Research briefing: Numeracy

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While numeracy has been the ‘poor cousin’ of literacy in the past, and still is in many countries, in England Skills for Life (SfL) has made it an equal partner. Numeracy participation and achievement figures are rising each year (Bathmaker and Pilling, forthcoming 2008). However, they still lag behind those for literacy, as does the number of tutors teaching the subject (Carpentieri et al. 2008). The standard explanation for lower participation in numeracy is that people are not as bothered by poor numeracy as they are by poor literacy. However, new research by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) has found that it is not complacency that keeps individuals from participating in numeracy courses, but fear.

(2008) Numeracy. NRDC London