"Statistical literacy:
A course you
should have taken
in college."

Wired

2010 2010            11/18/14

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 StatLit News 2010

Highlights 2010***
  • StatLit.org Grows: Downloads up 15%, visits up 35% and domain referrals up 50%.  More than 20,000 home page views, 60,000 domain referrals, 100,000 page views, 175,000 visits and 200,000 downloads. Google-ranked #1 for "statistical literacy": 6th year.

  • 19% of US four-year colleges offer Statistical Literacy course. NCTM President advocates statistical literacy.

  • RSS launches 10-year educational initiative in Statistical Literacy. ASA supports a political campaign to promote Statistical Literacy.

  • Top professional book***: Assessment Methods in Statistical Education, Wiley. Chapters by Davies and Marriott, MacGillivray, Jolliffe, Garfield et al,  Budgett and Pfannkuch, and Schield.   Google books

2010: Top 6 New Trade Books***

*** Selected by the StatLit webmaster

2010: Top 5 New Journal Articles***

2010: Top 5 New Conference Papers***

Top 5 Most Downloaded Articles from StatLit.org in 2010
  1. Percentage Graphs in USA Today. Milo Schield 2006 ASA (10,664).  Inception to date: 47,552.

  2. The Cult of Statistical Significance by Stephen Ziliak and Deirdre McCloskey  2009 ASA 6up 4up (3,972)

  3. Importance and Measurement of Pre-Service Teachers' Efficacy to Teach Statistics...    2009 ASA Harrell et al. (2,506)

  4. Interpreting the substantive significance of multivariate regression coefficients by Jane Miller 2008 ASA (2,094)

  5. Presenting Confounding Graphically Using Standardization Milo Schield, 2006 Draft for Stats magazine (2,082)

Top 10 Most Downloaded Articles from StatLit.org in 2010
  1. Exploring Simpson's Paradox. Larry Lesser (Univ. Texas, El Paso) NCTM 2001 (2,043)

  2. Developing statistical literacy with students and teachers in the secondary mathematics classroom.  PhD Thesis. Doyle (1,811[9])

  3. The Components of Numeracy. Ginsburg, Manly & Schmitt 2006 NCSALL (1,809[8])

  4. Some Difficulties Learning Histograms. Carl Lee & Maria Meletiou-Mavrotheris ASA 2003 (1,792)

  5. Statistical Literacy Textbook: Introduction 2009 M Schield (1,209[9])

TOP NEWS

Wired Univ: Statistical Literacy

Wired Magazine picked Statistical Literacy (Making sense of today's data driven world) as their #1 choice among  neo-liberal college courses.  "Our world is shaped by widespread statistical illiteracy."  "Why take this course?  We are misled by numbers and and by our misunderstanding of probability.  What you'll learn:  How to to parse polls, play the odds and embrace uncertainty." 

Atlantic: Lies, Damned Lies

November (2010) Issue: By David H. Freedman on John Ioannidis:  "His model predicted rates of wrongness ... corresponding to ... rates at which findings were later convincingly refuted: 80% of non-randomized studies ... turn out to be wrong, as do 25% of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10% of the platinum-standard large randomized trials."

Statistics for All — Flip Side of QR

J. Michael Shaughnessy, NCTM President.  "Statistical literacy has risen to the top of my advocacy list, right alongside numeracy, and perhaps even ahead of “algebra for all.” By statistical literacy, I mean ... developing the ability to reason in the presence of, or under conditions of uncertainty. ... the facility to read and interpret statistical information and make informed inferences...."

Statistical Literacy Gap

Katherine Wallman, US Chief Statistician. "people have ... a lot of computer literacy, but they don’t necessarily have statistical literacy to go with it.   I do have a concern ... about the gap between the availability of information and the computer literacy of our population and the statistical literacy they should have if they’re going to use these numbers most intelligently."

ASSESSMENT METHODS IN STATISTICAL EDUCATION

Assessment in Stats Education

Assessment Methods in Statistical Education: An International Perspective (Wiley, 2010). Edited by Bidgood, Hunt and Jolliffe.  Ch 1: Assessment and feedback in statistics by Neville Davies and John Marriott. Ch 2: Variety in assessment for learning statistics by Helen MacGillivray. Part C: Assessment Using Real-World Problems; Part D: Individualised Assessment.  Cover and TOC

Assessing Statistical Literacy

Introduction by Flavia Jolliffe (left). Ch 7: Assessing important learning outcomes in introductory tertiary statistics courses by Garfield, delMas and Zieffler. Ch 8: Writing about findings: Integrating teaching and assessment by Forster and Wild.  Ch 10: An assessment strategy to promote judgement and understanding of statistics in medical applications by McNiece

Students' Stat Literacy

Assessing students’ statistical literacy by Stephanie Budgett and Maxine Pfannkuch.  "The course is designed to prepare everyone ... to become critical consumers of statistical information."  "we ask students to evaluate media articles, journal articles and technical reports ..."

