Quantitative Literacy

Initial Publication Date: October 14, 2010
Any course that uses tables of data, equations, graphs, or makes arguments based on quantitative information provides an opportunity for students to enhance fluency in quantitative methods.

Laptop on lap
In recent years, educators have made a case for improving students' quantitative literacy skills. There are a large number of resources that support instructors teaching quantitative literacy, as represented by the list below.


  • The National Numeracy Network (NNN), hosted by SERC provides a wealth of resources that make the case for teaching quantitative literacy and provides extensive classroom support for achieving this goal. Through national meetings, faculty workshops, research initiatives, and information sharing, the NNN aims to strengthen quantitative areas of business, industry, education, and research across all disciplines.
  • The Center for Mathematics and Quantitative Education at Dartmouth College, part of the National Numeracy Network, works to establish a collection of materials for teaching quantitative literacy across all disciplines and levels. The materials on the site feature context-driven mathematics and are sorted according to level and discipline.
  • A resources page tied to the National Numeracy Network provides links to materials produced for teaching quantitative literacy in real-world contexts.
  • The Mathematical Association of America is the largest professional society that focuses on making mathematics accessible. The Association's mission is to advance the mathematical sciences, especially at the undergraduate college level.
  • Carleton College's Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge Initiative works to improve education through projects that support educators. The Center emphasizes undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and works with educators across a broad range of disciplines and at all educational levels.
  • In Mathematics and Democracy, the authors make a case for improving quantitative literacy skills.
  • The Teaching Quantitative Literacy module also makes a strong case for teaching quantitative literacy and provides some instruction on quantitative concepts, written especially for the geosciences but useful to a wide range of disciplines.
  • The Inventing and Testing Models module provides support for instructors seeking to integrate model-building and statistical testing in the classroom.
  • Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum provides a number of applications from a variety of disciplines in which spreadsheet assignments are embedded in Power Point slides. The purpose of these examples is to instruct students to build their own spreadsheets and guide them through the process of solving one or more problems. Each module is equipped with an end of module assignment. The end of module assignments can also be used as a pre- and post- testing. This module also makes an argument for teaching quantitative literacy.
  • Social Explorer is a premier U.S. demographics website. The site's online tools help users visually analyze and understand the demography of the United States through the use of interactive maps and data reports. The site's primary product is a web-based application that creates fast, intuitive, and visually appealing maps and reports. Anyone with an Internet connection can gain access through the site to census data that was previously the domain of social science experts.
  • The Mathematics Across the Community College Curriculum (MAC^3), funded by the National Science Foundation, is dedicated to creating a mathematically literate society to ensure a workforce equipped to compete in a technologically advanced global economy. This project develops training for math and non-math faculty across the disciplines to create, evaluate and modify projects that incorporate mathematics in community college curriculum.
  • The Real World Learning Objects (RWLO) Resource Library is an online repository of Internet-based learning objects designed for community college faculty to easily access and adapt them for use in their classes. Its activities are focused on discrete topics in higher education, mathematics, science, educational technology, and language arts. They can easily be used in similar courses at other institutions to enhance learning and integrate technology in a meaningful way.

« Previous Page