MATHEMATICAL LITERACY OF PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN THE CONTEXT OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS

M. Uhlirova, R. Dofkova, J. Laitochová

Palacky University in Olomouc, Faculty of Education (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Mathematical education is one of the pillars of the educational system of all countries. Mathematical knowledge is essential for a success of each individual in the rapidly evolving digital society. In different countries, we meet different concepts of education. We consider international cooperation in the field of education a unique opportunity to find a common perspective on the future in the spirit of globalization tendencies.

International TIMSS research tracks the level of mathematical literacy in selected countries of the world. Pupils of the Czech Republic were placed in the second half of the final placements of the participating countries. Pupils did not have problem with knowledge-based tasks. Their biggest problem was to solve application tasks with contextual understanding of the text. The Arab Republic of Egypt is not a partner country of TIMSS research. Our Egyptian partner was interested in mathematical literacy. Together, we designed a research survey inspired by the above-mentioned research, with an emphasis on application tasks within the definition of mathematical literacy of pupils.

The contribution deals with preliminary results of Mathematical Literacy across Borders (MLB) research into the issue of mathematical literacy of pupils of the fifth grade of elementary schools in the Czech Republic and Egypt. The research was carried out by the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Education, Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, and the Department of Pedagogy, Faculty of Education, University of Alexandria, Egypt. A non-standardized didactic test for pupils of the 5th grade of elementary schools was created, containing ten mathematical problems with a choice of answers. The test was distributed in the Czech, Arabic and English versions. In choosing tasks, due to the different socio-cultural environments in which pupils grow up in the participating countries, emphasis was placed on the clarity and socio-cultural adequacy of the context of the tasks. In this paper we present mainly the results of Czech pupils.