Assessing StatLit: Take CARE

Milo Schield. "Statistical competence is the ability to produce, analyse and summarise detailed statistics in surveys and studies. Statistical competence is needed by ‘data producers’.... Statistical literacy is the ability to read and interpret summary statistics in the everyday media: in graphs, tables, statements and essays. Statistical literacy is needed by data consumers." Excerpt

ASA Statistical Literacy Campaign

ASA Statistical Literacy Campaign

"The ASA requests your participation in our statistical literacy grassroots campaign by asking your U.S. Representative to cosponsor H.R. 6355, Statistical Teaching, Aptitude, and Training Act of 2010 (STAT Act of 2010)."   Statistical Literacy one-pager (2009): Statistical Literacy in PreK-12 Education.  For details, see the column written by ASA Science Director, Steve Pierson (left).

Stat Act of 2010 HR 6355  Condensed

SUMMARY: "To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide for the development of State statistical literacy plans and to authorize the Secretary of Education to make grants for statistics-related teacher professional development and the improvement of statistics education."   This initiative was originally suggested to Congressman Loebsack by ASA member Ann Canon, Cornell College.
Bill summary   Bill tracker

The Bill: H.R. 6355 (continued)

(1) Statistical literacy, the understanding and use of the language and tools of statistics, is vital for United States citizens in an era of intense global competition and growing reliance on data, because of a statistically literate individual's ability to-
(A) ask and evaluate critical questions about the design of a study and the appropriateness of the conclusions drawn from a study;
(B) distinguish arguments based on data and evidence from arguments based on anecdotes;
(C) recognize and interpret different representations of data in context,
(D) formulate questions that can be addressed with data, collect and organize relevant data, and draw appropriate statistical conclusions.

The Bill: H.R. 6355 (continued)

(2) Statistical literacy is essential for both effective citizenship and personal well-being because of the everyday need to -

(A) interpret and synthesize data displays and summaries, such as polls, surveys, and study outcomes; and

(B) critically evaluate claims based on data -

(i) as a consumer of the news media;

(ii) in making medical decisions; and

(iii) in making financial decisions, such as decisions related to a mortgage or a car repair. 

Statistical Literacy in PreK-12: 2009

The American Statistical Association (ASA) recognizes that "statistical literacy is a vital component of mathematics education. Statistical literacy— the understanding and using the basic language and tools of statistics, recognizing and being able to interpret different representations of data in a context, and knowing how to ask critical questions about the design and conclusions of a study — is a vital component of mathematics education. It includes the understanding and interpretation of data and graphs, including the ability to make rational decisions in the face of uncertainty.  [italics added]

Quantitative literacy includes statistical literacy, but also addresses understanding mathematical relations (e.g., investment income growth) and number sense (e.g., What is the per capita share of a $700 billion bailout debt spread among 300 million citizens?"   [Statistical literacy is "a subset of Quantitative Literacy."]

Current State: Statistics Education in K-12

Not teaching statistics [in K-12].   Teaching formula/definition, not statistics – E.g., Mean, mode, median  [Teaching] Probability, not Statistics.  [What is] Missing: Context, Interpretation, [and] Statistical problem solving skills (scientific methods, critical thinking).

Statistical Literacy:  Every-day skills – Media, medical, business, finance • Understanding Data • Decision-making, Risk • Facing Uncertainty • Enhancing Math and Science Education.  

"Most of the staffers perceived statistics to just be the making of dry tables of summary numbers. They were all receptive to our clarifying that the field was really focused on critical thinking and methodology for the whole investigate process, from question formulation through data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The staffers all became very interested and shared our concerns over critical thinking skills. They did not realize that was what the profession was all about."

RSS Statistical Literacy Campaign

RSS Statistical Literacy Campaign

The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) launches a 10 year statistical literacy campaign. To mark the event, the RSS Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) and the University of Plymouth hosted a series of free statistical education days and workshops 20 - 26 October.  UN Announcement of RSS statistical literacy campaign

GETSTATS

"Working for a society in which our lives and choices are enriched by an understanding of statistics."  "Numbers are everywhere. But mostly we don't really get what they mean, even when they're key to the important choices we make in our lives. The getstats campaign is about turning this around – giving everyone the skills and confidence to use numbers well. Otherwise as individuals and as a society we'll just keep missing out.  Posters: media, politics, school, work

RSS Statistical Literacy Campaign

"We are amplifying and adding to debate about pathways to statistical literacy for 16-18 year olds, for those taking job training and apprenticeships and those entering higher education. We are working with examination boards, sector skills councils, teachers and learned societies in examining the content of subjects in which numeracy is becoming increasingly important."

