The aims of teaching mathematics: mathematical literacy vs mathematical reasoning
Rimas Norvaiša
Vilnius University
Published 2021-03-15


mathematical literacy
mathematical reasoning
mathematical competence
philosophy of mathematics education

How to Cite

Norvaiša R. (2021) “The aims of teaching mathematics: mathematical literacy vs mathematical reasoning”, Lietuvos matematikos rinkinys, 61(B), pp. 8-14. doi: 10.15388/LMR.2020.22472.


We discuss different alternatives of the content of school mathematics. According to the prevalent public opinion in Lithuania school mathematics can be oriented either to the academic mathematics or to the applications of mathematics. In reality the second alternative means lowering of the level of teaching in the hope that school mathematics will be accessible to all students. While the content oriented to the academic school mathematics is accessible only to gifted students. In this article we describe a middle alternative content which we call school mathematics based on mathematical reasoning. We argue that such school mathematics serves all students and makes acquaintance with mathematical reasoning and with applications of mathematics to the real world. Reasoning makes mathematics reasonable for all.

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