Functional mathematics in an electronic age: what do we teach?

At some stage in curriculum planning for learners who struggle with mathematics, the conversation usually turns to a discussion of ‘functional mathematics’ with the view to what the student will need in the future. This ‘functional’ mathematics has tended to focus on basic arithmetic (often using written methods or rote learning of number facts), money (particularly tending currency and calculating change), and time. Perhaps these aspects were important for numerate adult citizenship in the past but what is ‘functional mathematics’ in our present age? How do we determine what and how mathematics should be taught in this electronic age where the tools of mathematics are so readily available?
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