Developing the Four Capacities Through Maths

What does it mean?

Developing successful learners

Establishing good numeracy skills is necessary for successful learning across the curriculum and developing these skills needs to be of high priority for all children, young people and their teachers. Mathematics can offer particular opportunities for motivation. Children and young people can experience real satisfaction and enjoyment through, for example, fascination with patterns and successes in solving problems and puzzles. At the appropriate stage of their development, engaging with more abstract mathematical concepts encourages children and young people to develop important new kinds of thinking.

Developing confident individuals

Competence in using arithmetical and mathematical processes plays an important part in giving children and young people confidence to play a full and effective part in society. Successful independent living depends upon an ability to deal, for example, with measurements and schedules and manage money. Mathematics has an important part to play in developing financial awareness and capability.

Developing responsible citizens

 Applying mathematics in other curriculum areas helps children and young people to develop their knowledge and understanding of, for example, issues of sustainability. Mathematics can make an important contribution to helping children and young people to make informed decisions. As they develop their understanding they can interpret numerical information appropriately and use it to draw conclusions, assess risk and make reasoned evaluations.

Developing effective contributors

Mathematics offers a host of different contexts to apply skills and understanding creatively and logically to solve problems. Working on suitably challenging problems individually and in groups helps to develop resilience and gives opportunities to communicate solutions.  The future prosperity of Scotland within a competitive global economy will depend upon high levels of numeracy across the population and significant numbers of our young people with the mathematical competence to operate in specialist contexts such as research and development environments.

Extracts taken from Building the Curriculum 3 – 18  (1)  2006

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