Statistical Literacy:
the study of summary statistics
used in arguments in everyday life

2007 2007            01/25/14

Authors Popular StatLit News Authors-Academic Statistical Literacy Numeracy Statistical Reasoning

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 NEWS IN 2007


Statistical Literacy/QL/Numeracy:
Interest Keeps Growing in 2007

Evidence of continuing growth in 2007:

  • Grant funding up with over $1 million for numeracy projects.

  • Web traffic up 40% on visits, 60% on downloads and 160% on referrals for 85,000 visits, 66,000 downloads and 12,000 referrals.

  • GAISE impact is being felt:  The GAISE call for statistical literacy has implications on course content. See the first quote shown below.

Blogger touts numeracy:


May 16, 2007: Blogger John Walker said Schield's 2006 ASA paper, Percentage Graphs in USA Today, was "technical" but "pretty interesting."  

Walker's review contributed to over eight thousand viewings of this paper in one year: a new high for any article hosted on this site.


GAISE Limits: "You simply can’t achieve these [GAISE statistical literacy] goals in one course if you also teach a long list of methods.  Allan Rossman

Definition of QL: "the definition of quantitative literacy should be expanded to include 'construction' – the social process by which numbers are created." Joel Best

Hypothetical Thinking: "hypothetical thinking is absolutely critical once one accepts that all statistics are socially constructed"   Milo Schield

Statistical Literacy: "Most students would be better served by a Stat 100 [statistical literacy] course than a Stat 101 [methods] course."  Allan Rossman

Causality: "Causal inference is inherently multivariate."   Donald Rubin

Math-Stats Education: "Traditional education in mathematics and statistics is not sufficiently effective for the quantitative reasoning required."   Bernie Madison

Liberal Education: "Quantitative literacy should be a standard outcome of a good liberal education." David Van Wylen, Associate Dean, Saint Olaf

College Students: "Twenty percent of U.S. college students completing four-year degrees have only 'basic' quantitative literacy skills."  Dr. Mathew Ladner

College Students: "19% of my students in professional majors could not accurately interpret the meaning of 40%."   Christine Duller, Univ. of Linz, Austria

Psychology: "Rosnow and Rosenthal called interaction effects the universally most misinterpreted results in psychology."   Kathy Green, U of Denver

News Articles: "55% [of news articles involving numbers] use words that imply causation when asserting causation is very disputable."  Milo & Cynthia Schield

Conjunction Mistake: "By the reasoning of Kahneman et al, most statistical educators are guilty of the conjunction effect mistake." Schield and Burnham

QR/QL Projects

QRCW Project

In 2007, the NSF awarded the University of Arkansas $392,579 to fund QRCW with Bernie Madison (Mathematics) as the PI. This is not a proposal to produce a textbook in the traditional sense, [but to produce] a casebook ... of quantitative reasoning that derives from original, recent media articles.

Quantitative Reasoning in the Contemporary World (QRCW)

Traditional education in mathematics and statistics is not sufficiently effective for the quantitative reasoning required. This project is continuing development of ... an  innovative QR course and includes making the course transportable, adaptable, and more effective. 

QUIRK Project

In 2007, the NSF awarded Carleton College $499,994 to fund QUIRK with Nathan Grawe (Economics) as PI. This project is engaged in ongoing assessment results that are being used to guide curricular reform through faculty workshops and course and writing assignment revisions.

Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning & Knowledge (QUIRK)

The multi-disciplinary character of quantitative reasoning places it outside traditional models of curricular reform, and presents challenges for traditional curricular reform and assessment strategies

Citizenship Project

In 2007, the NSF awarded the Univ. of Wyoming $140,495 to fund Preparing Students for Citizenship: Fostering Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills through Quantitative Reasoning and Scientific LiteracyErin Campbell-Stone (right) and James Myers (Geology Dept.) are co-PIs.

Preparing Students for Citizenship

By presenting science in context, the project is demonstrating the importance of scientific literacy and quantitative reasoning, enticing students into STEM fields and encouraging students to view sustainability from different global perspectives. It is also showing how societal problems must be addressed by tempering science, technology and engineering with social, political and cultural norms.

QL Across the Curriculum

IN 2006, the NSF awarded Colby-Sawyer College $149,290 to fund Q/L Across the Curriculum in a Liberal Arts Setting Semra Kilic-Bahi (Math Dept, left) is the PI along with Benjamin Steele, John Callewaert,  Randall Hanson and Lynn Garrioch.  See also the Colby-Sawyer College news article on this college-wide endeavor.

