"Facts don't exist anymore. What counts these days is what story you can spin. To the extent that this is so, all the more reason to prepare critically literate individuals, and what more effective place to start than with mathematical literacy. Even I might have loved math if I had known how to use it to make a more just and equitable world! Bravo to the Whitins for once again showing us how to add things up this right way!" Jerome C. Harste, Indiana University
"It is never too early to involve learners in high-interest, real-world, information gathering activities that challenge them to analyze language and interpret data. This book makes an important contribution to elementary reading and mathematics, providing ideas for developing critical literacy skills by engaging learners in language and data analyses, and encouraging them to use data in making social-action decisions." Frances R. Curcio, Queens College of the City University of New York
"Not only do the Whitins show us why numbers need to be interrogated, they also demostrate how to teach young children not to take numbers at face value. For example, from conducting their own surveys children learn that information that is quantified is tied to the questions that are asked. This book offers an important new dimension to critical literacy." Hilary Janks, University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa
"Through the use of classroom examples the Whitins breathe new life into numeracy work by re-framing it from a critical literacy perspective. Working to disrupt commonplace beliefs about the apolitical nature of mathematics, this book brings us closer to understanding that what we claim to be true or real about mathematics is in fact mediated through Discourse and therefore never neutral. A must read for K-8 teachers!" Vivian Vasquez, American University, Washington DC
Being a critical reader of numerical information is an integral part of being literate in today's data-drenched world. Uniquely addressing both mathematics and language issues, this text shows how critical readers dig beneath the surface of data to better evaluate their usefulness and to understand how numbers are constructed by authors to portray a certain version of reality. Engaging, concise, and rich with examples and clear connections to classroom practice, it provides a framework of critical questions that children and teachers can pose to crack open author's intentions, expose their decisions, and make clear who are the winners and losers---questions that are essential for building democratic classrooms.
Explaining and illustrating how K-8 teachers can engage students in developing the ability to be both critical composers and critical readers of texts, Learning to Read the Numbers is designed for teacher education courses across the areas of language arts, mathematics, and curriculum studies, and for elementary teachers, administrators, and literacy and mathematics coaches.