Education: To Conquer Fear of Counting

A new book shows how widely math is misunderstood

The fight against illiteracy has become such a crusade in the U.S. that another enemy seems to have slipped past the ramparts while everyone has been learning to read. Bruce R. Vogeli, chairman of the department of mathematics and science education at Columbia University Teachers College, calls this foe the "major untouched educational issue of the decade." Science writer Martin Gardner (The Relativity Explosion) finds it a "problem that is getting worse and worse." Its name: innumeracy, or the inability to understand numbers and their meaning.

Now John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University, has written a book about...

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