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Reflect training: numeracy (PLA 52)

Journal article

This tips for trainers section explains some of the key elements of numeracy as understood in Reflect, and indicates how training approaches are developed based on this understanding. Numeracy is sidelined in many traditional learning processes, and when it is introduced it is usually in the abstract, reduced to basic arithmetic. The Reflect approach to numeracy is very different from most school-based education. Numeracy training focuses on ‘unlearning’ mathematics, and broadening the facilitators’ conception of what mathematics is, and how it relates to everyday life. Reflect has reconceptualised training, emphasizing the importance of both the trainer and participants learning and contributing to the overall learning environment, and emphasising that both are able to create new knowledge. In a Reflect process, numeracy is understood broadly: it is about solving problems, analysing issues, and expressing information clearly and concisely; and it is usually a mixture of written, oral, and mental methods. The idea of graphic construction and visual representation, which is so central to Reflect, is intrinsically mathematical. In fact many of the graphics, such as matrices, pie charts, bar charts, and calendars, use mathematics explicitly for analysis. Participatory Learning and Action 52 is a general issue. It includes a wide selection of articles, extracts and training tips from participatory practitioners around the world.

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