4: Quality Education

Innumeracy Assignment

Candy Ho and Pamela Ip

Cohort 2019-2020


You are a part of a global effort to increase access to education and empower students through “open pedagogy.”  Open pedagogy is a “free access” educational practice that places you – the student – at the center of your own learning process in a more engaging, collaborative learning environment.  The ultimate purpose of this effort is to achieve greater social justice in our community in which the work can be freely shared with the broader community.  This is a renewable assignment that is designed to enable you to become an agent of change in your community through the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  For this work, you will integrate the disciplines of Math; Marketing; Educational Studies to achieve SDG #04: Quality Education;  Target 4.6 “By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.”

Learning Objectives

(none identified)


Numeracy is the ability to understand and work with numbers. [7] 

Through a series of class discussions, personal reflection, and group work students will explore the crisis of innumeracy, potential causes, as well as some strategies to accomplish the envisioned goal of reducing the prevalence of innumeracy. Throughout the course students are required to complete a number of local assignments and class discussions culminating in a global assignment completed in groups. During the process students maintain a shared oneNote notebook, or some similar application, to journal their thoughts, contributions and pertinent details as we move through the phases of the assignment.


Local Assignment #1: What Does a Mathematician Look Like?

These local assignments will address the following course outcome: “Effectively communicate the concepts and applications of linear algebra using the language of linear algebra in a mathematically correct way.” The following exercises emphasize the development of a math identity. During this experience, be eager to share with and learn from your peers, while at the same time considering how you might become an agent of change in your community. Some communication formats you will use include publication through web utilizing creative commons copyright, Wikipedia authoring and editing, the organization app Popplet, oneNote, google sheets, google forms, podcasting apps and meme makers. All are freely available to you!

1. Mathematician Images

The first local assignment focuses on investigating mathematical figures in history, as well as building our own mathematical identity. Responses will be shared through the course discussion board.

• Share the name of a mathematician or mathematical role model you look up to, and briefly describe why you have chosen that person.

• Share an image that comes to mind when you think of a mathematician. These images could be conveyed through a written or recorded description.

• Read the following article, write a reflection in your oneNote. Be prepared for a follow up class discussion.

What Does a Mathematician Look Like?

2. Impostor Syndrome in Mathematics

An impostor is a person who pretends to be someone else in order to deceive others, especially for fraudulent gain. [6]

Read the following opinion pieces relating experience with Impostor Syndrome. Reflect on your thoughts related to the article in your oneNote. Where Does Math Impostor Syndrome Come From? and On “Impostor Syndrome”

We will consider the following questions:

• What is your experience with Math growing up?

• What obvious advantages might the author have in her upbringing?

• Give examples of a situation that might undermine a student’s confidence in their mathematical capability.

3. Mathematical Popplet

Research a mathematician of interest and create a Popplet to be shared to the class discussion board. The vertex of the Popplet will require an image of the individual and at least three facts or vignettes of interest. You may create a complex popplet or one as simplified as the following Popplet Example

4. Wiki Creation and Editing

Find and analyze the Wiki entry related to the Mathematician in your research. Be prepared to report in class discussion if anything is missing from the entry and what (if any) information should be added. Edit the entry to reflect the gaps. If no entry is available – create one. Consider the guidelines for editing on Wikipedia.

Local Assignment #2: A Numerate World

1. Data Collection

Compile, analyze and interpret data regarding numeracy at the college, in the US, and a country of your choosing. You may find information related to your country of choice in the SDG 4 country profile web page. Save your data in your oneNote and record a brief analysis of your findings. Be prepared to share your thoughts in class discussion. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with the Institute for Statistics (UIS) maintains the following web resource, housing comprehensive related information to UNSDG 4/ Target 6.

2. Community Resources

“Millions of youth and adults are unable to play their full part in the social and economic life of their communities and nations because they lack the skills to read or write a simple sentence or make a simple calculation.” (Montoya, 2018)[5] What resources are available to help individuals grow in numeracy? Share at least three relevant academic or community resources available to assist people in developing numeracy skills. Record the information in our course blog.

3. Compare and Contrast Podcast

Compare and contrast US math instruction with an alternate country. Anecdotal information will be welcome in this reflection. Work alone or in a team of no more than 5, to create a 3 + minute “podcast” describing your find

Local Assignment #4: Choose Numeracy

  1. I’m Aware of my Bad Reputation

Does numeracy have a bad reputation? View the This collection of memes selected from cheeseburger.com, Facebook, imgur.com, Reddit, askideas.com reflect some perceptions related to

Format Requirements


[1] https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300

[2] https://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

[3] https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975

[4] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/education/

[5] http://uis.unesco.org/en/blog/meet-sdg-4-data-measuring-youth-andadult-literacy-and-numeracy

[6] https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/impostor

[7] https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/numeracy

[8] https://imgflip.com/i/tmb1e



Innumeracy Assignment is licensed by Candy HoKwantlen Polytechnic UniversityPamela IpKwantlen Polytechnic UniversityMary WallKwantlen Polytechnic University under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA)   



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Innumeracy Assignment by Candy Ho and Pamela Ip is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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