Math Literacy Standards in Health Science

We all are aware that today's workplace demands higher levels of problem solving skill in its entry-level workers.  However, numerous studies show that many, if not most, students leave high school without basic knowledge or understanding in literacy, numeracy, and employability skills.

Recent data shows that many students require remediation when they attempt to enter community, technical or four-year colleges. More than half of those entering two-year colleges and nearly half of those entering four-year colleges require remediation in math, reading, writing or all three. In short, they are "high school students" in a higher education setting.
Since many of the math and literacy skills required for both workplace success and entry into higher education are taught in the late middle school and early high school years, one problem is the lack of follow up or reinforcement of these basic skills, especially in areas like algebra, The need for work-bound students (estimated at between 67 percent to 75 percent of students) to develop strong high school level skills in math, reading and writing has increased in recent years. 

Mathematics is no longer a requi rement only for scientists and engineers. Some degree of mathematical literacy is required of anyone entering the workplace or seeking advancement in a career.

In CTE courses, math becomes contextualized and therefore more readily understandable. Mathematical concepts are found in all areas of CTE, but are often not explicitly visible to teachers and students.  The concept of "contextual learning" is not new. John Dewey argued that the great waste in school comes from students' inability to use the experience they bring from out-of-schooling settings, while on the other hand they are unable to apply in daily life what they are learning in school. The isolation of the school--and its isolation from life--prevents students from connecting their learning to their everyday activities, including work. 

Information taken from:
New Report: Capitalizing on Context: Curriculum Integration in Career and Technical Education

The NRCCTE has undertaken three scientifically based research studies in an effort to determine whether the integration of CTE courses with academic content can increase student achievement. These include the Math-in-CTE study, completed in 2005 (Stone, Alfeld, Pearson, Lewis, & Jensen, 2006); the Authentic Literacy Applications in CTE pilot study, completed in 2009, with a full-year study launched in 2010; and the Science-in-CTE pilot study, launched in 2010. This report contains a summary of findings from the Math-in-CTE study, with emphasis on the five core principles that emerged from the study. Evaluation data collected from Math-in-CTE technical assistance sites further illustrate these principles. This report also contains findings from the Authentic Literacy in CTE pilot study and evidence from that study supporting the five core principles.

NRCCTE Curriculum Integration Workgroup. (2010, March). Capitalizing on context: Curriculum integration in career and technical education. Louisville, KY: National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, University of Louisville. PDF Document.
Click on a link below to see examples of how math literacy is integrated into B&IT.