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IMPACTful Blog - Quantitative Reasoning

By Gregory Foley posted 03-19-2024 08:14:42


I have always loved mathematics and been fascinated by mathematics in nature—from the Fibonacci sequence in the spirals on pinecones and the heads of sunflowers to fractals in trees and coastlines. Over the past few decades, however, I have come to realize that many students like more practical applications than these, such as the mathematics of personal finances and health decisions. Lynn Steen, Bernie Madison, Iddo Gal, Ellen Peters, the MAA’s special interest group of quantitative literacy (SIGMAA-QL), and the National Numeracy Network have opened a new world to me—and consequently to my students!

I have learned that quantitative literacy enhances and extends life because it improves life decisions. And many students—even the ones who excel in traditional mathematics—often lack such literacy. As a result, I now not only teach Quantitative Reasoning  but also co-direct the NSF-sponsored project QuantNet Ohio: Developing a Statewide Professional Development Network for Effective Teaching of Undergraduate Quantitative Reasoning Courses, and I chair AMATYC’s academic network (ANet) on Quantitative Reasoning (QR)—both designed to help other instructors to love QR and to teach it effectively.

Here are some articles and books to read. These resources include informed opinion, research results, and teaching tips. Among them are classics, such as Mathematics and Democracy and Quantitative Literacy: Why Numeracy Matters for Schools and Colleges, and contemporary works, some of which of which I have co-authored:

Alhammouri, A. M., & Foley, G. D. (2019). Developing financial literacy and mathematical prowess by modeling using spreadsheets. MathAMATYC Educator, 10(3), 23–34, 65–66.

Alhammouri, A. M., Foley, G. D., & Dael, K. (2018). Tracking trout: Engaging students in modeling. Mathematics Teacher, 111, 416–423.

Budhathoki, D., Foley, G. D., & Shadik, S. (2024). Instructional decision making in a gateway Quantitative Reasoning course. Numeracy, 17(1), Article 2.

Foley, G. D., Budhathoki, D., Thapa, A. B., & Aryal, H. P. (2023). Instructor perspectives on quantitative reasoning for critical citizenship. ZDM–Mathematics Education, 55(5), 1009–1020.

Foley, G. D., & Wachira, P. W. (2021). From gatekeeper to gateway: The role of quantitative reasoning. Ohio Journal of School Mathematics, 87, 29–36.

Gal, I. (2022, March 14). What every (numeracy) educator working with (young) adults should know about civic statistics, and why [Adults Learning Mathematics/International Association for Statistical Education webinar].

Gal, I., Grotlüschen, A., Tout, D., & Kaiser, G. (2020). Numeracy, adult education, and vulnerable adults: A critical view of a neglected field. ZDM–Mathematics Education, 52(3), 377–394.

Madison, B. L. (2019). Quantitative literacy: An orphan no longer. In S. L. Tunstall, G. Karaali, & V. Piercey (Eds.), Shifting contexts, stable core: Advancing quantitative literacy in higher education (pp. 37–46). Mathematical Association of America.

Madison, B. L., & Steen, L. A. (Eds.). (2003). Quantitative literacy: Why numeracy matters for schools and colleges. National Council on Education and the Disciplines.

Peters, E. (2020). Innumeracy in the wild: Misunderstanding and misusing numbers. Oxford University Press.

Peters, E., & Shoots-Reinhard, B. (2023). Better decision making through objective numeracy and numeric self-efficacy. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 68, 1–75.

Piercey, V., & Militzer, E. (2017). An inquiry-based quantitative reasoning course for business students. PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 27(7), 693–706.

Steen, L. A. (Executive Ed.). (2001). Mathematics and democracy: The case for quantitative literacy. National Council on Education and the Disciplines & Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

Tunstall, S. L., Karaali, G., & Piercey, V. (Eds.). (2019). Shifting contexts, stable core: Advancing quantitative literacy in higher education [MAA Notes No. 88]. Mathematical Association of America.



03-21-2024 00:26:26

Thank you for compiling and sharing this comprehensive list of resources. 

03-20-2024 16:00:02

Thank you for sharing these resources.  We are revising our curriculum in Kansas and at KCKCC to move towards pathways.  I will definitely dive deeper into what you have listed here as I look for new resources to support our change.