By Lehmer D. N.
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Extra info for The General Solution of the Indeterminate Equation Ax + By + Cz +... = r
Of the 5 per cent reporting ‘problems’ with numeracy, over a quarter reported ‘difficulties’ in everyday life arising from these problems, for example, difficulties at work, getting jobs, or in household management. There were no gender differences in reporting numeracy problems, but, of those reporting problems with numeracy, five times as many men as women had attended classes (Hamilton and Stasinopoulos 1987). Mathematical Thinking in Context among Adults 15 The first and the last results are unexpected.
A related notion that it is possible to have ‘the same’ mathematical task in different contexts. A consequent view of task and context as neatly separable for analytical purposes. A resultant tendency to downplay the importance of the context. A view of ‘transfer’ to other subjects and to everyday living and working, as relatively straightforward. That is, as long as the mathematics is learned properly, in its abstraction, the applications will follow. This set of views has been challenged by several other approaches, one of which was the Cockcroft Report (1982).
An emphasis on numerical skills, the ability to perform basic arithmetic operations, as in the approaches discussed in the previous subsection, may be called proficiency numeracy. 4 The functional view was developed further in adult education during the mid1970s adult literacy campaigns, when adult numeracy problems became evident in their own right. Again, the expression ‘functional numeracy’ is used to emphasise its practical nature (as in ‘functional literacy’). However, Withnall et al. define numeracy as ‘efficiency in mathematics relative to the tasks to be achieved’ (Withnall et al.
The General Solution of the Indeterminate Equation Ax + By + Cz +... = r by Lehmer D. N.