Il contesto reale richiede spesso abilità matematiche.
People try to manage or respond to a situation involving numeracy because they want to satisfy a purpose or reach a goal. Four types of contexts that may require the use of numeracy skills are described below. These are not mutually exclusive and may involve the same underlying mathematical themes.
Il contesto reale: la vita quotidiana.
In everyday life, adults encounter quantitative tasks in personal and family contexts or in the pursuit of hobbies, personal development and interests. Representative tasks related to the context of everyday life include: handling money and budgets; shopping and managing personal time; planning travel; playing games of chance; understanding sports scoring and statistics; reading maps; and using measurements in home situations, such as cooking, doing home repairs or pursuing hobbies.
At work, adults are confronted with quantitative situations that often are more specialised than those seen in everyday life. Representative tasks related to work situations include: completing purchase orders; totaling receipts; calculating change; managing schedules, budgets and project resources; using spreadsheets; organising and packing different shaped goods; completing and interpreting control charts; making and recording measurements; reading blueprints; tracking expenditures; predicting costs; and applying formulas.
Il contesto reale: la società.
Society or community
Adults need to have an awareness of what is occurring in the society, the economy and the environment (e.g. trends in crime, health, wages, pollution), and may have to take part in social events or community action. This requires a capacity to read and interpret quantitative information presented in the media, including statistical messages and graphs. Adults may also have to manage a variety of situations, such as raising funds for a football club or interpreting the results of a study on a medical condition.
Il contesto reale: continuare a studiare.
Competence in numeracy may enable a person to participate in further study, whether for academic purposes or as part of vocational training. In either case, it is important to know some of the more formal aspects of mathematics that involve symbols, rules and formulae and to understand some of the conventions used to apply mathematical rules and principles.
Performance in all of the above contexts is based on a combination of cognitive and non-cognitive elements; thus numeracy needs to be considered as a competency, not just as the possession of a set of technical skills or know-how.
For example, engagement in further learning of mathematical topics, whether in formal or informal contexts, requires the willingness learn in the first place, as well as the capacity to persevere with such learning. For this level of engagement to occur, an adult must have positive beliefs and attitudes about mathematics and about his or her ability to cope with mathematical tasks.