quantitative literacy, quantitative reasoning, numeracy, memetics


Some of the specific institutional problems faced by quantitative reasoning courses, programs and requirements arise from the fragile intellectual position of “quantitative reasoning” as an idea, or meme. The process of isolation and reintroduction explains both the proliferation of living species and the way in which some difficult ideas take their place in a culture. Using evolutionary explanations as metaphor and the Copernican revolution as an example of a difficult idea, we draw lessons that can be applied to the “quantitative reasoning” meme, including the function of the National Numeracy Network as an island of protected discourse favoring the growth of the QR meme. We conclude that the mission of the National Numeracy Network should focus on attributes of that island, and in particular extend the mission beyond being a network, to being an actual community.



Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License