The PISA definition of mathematical literacy

“The focus of the PISA 2012 assessment was on measuring an individual’s capacity to formulate, employ and interpret mathematics in a variety of contexts. It includes reasoning mathematically and using mathematical concepts, procedures, facts, and tools to describe, explain and predict phenomena. It assists individuals in recognising the role that mathematics plays in the world and to make the well-founded judgements and decisions needed by constructive, engaged and reflective citizens.

The focus on real-life contexts is also reflected in the reference to using “tools” that appears in the PISA 2012 definition of mathematical literacy. The word “tools” here refers to physical and digital equipment, software and calculation devices that have become ubiquitous in 21st century workplaces. Examples for this assessment include a ruler, a calculator, a spreadsheet, an online currency converter and specific mathematics software, such as dynamic geometry. Using these tools require a degree of mathematical reasoning that the PISA assessment is well-equipped to measure. “

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