Although
navigating the book as a whole can be challenging, each of the
worlds the reader encounters when doing so offers an abundance of
resources. The guidance each chapter provides is spot on."
Parts of the Whole: Is Everything Equally Important? Dorothy
Scope of Numeracy by Len Vacher and Dorothy Wallace (co-editors)
Evolution of Numeracy and the National Numeracy Network by
Bernard L. Madison and Lynn Arthur Steen "In recent years
quantitative literacy has received increasing attention, in part
because it is most notably lacking and most critically needed." "The
interdisciplinary focus of NNN sets it apart, making it an interest
of many but a passion of a few, much akin to its cause –
Scientifically Based Research in Q/L: Guidelines for Building a
Knowledge Base by Richard Scheaffer
Teachers Talk: Pressure Points in the K-8 Mathematics Curriculum
by Rheinlander, Wallace, Morrison, Ansari, Coch and Williams
Development of Case Stories by Interviewing Students about their
Critical Moments in Science, Math, and Engineering Classes by
May et al.
Birds–Dead and Deadly: Why Numeracy Needs to Address Social
Construction by Joel Best (Author of StatSpotting)
paper argues that numeracy education needs to address social
construction." "Any serious effort to make students more numerate
about those statistics requires coming to terms with this process of
social construction." "Social construction poses a challenge for
those interested in promoting numeracy. Once we acknowledge that all
numbers are products of social activity, we must confront the nature
of the social environment in which numbers emerge and circulate. And
that means moving numeracy education beyond the confines of teaching
calculation and statistical concepts, to address matters of social
Review of The Triumph of Numbers by I. B. Cohen by
H L. Vacher.
In 2011, Bernie Madison gave the opening talk at the NNN meeting in
Ashville NC. Here is a video of this talk. Videos: