"Statistical literacy is the ability to
read and interpret summary statistics in the everyday media: in graphs,
tables, statements, surveys and studies. Statistical literacy is
needed by data consumers – students in non-quantitative majors: majors with
no quantitative requirement such as political science, history, English,
primary education, communications, music, art and philosophy. About 40% of
all US college students graduating in 2003 had non-quantitative majors."
By Milo Schield in "Assessing Statistical Literacy: Take CARE" Ch 11 in
Assessment Methods in Statistical Education, pp. 133-152.
Wiley 2010 Schield excerpts
Short introduction to Statistical Literacy.
For more on confounding, see Standardizing.
Dennis Haack (pictured
above) wrote the first statistical literacy textbook in 1979.
UK Parliament Briefing paper on Statistical Literacy
StatLit.org website had more than 26,000
downloads in May, 2013: the highest number in our eieven-year history.
Statistical literacy: "the ability to
read and interpret statistics, and think critically about arguments that use
statistics as evidence"
Development Dictionary (move slider to "s") [link broken/missing in
Statistical literacy: "understanding
the basic language of statistics (e.g., knowing what statistical terms and
symbols mean and being able to read statistical graphs), and understanding
some fundamental ideas of statistics."
GAISE College Report
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Yearly highlights of grants, new books, conference papers (ICOTS, ISI,
JSM, JMM), and events involving statistical literacy, numeracy and
OTHER RECOMMENDED INTRO BOOKS
Victor Cohn (1989),
News and Numbers
How To Lie with Statistics
Edward Tufte (1995),
presenting a general background or overview.
Twelve articles involving the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project:
Sense of Statistics by Nigel Hawkes and Leonor Sierra. Section
1: If a statistic is the answer, what was the question?
Section 2: Common pitfalls. Section 3: How sure are we?
Section 4: Percentages and risk; knowing the absolute and relative
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2013 GENERAL INTEREST NEWS
Jessica S. Ancker, M.P.H., Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the
Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy at Weill Cornell
Medical College in New York City. She uses quantitative and
qualitative methods to study how health technology affects
decisions, behaviors and outcomes. Dr. Ancker earned her BA from
Harvard University, and both her M.P.H. and Ph.D. from Columbia
University. In her research, Dr. Ancker studies the use
of health information technology by patients and providers, its
effects on medical decision making, and more broadly, its effects on
public health. She is also interested in issues of health illiteracy
and numeracy among patients, as well as statistical literacy among
providers. She is the author or co-author of more than 30
articles/book chapters including, “Rethinking Health Numeracy: A
Multidisciplinary Literature Review” and “Consumer Experience with
and Perceptions of Health Information Technology” (both published in
the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association). This
talk is sponsored by the Lehman College Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
Carman Hall B08: 10 - 11:30 AM.
2013 Oct 25:
Numeracy, Medicine, and Healthcare Talk at Lehman College.
"Uses the 3D holographic projection
system Musion which allows Rosling to interact with vast datasets
as-live in front of a studio audience, a first for factual
2012 Oct 11:
Don’t Panic - The Truth About Population by Hans Rosling (BBC).
2012 Oct 6:
Financial Literacy Beyond the Classroom by Richard H. Thaler.
On statistics education
for undergraduates (majors or not) and perhaps secondary school
students: "little of real
substance has changed in the past 20 years, the 1997 advent of AP
Statistics being the most significant exception." Journal of
Statistic s Education, Volume 21 , Number 2 (2013 ).
Interview with David Moore by Allan Rossman and E. Jacquelin
2013 July 16. New book: The Norm
Chronicles: Stories and numbers about danger by
Blastland and Spiegelhalter.
by Diane Coyle (UK). "I
don’t think basic statistical literacy is included in the new
curriculum for English primary schools – a shame when there’s
evidence everywhere of its absence."
2013 July 10.
Statistical Literacy for Schools
Check out his recent books: Thinking Statistically and The
Game Theory. Read about his forthcoming book: Everyday
2013 June 27. StatLit.org
adds new page for popular author Uri Bram.
Debate over the subject's relevancy brews even as the common
standards expect students to master that content.
2013 June 12.
Questions Arise About Need for Algebra 2 for All.
Six core objectives: Critical Thinking Skills,
Communication Skills, Empirical and Quantitative Skills (the
manipulation and analysis of numerical data or observable facts
resulting in informed conclusions), Teamwork, Social Responsibility
and Personal Responsibility.
Draft of new framework.
Comparison. See also
Fewer math courses in
new Texas school core. The new framework requires each
course within the curriculum to address at least three of the six
total objectives, such as critical thinking and communication, as
mandated by the state of Texas. Hinckley said the biggest difference
between the old core and the new changes will be that some courses
will have fewer options. Also, fewer math courses will satisfy the
curriculum requirements. More math course pathways will likely open
up for students. “Specifically, most students take college algebra
at present. Within a few years, we likely will see more liberal arts
majors take statistics to satisfy the math requirement,” Hinckley
2013 May 17.
New core curriculum for Texas higher education.
By John Bailar and Richard Campbell (director of the journalism
program at Miami University in SW Ohio). "Our first program on
'Baseball and statistics' ... includes an interview with Jim Albert
(the editor of the Journal of Quantitative Analysis and Sports) and
a package and person-on-the-street interviews produced and conducted
by student reporters (see the “About” page on this website for a
listing of all participants)." "Suggestions for future topics
(and guests) are welcome. Topics should be wide ranging covering
serious and lighter topics..."