GETSTATS Education Campaign

"We are joining the work of the Economic and Social Research Council, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the British Academy in increasing the quantitative and methods elements in social science and certain humanities first degrees and, in collaboration with the universities and higher education authorities, examining the possibility of a benchmark in statistical literacy for all first degree students."

Media Poster

Statistics underpin many different news stories appearing on TV or radio, in newspapers or on the web. Working with journalists to report statistics well ...

ASA Applauds getstats

"The ASA applauds and congratulates the RSS on the timely launch of getstats on World Statistics Day.  The vision of this campaign is a society we not only want to live in, but one we desperately need - a statistically literate citizenry capable of understanding data and making informed choices based on that understanding.
Ron Wasserstein, ASA Director

RSSCSE Statistical-Awareness Diagram

The Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) generated a diagram of the big ideas in statistics. Here is the foundation level.

Accessible Ideas of Inference

Towards More Accessible Conceptions of Statistical Inference by Chris Wild, Maxine Pfannkuch, Matt Regan and Nicholas Horton. We "present some specific and highly visual proposals.  These build on novel ways of experiencing sampling variation and have intuitive connections to the standard formal methods of making inferences in first university courses." [Schield comment]

RSS Statistical Literacy Survey

"The Ipsos Mori survey commissioned by the Society for the launch of the getstats 10-year statistical literacy campaign also revealed that nearly half of the people don’t understand the statistics or figures behind the government’s spending cuts."  "However, in an easy question about understanding chance, where people were asked what is the probability of getting two heads if you spin a coin twice, only thirty per cent got the right answer"  Press Release

Royal Statistical Society President, Professor David Hand, says: “The Royal Statistical Society’s getstats campaign is about giving everyone the skills and confidence needed to understand data and statistics. “Numbers are everywhere in our lives, and statistics is about turning these numbers into useful information on which we can take action. People need to appreciate the power of statistics as it can be the key to the important choices we make in our lives. “Our getstats campaign is intended for everyone, and especially those with responsibility to educate and inform the public about statistics – teachers, employers, the media and elected representatives.”  

10 Years to Statistical Literacy

"The Royal Statistical Society getstats Campaign:Ten Years to Statistical Literacy?" by Neville Davies, Director of the RSS Centre for Statistical Education. "Numbers are everywhere. But mostly we don't really get what they mean, even when they're key to the most important decisions in our life."

10 Years to Statistical Literacy (continue)

"The GetStats campaign is about turning this around. Giving everyone the skills and confidence to use numbers well. Otherwise as individuals and as a society, we'll just keep missing out."

Working to influence those who inform us most about statistics: the media, elected representatives, employers, and schools and universities."

10 Years to Statistical Literacy (continue)

Identify or critically evaluate: "1. Media accounts of an issue   2. Advertising 3. Use in other subjects 4. Graphical representations 5. Risk assessment 6. Misuses of statistics 7. Nature of sampling 8. Anecdote and design 9. Quality of questions in a questionnaire

10 Years to Statistical Literacy (continue)

Able to do or use: "1. Target populations 2. Representative samples 3. Probability as a measure of uncertainty 4. Randomness 5. Variability 6. Evidence and inference for decision making 7. Reduction of bias in sampling 8. Reduction in bias in measuring 9. Contexts. "

NUMERACY (NNN) JOURNAL

Numeracy: E-Journal

Numeracy is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal launched in 2008.  Numeracy aims to support education at all levels that integrates quantitative skills across disciplines. The journal seeks evidence-based articles. See Vacher's NECQL and PKAL presentations.

Numeracy Editors

Len Vacher (left) and Dorothy Wallace (right) are editors of Numeracy: Advancing Education in Quantitative Literacy published by the National Numeracy Network, supported by U. of S. Florida Libraries and hosted by the Berkeley Electronic Press™.

2010: Volume 3, Issue 1

2010: Volume 3, Issue 2

2010 QR/QL INITIATIVES

Univ. Texas: San Antonio ($4M)

"quantitative reasoning skills are essential for all citizens to help them understand and critically evaluate information to make better-informed decisions. UTSA’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP): Quantitative Scholarship: From Literacy to Mastery addresses this critical need by providing students with quantitative skills through an enhanced curriculum focused on contextual learning ..."

Final Summary: 2/2010 

"The QEP envisions the creation of an exemplary program ... where quantitative reasoning skills are ingrained in not only the curriculum, but also the culture of UTSA."  "UTSA's Teaching and Learning Center will organize summer workshops to help faculty design active learning exercises in their courses."  Nandini Kannan, a Fellow of the ASA, is the project director.

