Research into academic numeracy

Document Type


Publication details

Taylor, JA & Galligan, L 2009, 'Research into academic numeracy', poster presented to Australian Learning & Teaching Council First Year Experience Curriculum Design Symposium, Brisbane, Qld., 5-6 February.

Presentation available online at:



Academic numeracy is a critical awareness that allows students to become confident and competent in using mathematics and to be able to situate, interpret, critique, use, communicate and even create mathematics within their discipline’s setting. Academic numeracy is usually based on both the mathematics learnt at school and the mathematics needed in disciplines such as nursing or economics. Many students at both school and university are opting to study easier types of mathematics; universities are removing mathematical pre-requisites from award programs and not recognising the embedded mathematics within many of their courses. These trends ensure that initiatives which allow students to bridge the mathematical gaps to university are still necessary. Yet while research into mathematics at university does exist, it is still in it infancy. There are many questions not fully answered and as universities move into the culture of quality and performance matched funding, it is essential that we continue to address the following questions: • What academic numeracy is needed by students at university? • What are students’ academic numeracy skills on entering university? • What are the most effective ways to develop the academic numeracy skills of university students? This Showcase will highlight some of the research undertaken by the authors and the curricula and resources developed by them and the team at USQ.