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However, the term ‘critical numeracy’ implies much more.One of the most basic reasons for learning mathematics is to be able to apply mathematical skills and knowledge to solve both simple and complex problems, and, more than just allowing us to navigate our lives through a mathematical lens, being numerate allows us to make our world a better place. The Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2017), requires teachers to address four proficiencies: Problem Solving, Reasoning, Fluency, and Understanding.
They need to learn to question, to be critical, and to be creative.
They need to feel they have permission to engage in exploration and investigation.
All of the above activities can be used in class and/or for homework, as lesson starters or within the body of a lesson. First, it’s important that we model this type of thinking for our students.
Often students see mathematics as black or white, right or wrong.
Alongside the mathematics curriculum, we also have the General Capabilities, one of which is Critical and Creative Thinking – there’s no excuse! When we embed critical and creative thinking, we transform learning from disjointed, memorisation of facts, to sense-making mathematics.
Learning becomes more meaningful and purposeful for students.
This makes it a good topic for a discussion with your tutor as creative and critical thinking are likely to be important throughout your studies.
Demonstrating creative and critical thinking is likely to be especially important when producing longer assignments such as dissertations, projects and theses.
The author argues that using both thinking processes together creates a much more productive thinking process.
An interesting analogy that he uses in the book is: Think of the thinking process as a kayak with 2 paddles.