2010 NSF QR/QL GRANTS

QR Driven by Complex Stories

NSF awards $190,778 to the U. of Mass-Boston for "developing, assessing, and disseminating materials for teaching a QR course...driven by complex stories about, for example, inflation, fuel economy, and paying off debt"  "to develop students' willingness and ability to assess numerical evidence in order to make informed decisions." PI: Maura Mast.  Two-year grant 0942186.

NSF Awards: 2007-2010

NSF awards mentioning these phrases by start-year (2010, 09, 08, 07): numeracy (2,3,6,1), quantitative reasoning (5,3,4,4), quantitative literacy (3,5,6,2), statistical thinking (4,2,0,1), statistical reasoning (2,0,0,0) and statistical literacy (0,0,0,0).  NSF database totals: numeracy (13), QR (16), QL (18), ST (7), SR (4) and SL (0).  

Science Literacy among Freshman

NSF awards Morehouse College a $499,828 three-year grant to "assess ... a students' critical scientific thinking and understanding.  Scientific literacy involves "an understanding of the nature and development of scientific research and knowledge; possessing the ability to evaluate scientific evidence and explanations;  etc. "  PI: Lycurgus Muldrow and Bryant Marks (picture). NSF grant 1036269.

Inquiry approach: stat reason

NSF awards $174,999 to Wesleyan for an "inquiry-based, supportive approach to statistical reasoning."   The curriculum involves "opportunities to analyze data in real world contexts, and education about statistical concepts through computing.  Data analysis "represents 50% of the student's semester curriculum."  PI: Lisa Dierker and David Beveridge. One-year award 0942246.

Instrumental Variables

NSF awards $144,704 to the Univ. of Pennsylvania to "develop a new, more interpretable sensitivity analysis for IV [instrumental variable] studies that is calibrated to observed covariates. A new way of designing IV studies to make the study less sensitive to the proposed IV being invalid (i.e., correlated with unmeasured confounders) also will be developed." PI: Dylan Small.  3 year grant 0961971.

Causal Structure in Econometrics

NSF awards $103,077 to Duke Univ. to study Models and Causal Structure in Econometric Analysis.  "The proposed research is a philosophical study of how theoretical and statistical models (including models used to measure economic phenomena) interact to produce causal knowledge of the economy."   PI: Kevin Hoover.  1 year grant 1026983.

Psychology of Number Processing

NSF awards $172,280 to Ohio State "to test the relations between numeracy and intuitive representations of numbers and to test their separable influences in a variety of decision contexts." " This research may add substantially to our understanding of the psychological mechanisms underlying decisions that involve numeric information."    PI: Ellen Peters.  1 year grant 1047757.

Causal Learning

NSF awards $323,030 to Berkley to conduct experiments on the "Sampling Hypothesis" and explore how "evidence and prior beliefs shape the samples of possible beliefs" that children explore and discard.  PIs: Alison Gopnik and Thomas Griffiths.  Grant: 1023875.

Proof Through QR in Algebra

CAREER: Supporting Students' Proof Practices Through Quantitative Reasoning in Algebra.  NSF awards $100,572 to the U. of Wisconsin-Madison "to explore the hypothesis that a curricular focus on quantitative reasoning in middle grades mathematics can enhance development of student skill and understanding about mathematical proof."  PI: Amy Ellis. One-year grant 0952415.

Pre-K Early Algebra through QR

NSF awards Illinois Institute of Technology a $366,227 grant to study "pre-K students' development of quantitative reasoning through measurement. This builds on the pre-numeric stage of instruction found in the Elkonin-Davydov (E-D) elementary mathematics curriculum from Russia."  PI: Zaur Berkaliev (IIT) and Barbara Dougherty (ISU). Two-year grant  1020207.

NEWS

Assessing QL

Jesse Wilkins Virginia Polytechnic: "To assess quantitative literacy, it is important to devise measurement tools that provide valid and reliable information... In this study, exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were used to build and evaluate a measurement model of quantitative literacy. The results ... supported the structure of the hierarchical three-factor model."

Innumeracy & Financial Illiteracy

The Atlanta FRB: "We find a large and statistically significant negative correlation between numerical ability and various measures of [mortgage] delinquency and default. The result is robust to controlling for a broad set of socio-demographic variables and not driven by other aspects of cognitive ability." Working paper 2010-10 by Gerardi (left), Goette and Meier.

Consumer Innumeracy

PhD Thesis by Namika Sagara while at U. Oregon. "Numeric information is presented to consumers to communicate important and precise information." Experiments showed that participants "were susceptible to an Illusion-of-Numeric-Truth effect: they judged false claim as true when numeric meaning was inaccurately translated (e.g., "30% of consumers" translated to "most consumers").

The Inspection Paradox

Delving Deeper: Sizing Up Class Size: A Deeper Classroom Investigation of Central Tendency By Larry Lesser -- published in The Mathematics Teacher. An investigation of average class size introduces the difference between mean-per-class and mean-per-student. Learn about self-weighted means and the inspection paradox. Dec. 2009, Vol 103, Issue 5, P. 376.

Correlation MAY BE causation

John Myles White: Three-quarter truth:  "no idea has stifled the growth of statistical literacy as much as the endless repetition of the words correlation is not causation. This phrase seems to be primarily used to suppress intellectual inquiry by encouraging the unspoken assumption that correlational knowledge is somehow an inferior form of knowledge."   Copy

Chances Are

Steven Strogatz (Cornell) NYTimes 4/25:  Perhaps the most pulse-quickening topic of all is “conditional probability”. "consider the probability that a man murdered his ex-wife, given that he previously battered her. ...  The real question is: What’s the probability that a man murdered his ex-wife, given that he previously battered her and she was murdered...?"

Data-Graph Comprehension (3rd)

30 Classroom-ready activities that emphasize exploration, investigation, reasoning, and communication in mathematics.  This book offers teachers and teacher educators practical ideas for incorporating graph reading and quantitative literacy into instructional programs. Activities include objectives, vocabulary, materials, questions for discussion, and ideas for summarizing..."

Teaching With Data is a portal where faculty can find resources and ideas to reduce the challenges of bringing real data into post-secondary classes. Using real data is a great way for students to become more engaged in the content of a course, but significant barriers, largely in terms instructor preparation, exist that can make using data a challenge.

Cognitive Diagnostic Assessment

Evaluating Statistical Reasoning of College Students in the Social and Health Sciences with Cognitive Diagnostic Assessment by Ying Cui (right), Mary Roberts and Andrea Gotzmann  (CRAME, Univ. of Alberta).  Goal: "to discuss the usefulness of new cognitive diagnostic assessments in helping evaluate and improve students’ statistical reasoning in social and health sciences."

Learning Goals for Introductory Sociology

How Sociological Leaders Rank Learning Goals for Introductory Sociology.
by Caroline Hodges Persell (New York Univ., Dept of Sociology) E-mail: caroline.persell@nyu.edu  Leading sociologists rank the top 30 learning goals,  The top 4 goals were to (1) show the reality of structural factors in social life, (2) place an issue in a larger context, (3) identify and offer explanations for social inequality, (4) recognize the difference between empirical and normative statements.  See Persell (2006 and 2007).

NEW BOOKS: TRADE/ACADEMIC

Learning to Read the Numbers

Integrating Critical Literacy and Critical Numeracy in K-8 Classrooms by David and Phyllis Whitin (NCTE, Routledge). "If students are to be the kinds of critics who are essential to the civic discourse of a democracy, they must come to understand how people use numbers to wield power, promote arguments, and influence public policy" Without context, math is "a field of abstract calculations." Preface

Proofiness: Math Deception

Charles Seife introduces Potemkin numbers (deliberately deceptive statistics), “disestimation” (turning a number into a falsehood by taking it too literally), fruit-packing (deceptive techniques including cherry-picking data and comparing apples to oranges), and “randumbness” (finding causality in random events).  "admirable salvo against quantitative bamboozlement by media and government"

Street-Fighting Mathematics  [added 2012]

By Sanjoy Mahajan, "In problem solving, as in street fighting, rules are for fools: do whatever works--don't just stand there! Yet we often fear an unjustified leap even though it may land us on a correct result. Traditional mathematics teaching is largely about solving exactly stated problems exactly, yet life often hands us partly defined problems needing only moderately accurate solutions. This engaging book is an antidote to the rigor mortis brought on by too much mathematical rigor, teaching us how to guess answers without needing a proof or an exact calculation."  Site.

The Measure of America: 2010-2011

The definitive report on the overall well-being of all Americans. How are Americans doing—compared to one another and compared to the rest of the world? This fully illustrated report, with over 130 color images, is based on the groundbreaking American Human Development Index, which provides a single measure of the well-being for all Americans, disaggregated by state and congressional district, as well as by race, gender, and ethnicity. The Index rankings ... reveal huge disparities....

Numbers Rule Your World

Kaiser Fung: "These are the statistics that rule your life, your job, your commute, your vacation, your food, your health, your money, and your success. This is how engineers calculate your quality of living, how corporations determine your needs, and how politicians estimate your opinions. These are the numbers you never think about-even though they play a crucial role in ... your life."

More on Numbers in our World

Atlas of the Real World. Dorling, Newman and Barford.