Q/L in a Liberal Arts Setting

The goal of the project is to incorporate Quantitative Literacy (QL) learning materials and teaching strategies in courses throughout the curriculum. It is improving the ability of students at the college to formulate, evaluate, and express conclusions and inferences from quantitative information using analytical arguments, reasoning, and fundamental mathematical skills.

Assessing Q/R

IN 2006 the NSF awarded James Madison Univ. $498,765 to fund Advancing of Assessment of Scientific and Quantitative ReasoningDonna Sundre (Center for Assessment and Research, right) is PI along with Christopher Murphy, Mary Handley, Carol Hurney and Richard West

Assessing Scientific & Quant Reasoning

JMU is currently using ... instruments designed to measure collegiate scientific (SR) and quantitative reasoning (QR) skills and knowledge. [Our research base has demonstrated the reliability and validity of scores.] Recent research supports the hypothesis that current scientific and quantitative reasoning goals and associated assessment instruments can successfully be modified for use by other institutions...


The Black Swan

Nassim Taleb's "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable" was published in 2007.  Highlights problems using a single event or sequence of events (no matter how improbable) to predict the future or to make policy decisions. Follows the style of his earlier book, "Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets."

Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History

Franco Moretti argues heretically that literature scholars should stop reading books and start counting, graphing, and mapping them. This could bring new lustre to a tired field, one that is among "the most backwards disciplines in the academy." (1st ed., 2007)

Mathematical Thinking & Q/R

By Aufmann, Lockwood and Nation (1st ed., 2007)  Designed for the non-traditional Liberal Arts course. Focuses on practical topics that students need to learn in order to be better quantitative thinkers and decision-makers.  Chapters on diverse topics including Logic, Linear Models and Finance.  See Table of Contents.

Graph Algebra:  Math Modeling

by Courtney Brown (1st ed., 2007).  Introduces a new modeling tool for the social sciences. Derived from engineering literature that uses similar techniques to map physical systems, graph algebra utilizes a systems approach to modeling. 

The Two-Headed Quarter

The Two Headed Quarter by Joseph Ganem exposes everyday consumer deceptions and provides real-world tips and tactics to 'beat 'em at their own game'.  Like flipping a two-headed quarter, many of the so-called deals you make each day are rigged so that no matter which side the coin lands on, you pay.  Joe also gave a talk at the 2011 ASA.  6up.



Challenges in 2007

In his plenary address at USCOTS, Allan Rossman noted that "You simply can’t achieve these [GAISE statistical literacy] goals in one course if you also teach a long list of methods." He suggested that "Most students would be better served by a Stat 100 [statistical literacy] course than a Stat 101 [methods] course."  Slides  {**A must-read for statistical educators.**} 

GAISE 2007: an Odyssey

Andrew Zieffler and Michelle Everson (U. MN) showed how they implemented the GAISE guidelines. "Students are encouraged to explore and critique statistical applets, web resources, graphs and articles that use statistics." "Few calculations are required..."

National Numeracy Network (NNN)


Neil Lutsky (left), Joel Best (below) and Milo Schield (lower right) were invited by the AACU to present Numbers Count! Civic-Based Numeracy across the Curriculum.  Schield presented "Civic Engagement: Numbers in the News." Lutsky talked on "Promoting Numeracy Across the Curriculum." NNN also held an open-house at the American Statistical Assoc.


Bernie Madison (right), NNN founder, organized a Wingspread retreat on "Teaching School Teachers QL."  Speakers included Joel Best (lower left), Corrine Taylor (NNN President, Wesley ), Neil Lutsky (left, Carleton) and Milo Schield (below, Augsburg, NNN VP).  Schield presented Quantitative Literacy and School Mathematics: Percentages and Fractions with slides.

Including Construction in Q/L

Joel Best presented "Including Construction in Q/L" arguing that in addition to "calculation" and "application", the definition of  Q/L should include "construction:" the social process by which statistics are created.  Best's presentation was part of the the pre-conference workshop on Q/L at the meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society (MSS). 

Teaching Hypothetical Thinking

Milo Schield presented "Teaching the Social Construction of Statistics" with slides at the 2007 MSS.  Taking Best's claim that all statistics are socially constructed, and Isaacson's claim that seeing this requires hypothetical thinking, Schield identified right-wrong exercises designed to help students think hypothetically. Includes Moodle field-tested examples.

QL at Alverno

At the 2007 Midwest Sociological Society, Sue Mente, Instructional Services Center (ISC) Coordinator, Alverno Q/L Program) showed how QL assessment works at the college, course and student levels at Alverno.  Examples shown.  See Alverno Levels of Q/L, Where We've Been and Where We Are Going. Carla Howery organized this "QL in Sociology" session.

