Developing numeracy in the Workplace.

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Developing numeracy in the Workplace.

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Developing numeracy in the Workplace.
Author(s) Wedege, Tine ; FitzSimons, Gail E.
Date 2007
English abstract
Internationally, adult literacy and numeracy are in general recognized as cultural techniques. However, the meaning of the two competences and the means of their development are contested among politicians, education bureaucrats, and researchers. Numeracy is often subsumed under literacy and/or described in isolation from the situational context. Adult numeracy at work is often described unproblematically as the transfer of mathematical knowledges and skills from school to workplace. With reference to Bernstein’s theoretical framework, we claim that adult numeracy in the labour market is a horizontal discourse, in contrast to the vertical discourse of mathematics. This article draws on the findings from an Australian study of numeracy in the context of chemical spraying and handling, utilising a methodology based on activity theory. The main findings are that mathematically straightforward skills become transformed into workplace numeracy competence, when the complexities associated with successful task completion as well as the supportive role of mediating artefacts and the workplace community of practice are taken into account.
Publisher NCM, Nomad, Göteborg Universitet
Host/Issue Nordic Studies in Mathematics Education;1
ISSN 1104-2176
Pages 12 49-66
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Adult numeracy
workplace learning
activity theory
chemical spraying and handling
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Research Subject Categories::MATHEMATICS
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/4970 (link to this page)

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