Atlas of World Hunger, Bassett and Winter-Nelson

Mis-measuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn't Add Up, Stiglitz, Fitoussi

The Haves and the Have-Nots: (Brief History of Inequality), Milanovic

Bias and Causation

Bias and Causation: Models and Judgment for Valid Comparisons by Herbert I. Weisberg.   Treats bias in comparative studies—both randomized and observational.  Explains selection bias, confounding, intermediate causal factors, and information bias along with the distortion of a causal effect that can result from measurement error. A new classification of twenty sources of bias. Prose award.

More on Statistics

Making Sense of Statistics: A Conceptual Overview pb. Fred Pyrczak (5th ed)

Elementary Statistics: Looking at the Big Picture Hc by Nancy Pfenning

Statistical Learning from a Regression Perspective pb Richard Berk

Biostatistical Methods: The Assessment of Relative Risks Hc. John Lachin (2nd ed.)

Social Statistics: The Basics and Beyond,  Thomas J. Linneman

WSJ: Guide to Info Graphics

Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don'ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures Hc. by Dona Wong. "“An essential reference for anyone who needs to effectively convey quantitative information using graphs." "blends lessons on data analysis and graphic design"  "Wong’s professional advice advances the art of information graphics."

More on Graphics and Graphs

Beautiful Visualization: Looking at Data through the Eyes of Experts pb. Julie Steele, Noah Iliinsky

Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline by Anthony Grafton and Daniel Rosenberg

Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity by David Sibbet

Indicators and Metrics

International Differences in Well-Being (Positive Psychology) by Ed Diener. Daniel Kahneman and John Helliwell.  "using subjective well-being data to understand and compare well-being across countries and cultures."  "bulk of ... large international differences in life evaluations are due to differences in life circumstances rather than differences in the way these differences are evaluated."

More on Statistical Indicators and Metrics

Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Cases II (Social Indicators Research Series) Pb. Editors: M. Joseph Sirgy, D. Rahtz, David Swain.

Presimetrics: What the Facts Tell Us About How the Presidents Measure Up On the Issues We Care About by Mike Kimel, M. Kanell, and N. Holmes

Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know by Mark Jeffery

Wrong: Why Experts Fail Us

Wrong: Why experts keep failing us--and how to know when not to trust them  [Hc] David H. Freedman.

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely.

See also The Quants: How a New Breed of Math Whizzes Conquered Wall Street and Nearly Destroyed It by Scott Patterson

More on Statistics In Science

Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error Hc Kathryn Schulz

How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbars Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks [Hardcover] Prof. Robin Dunbar

Street-Fighting Mathematics: The Art of Educated Guessing and Opportunistic Problem Solving by Sanjoy Mahajan and Carver Mead

Bursts: Hidden Patterns

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do by Albert-László Barabási.  The narrative structure of Barabási's provocative book ... converge on a single theme: that our unthinking behaviors are governed by a deeper meaning that can only be deciphered through the brave lens of mathematics."

More on Choice & Decision Theory

Prospect Theory: For Risk and Ambiguity by Peter Wakker.

Rational Choice Hc. Itzhak Gilboa; How We Decide Pb. Jonah Lehrer

How We Think: A Theory of Goal-Oriented Decision Making and its Educational Applications Pb. by Alan H. Schoenfeld.

Numbers Rule: Vexing Math of Democracy by George Szpiro Prose Award

White Coat; Black Hat

Carl Elliot's White Coats; Black Hats: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine. Elliott’s book describes the conundrum of modern medical practice [the adverse effects of mixing capitalism with the practice of medicine] wittily, incisively, and beautifully. This book should be required reading for anyone who has ever been a patient—in other words, for everyone."

Bad Science-Quacks, Hacks, Flacks

"British doctor Goldacre is funny and blunt as he bashes journalists, nutritionists, homeopaths, politicians, and pharmaceutical companies—his favorite targets."  "Bad Science is... a toolkit for critical thinking, a primer on statistics and valid study design, a guide to meta-analysis and other tools for uncovering and understanding truth . . .   should be required reading for everyone... "  US edition

Statistical Methods, Causal Inference

By David A Freedman.  "a definitive synthesis of his approach to causal inference in the social sciences. Freedman maintains that many new technical approaches to statistical modeling constitute not progress, but regress. Instead, he advocates a 'shoe leather' methodology, which exploits natural variation to mitigate confounding and relies on intimate knowledge of the subject matter ..." [Added 2012]

Confounding in Causal Inference

By Wei Pan, Peking Univ. "Causal inference is an important but controversial topic in the social sciences." This monograph "introduces a reference distribution of the confounding that is the product of two dependent correlation coefficients and illustrates how to use the reference distribution to investigate the robustness of a cause inference to the impact of a confounding variable." [Added 2012]

Strategies for Description and Causation [2013]

Research Methods in Practice: Strategies for Description and Causation by Dahlia Remler and Gregg Van Ryzin.   "Covers strategies for both description and causal estimation."  "Appropriate for graduate-level students "  Ch 11: Observational studies ...  TOC

Bayesian Data Analysis [2013]

Doing Bayesian Data Analysis: A Tutorial with R and BUGS by John Kruschke. "provides an accessible approach to Bayesian Data Analysis, as material is explained clearly with concrete examples. "   "These methods may help us to avoid publishing studies that are not likely to replicate." Psychology Today Blog.