2013 May 13.
Stats and Stories: a
radio program/podcast involving news and numbers.
by Joe Howard.
2013 April 14.
Teaching QR at the
University of Michigan
Irina Soderstrom at Eastern Kentucky Univ.
2013 April 9.
Statistical Literacy Serves Police Officers in Many Ways
Seton Hall University. 2:30 PM EDT/11:30 AM PDT on Monday
April 8. 1 PM EDT/10 AM PDT on April 11. "Susan Nolan
shares a framework for helping you teach students to think like
scientists. Included are a wide range of sure-fire real-world
examples you can embed across the psychology curriculum—from
introductory classes to capstone courses—as you show students how to
become more proficient in their scientific and quantitative
reasoning." Free one-hour session.
2013, April 8 & 11. Street Stats:
Using Real-World Examples to Teach Scientific Literacy across the
Psychology Curriculum by Susan A. Nolan
Statistics2013 promises to be a global celebration.
Professor Ron Wasserstein, Executive
Director of the American Statistical Association and member of the
Statistics2013 Steering Committee, describes some of the highlights.
"The more statistically literate people are, the better it will be
for advancing frontiers of science and helping set policies guided
by data and observation."
Math course added as college algebra option.
Arkansas adds QR as Algebra alternative for non-STEM majors.
IMS UPCOMING PROFESSIONAL EVENTS
2013 Oct 31 - Nov 2.
Numeracy Network 2013 Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA.
2013 Nov 16-19,
Decision Analytics — Rediscovering Our Roots.
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.
Submission Deadlines: April 1, 2013. Refereed papers and
competitions, and mini-conference proposals May 1, 2013.
Abstracts and proposal.
Call for papers. Also Decision Science
Journal of Innovative Education.
2014: Jan 15-18.
Mathematics Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
Topic sessions: Data, Modeling, and
Computing in the Introductory Statistics Course, organized by
Zieffler, Alberts and Pruim. (Friday afternoon).
Assessing Quantitative Reasoning and Literacy, organized by
Semra Kilic-Bahi, Eric Gaze and Aaron Montgomery (Wednesday
morning). Abstracts due by Sept. 17.
2014: May 19-23.
sessions should address one of the three themes: (1)
Teaching from Big Data: What are some of the issues
and challenges when it comes to using big data for teaching and
learning purposes? How can a focus on big data change the way we
teach statistics? How can we teach data analytic methods that
draw insights from massive data? (2) The Impact
of the Common Core: How can we better prepare, at the
college level, future teachers of statistics at all levels
(K-16)? How must teachers be prepared to deal with the Common
Core State Standards? Further, how should the teaching of
statistics at the college level change in light of changes in
the K-12 statistics curriculum? (3) Bridging the
Disciplines: How can we enhance the centrality of
statistics across the disciplines? What can we learn from and
take from other disciplines in order to create a more positive
learning experience for our students? How can we connect with
other disciplines and forge relationships with these disciplines
that will be mutually beneficial? How might we create valuable
learning experiences for students that will prepare them to work
in multidisciplinary teams? For more details
on these themes and on the structure of the conference
(including information about how to submit a break-out session
and/or poster proposal), please visit the following site:
will be accepted through February 14th, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.
United States Eastern time.
2014: July 7-11.
2014 IMS Annual Meeting Sydney, Australia
2014: July 13-18.
Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.
Theme: “Sustainability in Statistics Education”
Topic 7: Statistical
literacy in the wider society (Robert C delMas, Sebastian
Kuntze, Michiko Watanabe). "A perennial ICOTS theme is our
special responsibility to develop sustainable initiatives which
enable citizens to lead and extend debates, in the media and
elsewhere, on issues of inequality, crime, effects of smoking, use
of alcohol, and support for societal preferences. This democratic
imperative leads us to questions such as: How can we encourage
people to want to engage in statistical learning? How can we
contribute to subject-specific learning of relevant statistical
knowledge? How do we enrich our understanding of statistical
literacy and methods by which it can be attained and sustained?
These invited sessions seek to explore and enrich a variety of
effective practices and interventions."
Topic 7 Sections: 7A (Carl Lee) Statistical literacy
beyond the classroom; 7B (Sebastian Kuntze) Statistical literacy requirements for
teachers; 7C (Rosemary Callingham) Assessment of statistical literacy; 7D
(Iddo Gal) Best practices in
developing statistical literacy; 7E (Einav Aizikovitsh-Udi and David
Clarke) Factors that affect statistical literacy.
Session 7: Topics, Titles and Abstracts
Section 7a: Abstract:
beyond the classroom: “How do we engage people in
the learning of statistical literacy beyond a typical classroom
setting? What are innovative methods by which the knowledge and
concepts learned will be sustained and as an integral part of
lifelong learning? This section welcomes papers addressing
innovative methods and research work on teaching/learning
statistical literacy beyond classroom. Some examples are methods for
engaging adult learners, projects beyond classroom, serving learning
involving communities, use of technology to engage students learning
and using statistical literacy in global world and about the global
Timeline for Refereed papers: Submit provisional
abstract 31 July 2013. Submit final abstract and title
31 August 2013. Submit final version of paper 31 October 2013.
Hear back from referees 15 January 2014. Submit modified version 15
February 2014. Timeline for Contributed Non-refereed papers: Submit
provisional abstract 31 July 2013; Submit final version of paper 15
2014: Aug 2-7.
2014 Boston, MA.