Teaching Social Justice

Eric Gaze (Alfred University) presented Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers at the 2007 Midwest Sociological Society.  He  focused on the importance of ratios and the need for an "industry standard" on the basic Q/L tool set.  Slides.

{This paper has an excellent grounding on ratios.  Gaze makes excellent points about what needs to be done in Q/L.}

Data Librarians

Stat Lit at the Reference Desk

In his slides, Jeff Moon (Stauffer Library, Queens University) presented topics such as "numbers vs. percentages."   In her slides, Sue Giles (Ryerson University Library) reviewed basic statistical literacy questions.  These were presented at the 2007 Ontario Library Association's (OLA) Super-Conference along with "Reading Tables 101".

Reading Tables 101

Lain Ruus (University of Toronto Data Services) presented "Reading tables 101" using tables from official sources.  Ruus focused on three point: 1. Know the difference in comparing two rates and proportions within a 100% column or row vs. comparing between two such columns or rows.  2: Identify what's in the numerator as well as what's in the denominator.  3.  Whenever possible, go back to the original data.    {A thought-provoking presentation with great examples.}

Teacher Guide to Data Discovery

Statistics Canada's Learning Resources website released a Teacher’s Guide to Data Discovery developed by Mary Townsend.  It helps teachers find interesting and grade-appropriate datasets, choose appropriate graphs for different kinds of data and calculate basic statistical measures.  See also her 2006 paper, "Developing Statistical Literacy in Youth." 


Papers presented at the 2007 IASSIST include "Quantitative Methods Capacity  Building in Scotland" by Robin Rice (right, Univ. Edinburgh), "Improving Statistical Literacy at Statistics Finland" by Reija Helenius,  and "Statistical Literacy / Numeracy Initiatives, Statistics Canada" by David Roy.

Statistics in Information Literacy

Libbie Stephenson (right) and Patti Caravello (UCLA) presented Incorporating Statistical Competencies into University-Level Information Literacy Programs in the Social Sciences at IASSIST 2007. 

Numeracy at Guelph

Michelle Edwards (Coordinator, Guelph Data Resource Center) presented Numeracy at Guelph at the 2007 IASSIST conference. The goals is to "enrich programs with high competencies in numeric and quantitative reasoning skills as well as reach out to those programs that are traditionally weak."



 Rebecca Hartzler (left) & Deann Leoni (right) reviewed Math Across the Curriculum and Quantitative Literacy

Bernie Madison talked on MAC & QL.

International Stat Lit Project

Under the leadership of the new director, Juana Sanchez (UCLA), the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) site has a new web face, new page coordinators and new resources for teachers at all levels world-wide. The ISLP also sponsors the International Statistical Literacy Competition for 10-18 year old students. 

Implementing QR at BMCC

Developing and Implementing a Quantitative Reasoning Program at BMCC, by Klement Teixeira.  AMATYC Spring 2007 issue, Vol. 28, No.2

Some Successful QR Strategies

Some Procedures, Methodologies and Strategies on the Successful Implementation of Quantitative Reasoning Mathematics Courses Professor by Klement Teixeira (left) and Frederick Reese (right).  Includes a section on "How to attract students to the QR courses."

IPM42 @ ISI 2007 (Lisbon)

Multivariate Outcomes
in Causal Studies

Donald Rubin (Harvard University) gave a talk on Dealing with Multivariate Outcomes in Causal Studies.  Rubin noted, " "Causal inference is inherently multivariate even just for a single experimental unit and only two exposure conditions..."   Abstract and slides

Observational Issues

David Cox (Oxford) and Nanny Wermuth (Chalmers) presented Some Interpretational Issues Involving Observational Studies. Abstract and slides. See also David Cox's 2004 Fields lecture.                             IPM List, STCPM List, CPM List, IASS Short Courses

Multivariate Data

James Nicholson, Jim Ridgway  and Sean McKusker (U. Durham) presented Using multivariate data as a focus for multiple curriculum perspectives at secondary level. Abstract and slides.

Study Design and Confounder Control in Observational Studies

John Harraway (Univ. of Otago) showed videos used to teach students about confounding. Abstract, slides.   The IASE invited session IPM-42, Observational Studies, Confounding & Multivariate Thinking was organized & chaired by Milo Schield.