The Numbers Guy: 2010

Carl Bialik

Carl Bialik, the Wall Street Journal "Numbers Guy," went "ballistic" with more than 100 articles in 2010 compared to 63 in 2009, 24 in  2008, 11 in 2007 and 23 in 2006. He co-writes The Daily Fix, a sports column that appears each weekday morning on WSJ.com. Carl has a degree in mathematics and physics from Yale University.  Check out his WSJ blog.

Calculating Pay Inequality

How big is the gender gap in pay between men and women? The answer ... depends on how you measure  How the group of workers is defined also matters. In the U.K., the Government Equalities Office cited a bigger pay gap by combining full-time and part-time workers, sparking a rebuke from the UK Statistics Authority.   The difference is an example of a Simpson’s Paradox, in which an overall difference is bigger than the gap between any subgroup.

Amazon Best Selling Books in Math

Amazon Top 100 Books in Applied Math

Amazon bestsellers in Science>Math>Applied. Top 10:
#1. Freakonomics (and Other Riddles of Modern Life) Levitt, Dubner [HC]
#2. The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse, Jennifer Ouellette
#3. How to Measure Anything: Value of Intangibles in Business, Hubbard
#4. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd ed.,  by Tufte
#5. Secrets of Mental Math: Mathemagician's Guide, Benjamin & Shermer
#6. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed Methods, Creswell
#7. How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff
#8. Secrets of Mental Math: Mathemagician's Guide, Shermer [Kindle]
#9. Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick, Woollcott Smith
#10. Statistics for Dummies by Deborah Rumsey

Amazon Top 100 Books in Statistics

Amazon bestsellers in Science>Mathematics>Applied>Statistics. Top 10:
Note: Amazon treats sales via Kindle as separate items.
#1 The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd ed. by Tufte. 
#2. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed Methods Creswell
#3. How to Measure Anything: Valuing Intangibles in Business, Hubbard.
#4. Envisioning Information by Edward R. Tufte.
#5. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance, Taleb [Kindle].
#6. Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick, Woollcott Smith. 
#7. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance by Nassim Taleb. 
#8. How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff and Irving Geis. 
#9. Discovering Statistics Using SPSS by Andy Field.
#10. Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques by Stephen Few.

QUIRK, PKAL and NNN

PKAL-Quirk Workshop

Susan Elrod (PKAL) and Nathan Grawe hosted Quantifying QR in Undergraduate Education: Alternative Strategies for the Assessment of Quantitative Reasoning Nathan talked on Other Important Things I've Learned from Reading Student Papers"

NNN Annual Meeting

Corri Taylor (NNN President) convened the 2010 board meeting of the National Numeracy Network (NNN).  Taylor, Schield and Hillyard were re-elected for another year.  Len Vacher (right) talked about  Numeracy: the NNN's online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal.

Madison-Dingmann  

 Bernie Madison (left) and Shannon Dingmann (right) (Univ. Arkansas) presented  "Quantitative Reasoning: Some Evidence and Questions on Learning."  Together they introduced findings from their unique news-based course.  Bernie is the PI of QR in the Contemporary World.

StatLit @ Augsburg

In the breakout session, John Schmit (left, Augsburg) talked on "Teaching Statistical Literacy as a Quantitative Rhetoric Course"  4up.  Marc Isaacson (Augsburg, right) talked on Statistical Literacy @ Augsburg.  6up.  

Institutional Buy In

Sue Mente (left) presented "The Alverno Story." 6up

Caren Diefenderfer (right, Hollins) presented  "Generating Interdisciplinary Institutional Buy In"  6up

QL Today

Milo Schield (left, NNN Vice-President) presented "Quantitative Literacy Today" as one of the two keynote talks. 6up. In the breakout session, Milo talked about Augsburg's Statistical Literacy course. 6up  Eric Gaze (right) presented "The QR Program at Bowdoin College" 6up, 4up.  

STATS

Trevor Butterworth, editor of STATS, contributes to the Financial Times, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal.

NY Public School's Whole Milk Swindle

Pay more tax and cheat death! "a 10% increase in alcohol prices would result in a 5% reduction in drinking"

Study finds lower incidence of autism in vaccinated kids

Teflon and Thyroidism

Rebecca Goldin, STATS Director of Research, is on the Mathematics faculty at George Mason University.

