The Mathematics Enthusiast


Alan Bishop






literacy and expertise from their citizens than ever before. At the heart of such demands is the need for greater engagement by students with school mathematics and science. As the OECD/PISA definition of numeracy puts it:

“Mathematical literacy is an individual’s capacity to identify and understand the role that mathematics plays in the world, to make well-founded judgements and to use and engage with mathematics in ways that meet the needs of that individual’s life as a constructive, concerned and reflective citizen”(OECD, 2003)

Values are an inherent part of the educational process at all levels, from the systemic, institutional macro-level, through the meso-level of curriculum development and management, to the microlevel of classroom interactions (Le Métais, 1997) where they play a major role in establishing a sense of personal and social identity for the student. However the notion of studying values in mathematics education is a relatively recent phenomenon (Bishop, 1999). According to Chin, Leu, and Lin (2001), the values portrayed by teachers in mathematics classrooms are linked to their pedagogical identities. Seah and Bishop (2001) describe the values held by teachers as representing their 'cognisation' of affective variables such as beliefs and attitudes, and the subsequent internalisation of these values into their respective affective-cognitive personal system.

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