IASE 2007 (Guimarães, Portugal)

Statistical Literacy Assessment

Juana Sanchez (UCLA), head of the International Statistical Literacy Project, presented Building Statistical Literacy Assessment Tools with the IASE ISLP. She classified models of statistical literacy as either "sequential" (by topic) or "longitudinal" (by developmental level).

Assess Statistical Literacy

Stephanie Budgett (right) and Maxine Pfannkuch (Univ. Auckland) presented Assessing Students' Statistical Literacy in their course entitled Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics which included risk, statistical reasoning and statistics and the law.

Speaking Statistics

Christine Duller (Univ. of Linz) presented Doing Statistics versus Understanding Statistics at the IASE and Do You Speak Statistics? at the ISI.   Her study of Austrian college students found that 24% of the women misunderstood the meaning of "40%."  10% picked a fourth (1 in 4), 10% picked a fortieth (1 in 40 or 10 in 400) and 4% picked 1 in 25.

Concept Understanding

Nick Broers (Maastricht Univ.) presented Designing Open Questions for the Assessment of Conceptual Understanding  using the didactic method of propositional manipulation (MPM).  Student responses allow scoring propositional knowledge and conceptual understanding.

Multivariate Statistics

Jim Ridgway (left) and James Nicholson (right) (U. Durham) presented Embedding Statistical Assessment within Cross-Curricular Materials for multi-variable perspectives.  See also their ISI paper (above) on a related topic.

Consumers of Stat Info

Michelle Sisto (U. Monaco) presented Using Peer Assessment of Project Presentations to Develop Skills as Consumers of Statistical Information.  As a result, "many more students also now use some form of statistical reasoning and analysis in their final thesis projects before graduating."

Concept of Interaction

Kathy Green (U. of Denver) presented Assessing Understanding of the Concept of Interaction in Analysis of Variance.    Interaction effects have been labeled the “universally most misinterpreted results in psychology.”   Exercises for teaching their proper interpretation were presented.

Assess Stat Writing

Larry Weldon (Simon Fraser U) presented Assessment of a Writing Course in Statistics which seeks to improve students ability to explain statistical concepts and topics in writing and verbally. A marking protocol is introduced along with a suggested weighting of components.

Statistical Literacy Exercises

Milo Schield (Augsburg) presented Statistical Literacy: Factual Assessment to Support Hypothetical Thinking. This paper reviews 130 different types of statistical literacy right-wrong exercises (Moodle based).  These are not typical exercises.  Only half of these have a numeric answer while only a tenth involve randomness.  Slides.

Assessing Skill Transfer

Iddo Gal (Univ. Haifa) presented Critical Areas for Assessing Skill Transfer: Statistics Education and PIAAC.  He presented some of the design principles of the numeracy assessment in PIAAC, and solicited suggestions for possible assessment tasks. 

ASA: Statistical Literacy

Statistical Literacy: 2007

Paul J. Fields (Brigham Young University) chaired the 2007 session on Statistical Literacy at the national meeting of the American Statistical Association.  This is the 10th session on statistical literacy organized by Milo Schield.  Paul is the editor of STATS magazine. 

Relative Strength Investing

Marshall Schield (President of STIR Research)  analyzed the prevarication in a famous mutual fund study that tried to show that 'buy and hold" was better than relative strength investing.  After untangling the prevarication in their procedure, Marshall used their approach to show that relative strength investing was superior to "buy and hold." Slides

Numbers in the News

Cynthia Schield, former co-publisher of the Napa County Record, presented Numbers in the News: A Survey -- co-authored with Milo Schield (right).  Their paper analyzed 250 news articles involving numbers and tabulated the prevalence of 99 different types of statistics and their use as evidence for causation.   Slides

Grammar of "Chance"

Milo Schield (Augsburg College) and Tom Burnham (Cognitive Consulting) reviewed The Grammar of Statements Involving Chance.  A survey of those attending showed there was uncertainty among statistical educators on to how to interpret some simple statements involving "chance".   Slides

Innumerate Journalists

Stephen Doig, Professor in the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, spoke on "Statistics and Innumerate Journalists." He claimed that statistical educators -- not journalists -- needed to accept responsibility for teaching p-values. Slides

Activity-Based Q/R

Kay Somers (Moravian College) talked about "Quantitative Reasoning: An Activity-Based Course with Real Data and Relevant Issues."  This course uses the new textbook "Quantitative Reasoning: Tools for Today's Informed Citizens" that she co-authored with Alicia Sevilla.  Slides

ASA 2006

Dahlias and Data

In "What do M&M's, dahlias, soil erosion and data analysis across the curriculum have in common?,"  Jerry Moreno (John Carroll U.) reviewed his work to implement statistics in the local K-12 math curriculum.  He says "the importance of having a statistically literate citizenry is to (1) read a newspaper more intelligently... and (2) become a better decision maker."

