Looking for more articles by TERC staff? Search here.


Mary Jane Schmitt and Dave Tout

The Annual Review of Adult Learning and Literacy (2002) . San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. pp 152-202.


In their chapter on numeracy in ABE, Dave Tout and Mary Jane Schmitt begin by exploring the many terms used to describe the learning of mathematics by adults. They discuss the relationship between the terms "mathematics" and "numeracy" and explain why numeracy—making meaning with numbers and mathematical processes—is the term they chose for their overview. Moving on to examine adult numeracy education in the U.S, the authors find that little attention is paid to the development of math skills among adults in ABE research but that adult numeracy education is prominent in practice. They highlight the development of practitioner groups that share ideas, promote improvement in practice and influence curriculum development at state, local and national levels. Further, they discuss influences on math education (e.g., GED exams and commercially-produced workbooks) and discuss the place of numeracy in policy documents, including the National Reporting System and Equipped for the Future Content Standards.

Download article here