When Sara was in the first grade, her teacher discovered that she had weak writing skills. No matter what techniques they tried, the teacher saw no improvement. Throughout her elementary school years, Sara made little progress in writing and often felt embarrassed about her handwriting. On occasion classmates ridiculed her.
In our introduction to this issue of Mosaic, we referred to Paulo Freire’s description of literacy as “reading the word and world.” That same phrase-with its dual emphasis on the concrete and the abstract—can be used to characterize EDC’s definition of mathematical literacy.