Including Graphs in Stats

John D. McKenzie (Babson College) presented "Some Ways to Increase the Use of Graphs throughout the Introductory Applied Statistics Course."  McKenzie said "I continue to be disappointed by the lack of any graphs in the test questions constructed by my colleagues...  If something is important [enough] to be covered in class and assigned as .. homework, it should be assessed." 

Expectations for Statistical Literacy

David Kriska (Walden U.), Marc Fulcomer (Stockton College of NJ) and Marcia Sass (UMD-NJ) presented Expectations for Statistical Literacy: A Comparison among Professions"  They noted that statistical topics taught at college should be influenced by those topics used at work after college.  They proposed a survey instrument to evaluate "statistical expectations held by employers and instructors of statistically literate workers and students."

Ambiguity Intolerance

Robert Carver (Stonehill College) presented "Ambiguity Intolerance: Impediment to Inferential Reasoning?"  He noted that "low tolerance for ambiguity could either impede or enhance ...inferential reasoning." He found "limited evidence that students with low ambiguity tolerance may more successful develop ...inferential reasoning."

QL in Geosciences

Spreadsheets Across Curriculum

Len Vacher (University of South Florida) organized "Spreadsheets Across The Curriculum (SSAC):" an NSF-sponsored three-year project that uses spreadsheets to promote quantitative literacy.   See Vacher's presentation on "Some Examples of Teaching Numeracy." This was presented that the 2006 conference at Carleton College. 

Infusing QL in Geosciences  

This conference, organized by Cathy Manduca (right, Carleton), Eric Baer (Highline Community College) and Jen Wenner, U. Wis., Oshkosh) was held at Carleton June 26-28, 2006 on "Infusing Quantitative Literacy into Introductory Geoscience Courses."  In 2007, Cathy became President of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT).


Grant: Math in All Subjects

Indiana State University received a grant (10/2007) from Teachers for a New Era, a national initiative of the Carnegie Corp.  The two-part grant will help teachers learn how to better assess their pupils’ progress as well as to interweave math throughout all subjects.

Kentucky Includes S/R in Gen Ed

The Gen Ed curriculum would likely also include a four-credit-hour writing course as well an advanced writing seminar. On top of that, students would take courses in statistical reasoning and one called first-year orientation that serves as an introduction to college..

Grant: Numeracy @ Wollongong

The University of Wollongong has been named as part of a successful consortium to enhance the literacy and numeracy skills for Australian teachers.  “Up to 1,000 of Australia’s best teachers will have the opportunity to attend an all expenses paid 10-day residential course to enhance their training in one of five areas -- literacy and numeracy, English, maths, science and Australian history.”

Empirical Reasoning @ Harvard

Harvard University proposes a new general education curriculum which includes a focus on empirical reasoning: "to help students learn how to make decisions and draw inferences that involve the evaluation of empirical data and how to gather and assess information, weigh evidence, estimate probabilities, and solve problems with the data available."

Grant: To Address Numerical Skills

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been awarded £200,000 by the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTF) for a three-year project addressing undergraduates’ numerical skills. The study will identify the numerical knowledge and skills required within history, bioscience (including nursing) and business studies and how they might be better developed within curricula.

Quantitative Literacy @ St. Olaf 

David Van Wylen, associate dean for mathematics and natural sciences, says that quantitative literacy should be a standard outcome of a good liberal education. “Understanding [science and math] is a transferable skill.” [Lynn] Steen says that... St. Olaf students ... all need to understand an increasingly quantitative world.  (2007 AACU)

UN Statistical Literacy Project

The UN Statistical Literacy Project aims to develop the capacity to access and use statistical information to enhance evidence-based policy making at the country level.  Student materials focus on data users and the practical application of national statistics. 

Kinds of Math

by Keith Devlin (10/2007) Written, symbolic mathematics is not "merely" a written version of the mental activity I am calling "everyday math."  Indeed, from a cognitive standpoint, I believe it is a very different mental activity.

Study: Crisis in Higher Education

Dr. Mathew Ladner notes a study that finds 20% of U.S. college students completing four-year degrees have only what the researchers describe as basic quantitative literacy skills, meaning they can't estimate if their car has enough gas to get to the next gas station. The study also finds more than 50 percent of students at four-year colleges have only the most basic literacy skills, meaning they can't do basic tasks like summarize arguments in a newspaper editorial.

