Numeracy vs Mathematics
We all know about mathematics as a field of study that deals with numbers and measurements that allow us to deal with difficult concepts easily. More than and equal to are concepts that we are born with and mathematics allows us to delve deeper into these concepts with multiplication and division helping us in daily lives tremendously while dealing with currency and various other objects. Numeracy is a concept that is referred to as the ability to make use of mathematical concepts adeptly in our daily lives. There is quite a bit of similarity and overlapping between numeracy and mathematics confusing many. However, there are differences between numeracy and mathematics that will be highlighted in this article.
Numeracy is a concept that has evolved to reflect basic competency and skills in dealing with mathematical concepts in daily lives. However, there are differences in opinions, and while some restrict the concept to the basic understanding of concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, there are others who feel that numeracy is much more than these basic mathematical skills. This is because they feel that managing personal finance has today become a specialized task and requires an understanding of mathematical skills at a much higher level. Also, people are today being exposed to statistical information in a much broader way than ever before making use of mean, median, and frequency as if they must be aware of these concepts. Thus, it appears that, despite people and government thinking of numeracy as mathematics, it is much more than having a basic understanding of mathematical skills.
Mathematics is a field of study involving numbers and specialized operations that make dealing with quantities easier for us. Difficult concepts of time, speed, velocity, heat, light, valences etc. are easy to understand with the help of mathematical symbols and operations. However, pure mathematics that is explained using symbols and signs alone is complex and goes beyond numbers. Mathematics consists of many subfields such as math, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus, etc.
What is the difference between Numeracy and Mathematics?
• Numeracy is the ability to grasp mathematical concepts to deal with quantities and other situations in daily lives.
• Mathematics is a field of study that involves numbers, space, and concepts that correlate objects and their qualities. It teaches specialized operations that help in solving complex problems in many other fields of study. There is no scientific subject that can be studied or explained without making use of basic mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
• Earlier it was thought that being able to apply mathematical concepts to understand things around us in daily lives was enough and a person was called numerate. However, today there is much more than basic mathematical abilities that are required by an individual, to understand and manage personal finances. An individual is expected to have knowledge of frequency, mean, median, and percentage to be able to manage his portfolio and also not to be fooled by others.
• Mathematics is a much broader field of study than mere numeracy but numeracy involves one part that is outside mathematics too. This means there is some overlapping between a large circle (mathematics) and a small circle (numeracy).