quantitative reasoning, STEM education, proportional reasoning, modeling, statistical literacy


This editorial questions the preeminence of algebra in our mathematics curriculum. The GATC (Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus) sequence abandons the fundamental middle school math topics necessary for quantitative literacy, while the standard super-abundance of algebra taught in the abstract fosters math phobia and supports a culturally acceptable stance that math is not relevant to everyday life. Although GATC is seen as a pipeline to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), it is a mistake to think that the objective of producing quantitatively literate citizens is at odds with creating more scientists and engineers. The goal must be to create a curriculum that addresses the quantitative reasoning needs of all students, providing meaningful engagement in mathematics that will simultaneously develop quantitative literacy and spark an interest in STEM fields. In my view, such a curriculum could be based on a foundation of proportional reasoning leading to higher-order quantitative reasoning via modeling (including algebraic reasoning and problem solving) and statistical literacy (through the exploration and study of data).



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