Graphwise: Charting a World of Data

Graphwise is web site dedicated to accumulating tables of data (approaching a million), storing them in a common format and providing a variety of graphical tools for their display.  The site is currently in beta.  Try the Google Mapwise gadget to get started.

12/2008: Graphwise site ( is not available.

Test your Stat Literacy@U. Wollongong

Statistical literacy is an important skill because  you are constantly exposed to information from surveys and scientific experiments which are designed to tell you something about yourself. How do you know that these findings are accurate?  Statistical literacy provides us with the skills to answer these questions. Without these skills  you might ...suffer from the serious disorder of dys-statistica: "an irrational fear of statistics and a confused perception of the world".

Statistical Literacy Blog

Daniel Schafer (Oregon State, co-author of The Statistical Sleuth) has part of his Blog titled Statistical Literacy for Citizenship.  Recent posts include Evolution from 'statistical methods' to 'data analysis', It's about the conclusions, stupid!, and Statistical Literacy -- Its' more than just Understanding the News.  Daniel is writing "An Introduction to Statistical Thinking." TOC.


By Liz Gibson, John Marriott and Neville Davies Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education Nottingham Trent. "Smith had suggested that statistics education might be improved by teaching it through other subjects, such as science and geography, rather than from its current position in the mathematics curriculum. In section 2 we describe the national survey we carried out with a summary of the key findings.... Section 5 discusses teaching statistics using a problem solving approach at undergraduate level."


New Editions

Fundamentals of Statistical Reasoning in Education (2nd)

By Coladarci et al (2003, 2nd ed. 2007).  Gives educators the statistical knowledge and skills necessary in classroom teaching, in running schools and in professional development.  Emphasizes conceptual development.

Statistical Reasoning in Medicine:
The Intuitive P-Value Primer (2nd)

By Lemuel A. Moyé (2nd ed., 2006).  Illustrates the correct use of statistics in health care research for health care workers. Supplemented by new descriptions of absolute risk, relative risk and Number Needed to Treat (NNT). Delivers principles to the uninitiated.

Learning From Data: Intro to Stat. Reasoning (3rd)

by Glenberg and Andrzejewski (3rd ed. 2007).  For intro courses in psychology, education and other applied social and health sciences. includes effect sizes in all discussions of power. Designed to be used with Excel.

Statistical Reasoning in the Behavioral Sciences (5th)

By King and Minum; 5th Ed., 2007.  Focuses on conceptual growth. Helps readers understand statistical logic and procedures, the properties of statistical devices, the importance of the assumptions underlying statistical tools.

Stats: Data and Models (2nd)

By De Beaux, Velleman and Bock (2nd ed., 2007).  See chapter 2 (Displaying and Describing Categorical Data ), chapter 7 (Scatterplots, Association and Correlation), and Ch 11 (Exploring Relationships between Variables).  Investigates confidence intervals and hypothesis tests on proportions before doing these for means and regression.

Using and Understanding Math: A Q/R Approach (4th)

Bennett and Briggs (4th ed., 2007). Provides students with the mathematical reasoning and quantitative literacy skills they'll need to make good decisions throughout their lives. Common-sense applications of mathematics .


Top 40 Site-Papers Viewed at in 2007  
From 2006,  is up 50%,  ↑↑ is doubled, ↑↑↑ is 3X and ↑↑↑↑ is 4X.

