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Turning Our Attention from the What to the How: the National Numeracy Strategy

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This article examines the policy of the UK Labour Government between 1997 and 1999 in relation to the production and implementation of the National Numeracy Strategy, within the structure of context of influence, context of policy texts and context of practice. It examines its roots in, and differences from, numeracy and mathematics policies of previous regimes. Some tensions between the philosophies of modernisation and traditionalism, which are represented among those responsible for the New Labour education policies and which are reflected in the National Numeracy Strategy are discussed. Finally, evidence from the context of practice demonstrates that despite the attempt at tight prescription and control, cyclical recontextualisation and multiple interpretations exist.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Education, King's College London

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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