quantitative literacy, assessment


An edited transcript of the opening session of a workshop on quantitative literacy held Oct. 10-12, 2008 at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota. The workshop, which brought together interdisciplinary teams from two dozen colleges and universities, was sponsored by the Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge (QuIRK) Initiative at Carleton and the Washington-based Project Kaleidoscope. Two mathematicians in the forefront of quantitative literacy initiatives over the period 1997-2008, Lynn Arthur Steen and Bernard L. Madison, converse about attitudes, obstacles, changes and accomplishments. The conversation, structured as an interview, begins with the relationship between mathematics and quantitative literacy and moves through issues central to effective education in quantitative reasoning to the relationship of such reasoning to the US financial crises of 2008.