  1. Percentage Graphs in USA Today, Milo Schield 2006 ASA (8,809↑↑↑↑)

  2. Statistical Literacy: An Online Course at Capella University  Marc Isaacson (Augsburg College) 2005 ASA (1,374)

  3. Exploring Simpson's Paradox, Larry Lesser (Univ. Texas, El Paso) NCTM 2001 (1,293)

  4. Three Paradoxes, Howard Wainer, Nat. Board of Medical Examiners. Draft for The American Statistician 2004 (1,281)

  5. Presenting Confounding Graphically Using Standardization,
    Milo Schield, 2006 Draft for Stats magazine (1,035

  6. Quantity Words Without Numbers: Why Students use "Many", Milo Schield 2005 Carleton (935↑↑)

  7. Statistics for Political Science Majors  Gary Klass (Illinois State University) 2004 ASA (904)

  8. Frequency of Simpson's Paradox in NAEP Data, Jim Terwilliger & Milo Schield, 2004 AERA (892)

  9. Why Should We Even Teach Statistics? A Bayesian Perspective Gudmund Iversen, 2000 Tokyo Round Table (870↑↑)

  10. People Count: The Social Construction of Statistics  Joel Best 2002 Presented at Augsburg College (789)

  11. People Count: The Social Construction of Statistics, Joel Best 2002 ASA (649)

  12. Online Program Decoding English Descriptions and Comparisons of Percentages & Rates Burnham & Schield 2005 ASA (568)

  13. Statistical Literacy and Liberal Education at Augsburg College, Milo Schield, 2004 AACU Peer Review (535)

  14. Statistical Prevarication: Telling Half Truths Using Statistics, Schield, 2005 IASE (520↑↑↑↑)

  15. Statistical Literacy Survey Analysis, Schield 2006 ICOTS (385)

  16. Statistical Literacy and Chance, Schield 2005 ASA (363)

  17. Confounders as Mathematical Objects, Schield & Burnham 2006 MAA (357)

  18. Teaching the Social Construction of Statistics,  Milo Schield, 2007 Midwest Sociological Society (354)

  19. Statistical Literacy Survey Results, Schield 2006 IASSIST (331)

  1. Teaching Causal Inference in Experiments and Observational Studies  Donald Rubin (Harvard) 1999 ASA (309)

  2. Pedagogical Challenges of Quantitative Literacy, Bernie Madison, President of NNN,  2006 ASA (308)

  3. 10 Questions to Ask for Q/R, Neil Lutsky (Carleton), 2006 QRU (308)

  4. Statistical Literacy Textbook, Introduction, Milo Schield (Augsburg) (296)

  5. Statistical Literacy: An Evangelical Calling for Statistical Educators, Milo Schield, 2005 ISI (256)

  6. Some Difficulties Learning Histograms, by Carl Lee & Maria Meletiou-Mavrotheris ASA 2003 (238)

  7. Five Percentage-Table Survey, Milo Schield 2005. (232)

  8. Teaching Statistical Literacy, Dennis Haack Teaching Statistics 1979 (223)

  9. Social Mathematics in US Civics Curriculum James Mauch Thesis 2005 (222)

  10. Epidemiology for Teaching Statistics Chris Olsen 2005 ASA (208)

  11. Quantitative Literacy & School Mathematics: Percentages & Fractions, Milo Schield, 2007 Wingspread (208)

  12. How did Teaching Introductory Statistics get to be so Complicated ?!? [slides] Roxy Peck, USCOTS 2005 (202)

  13. Numbers in the News: A Survey, Milo & Cynthia Schield, 2007 ASA (131)

  14. How to Help Reporters Tell The Truth  Victor Cohn 1999 ASA (109)

  15. News Math Course Description and Procedures Bernie Madison, 2005 Univ. Arkansas (106)

  16. Important Math Concepts for Numeracy Bernie Madison 2005 MAA (103)

  17. Student Attitudes: The Other Important Outcome in Statistical Education, Candace Schau ASA JSM 2003 (98)

  18. Trashball: A Logistic Regression Classroom Activity by Chris Morrell and Richard Auer 2004 ASA.

  19. Statistical Literacy Assessment Juana Sanchez 2007 IASE (63)

  20. Statistical Literacy, Numeracy and the Future Peter Holmes, Augsburg 2003

  21. Practical Applications of Benford's Law for Integer Quantities  by Dean Brooks, 2002 ASA (55)

  22. Planning a Statistical Literacy Program at the College Level: Musings and Bibliography  by Bob Hayden, 2004 ASA (53)

In 2007, there were 330 downloadable files (announcements, papers or slides) at Schield authored/co-authored 119.


Top 20 StatLit Web Pages Viewed at in 2007.  (###) is number of "page views."  Voluntary 2007 page views: 48,809.
  1. Welcome (11,010, 29%):  Home/Index page. Site overview.

  2. W. M. Keck StatLit Survey (3,034, 8%): Detailed on-line 2002 survey.

  3. Q/L Textbooks (2,223, 5%): Details on Q/R or Q/L textbooks.

  4. StatLit Papers (2,085, 5%): Papers, articles or slide presentations.

  5. Joel Best (1,864, 5%): Author of "More Damned Lies & Statistics"

  6. StatLit News 2006 (1,714, 5%):  Stat-Lit related News from 2006.

  7. Standardizing (1,477, 4%): Excel graph illustrates standardizing.

  8. Gerald Bracey (1,416, 4%):  Author "Reading Educational Research"

  9. StatLit Books (1,414, 4%): List of over 300 Stat-Lit related books.

  10. John Paulos (1,138, 3%):  Author of "Numeracy".

  11. Howard Wainer (1,119, 3%):  Author of "A Tout in the Milk".

  12. Q/L Books (1,116, 3%):  Details on Q/L-related books (not texts).

  13. Dennis Haack (1,053, 3%):  Author of "Statistical Literacy" 1979.

  1. Q/L Activities (1,020, 3%): Details on Q/L-related activities.

  2. StatLit News 2004 (1,012, 2%): Stat-Lit related News from 2004.

  3. Gerd Gigerenzer (957, 2%):  Author of "Calculated Risks"

  4. StatLit News 2005 (876, 2%):  Stat-Lit related News from 2005.

  5. StatLit News 2003 (850, 2%): Stat-Lit related News from 2003.

  6. Statistical Reasoning Textbooks (695, 2%) 

  7. StatLit Tools (412, 1%): Links to Stat-Lit related tools.

Other StatLit site pages include Information Literacy (355), numeracy books (343), StatLit Survey (296), Schield (253), Percentage Table Survey (219), StatLit 2007 (195), adult numeracy (185) and Search contact/StatLit Site (161) plus the new navigation pages: Statistical Literacy (154), Statistical Reasoning (115), StatLit News (101), Authors (100) and Numeracy (98).

The grammar-checker program (SLRSV.aspx) had 16,957 views and the Part-Whole program (PartWholeImages.aspx) had 6,230 views.  These pages (/GC) and those used exclusively by Capella students (/CP) are not listed because students are required to use them.  Total page views: 73,723.


Top 20 terms used in search referrals to in 2007 ranked by number and percentage of referred visits
The reference shown is a likely target for this search. 
  1. USA Today graphs (634, 27%): Schield Percentage Graphs in USA Today

  2. Joel Best (594, 25%): See Joel Best author page.

  3. Quantity words (264, 11%): See Schield, Why Students Use 'Many'?

  4. Statistical Literacy (249, 11%): See Statistical Literacy.

  5. Standardiz... (131, 6%):  Schield, Adjusting for Confounding Graphically.

  6. Lord Paradox (126, 5%): See Wainer's article, Three Paradoxes.

  7. Howard Wainer (110, 5%): See Howard Wainer author page.

  8. Percentage Tables (101): See Schield, Reading Tables of Rates & Percents.

  9. Statistics research (95): See StatLit Tools page.

  10. Gerald Bracey (94): See Gerald Bracey author page.

  1. Simpson Paradox (54): See Schield, "Adjust for Confounding Graphically".

  2. Percentage graphs (44):  See Schield, Percentage Graphs in USA Today.

  3. StatLit (24): See the name of this site.

  4. Quantitative Literacy (20):  See Numeracy or Q/L

  5. Capella University (19): See Isaacson's Statistical Literacy at Capella.

  6. Bernie Madison (17): See Madison's Pedagogical Challenges of Q/L.

  7. Statistical paradoxes (16): See Wainer and Schield.

  8. role of statistics in research (16).

  9. Percentages (15): See Schield's Grammar of Rates and Percentages.

  10. Doublespeak (14):  See Dennis Haack (9).

Each month, LiveStats ranks the search terms used and captures the top 20 with the associated number of referrals.  In 2007, this generated 60 search terms with 2,355 visits (or the 11,874 total search referrals). This list is taken from the 60 search phrases. The numbers shown are the "visits referred" for the website grouped by search phrase (so 'standardizing' and 'standardized' were counted together).  Three search phrases were omitted: Augnet, teaching inferences and activities.


Google ranking (12/2007) of the web site based on the search term shown. 

#1:  Statistical literacy, Bernie Madison, statistical prevarication and
              confounder resistance

#2:  Joel Best, USA Today graphs, quantity words, journalistic significance and
              Interpreting doublespeak

Top 5:  Howard Wainer (#3), percentage graphs (#3), statistical doublespeak
                (#3) and
Dennis Haack (#4)

Top 10: Statistical standardization (#6), percentage grammar (#8) and
             Gerald Bracey (#10)

Top 15: Percentage tables (#11), statistical reasoning (#12), multivariate
             thinking (#12), percent grammar (#12), confounder (#14) and
             Lynn Steen (#15)

Top 20: Confounding (#20)

The web site was not in the top 20 web sites returned by Google when searching for Paulos, Gigerenzer, Simpson paradox, standardizing, quantitative literacy,  numeracy, statistical education, statistical paradoxes or social construction.  The web site ranks #1 for Simpson paradox standardizing,  #3 for social construction statistics and #14 for Milo Schield.   Schield's Augsburg site was #1 for "chance grammar."

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This site was last updated 11/02/12 To do: fix Excel Standardization pages