The flu: It’s about variance Rebecca Goldin

To cohabit or not to cohabit? Goldin and Merrick

Science minus women equals biology?

STATS: We want people to think about the numbers behind the news.  Stats essays for 2010.

GENERAL NEWS

Required Statistical Literacy For All

"a required statistical literacy course of some sort for all college students (and probably for high school students as well) is a great idea. Some colleges do this, but many do not. The lack of such a universal requirement keeps the public at large in the dark when statistics is purposefully abused to suit certain people's purposes rather than used to arrive at the truth."  "Regardless of career, a person needs some knowledge of statistical literacy to be able to make sense of reports about statistical studies and to detect misuses or abuses of statistics. Such skills will serve anyone well, regardless of the person's career. The lack of basic statistical literacy among the public at large means that many people are fleeced all the time by statistical studies that don't mean anything."      Jonathan Groves:  Posted: Apr 14, 2010 12:06 PM

Common Core

Bernie Madison: "I do not believe CCSSM goes far enough to support education for citizenship. At the ACE review meeting I suggested that in addition to college and career, we should add citizenship. The community is not ready for that, evidently, for two reasons I believe. We do not have a clear agreed-to description of what QR/QL is needed for citizenship, and we do not know how that QR/QL will integrate with college and career needs.

The insertion of probability and statistics into the K-12 mathematics strand has been and is still being resisted. Some believe there is not room for more. We are having some success with teachers in workshops to use media articles as a source of classroom studies. That would help."

Adults Learning Mathematics

ALM Journal: 2010

Correcting Students’ Misconceptions about Probability in an Introductory College Statistics Course by Leonid Khazanov, Lucio Prado.

People’s mathematics in working life: Why is it invisible? Tine Wedege

ALM 17 Conference

Challenges in Designing and Implementing a College Competency Requirement in Quantitative Reasoning Tibor Marcinek and Ana Dias  CMU

Defining Numeracy – the story continues David Kaye

The adult numeracy conundrum Chris Klinger

 UK Statistical Publications

RSS: Significance

Edward Simpson: Bayes at Bletchley Park.   Edward Simpson (right) also wrote "Measurement of Diversity" in 1949 [aka "Simpsons Diversity Index"] and wrote "The interpretation of interaction in contingency tables" in 1951 [aka "Simpson's paradox"].

Teaching Statistics: Articles

A Website That Provides Resources for Assessing Students’ Statistical Literacy, Reasoning and Thinking. P2. Joan Garfield and Robert delMas The Assessment Resource Tools for Improving Statistical Thinking (ARTIST) Web site was developed to provide high-quality assessment resources for faculty who teach statistics

QUOTES

STATISTICAL LITERACY DEFINED

  • "Statistical literacy is essential for both effective citizenship and personal well-being"  "Statistical literacy [is] the understanding and use of the language and tools of statistics."  Stat Act of 2010, HR 6355 Condensed 

  • Statistical literacy: "The set of basic statistical skills (and scepticism) that people need to deal with information in their everyday lives."  Michael Pace Ross, Director General Malt NSO.

  • "Statistical literacy is the bridge between numerical information and social meaning."   John Schmit PKAL Oct 2010 4up

  • "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." Milo Schield in "Assessing Statistical Literacy: Take CARE" in Assessment Methods in Statistical Education: An International Perspective (Wiley, 2010). Excerpts

STATISTICAL LITERACY IMPACT

  • Journalists of the future must be math-literate: "Without statistical literacy, we will just be writing fiction."  Blog Allison Martell Jan 2010

  • People have a lot more numbers [today].... But they don't necessarily have the statistical literacy to go with it."  Katherine Wallman, US Chief Statistician in Science News (11/2010).

  • Statistical literacy has risen to the top of my advocacy list, right alongside numeracy, and perhaps even ahead of “algebra for all.” J. Michael Shaughnessy, NCTM President. Statistics for All.

  • "no idea has stifled the growth of statistical literacy as much as the endless repetition of the words correlation is not causation. This phrase seems to be primarily used to suppress intellectual inquiry by encouraging the unspoken assumption that correlational knowledge is somehow an inferior form of knowledge."   Correlation MAY BE causation by John Myles White

  • "a required statistical literacy course of some sort for all college students (and probably for high school students as well) is a great idea. Some colleges do this, but many do not. The lack of such a universal requirement keeps the public at large in the dark when statistics is purposefully abused to suit certain people's purposes rather than used to arrive at the truth."  Jonathan Groves: Required Statistical Literacy Course for All Students? Posted: Apr 14, 2010 12:06 PM Math Forum@Drexel.

  • “It is impossible to rank schools on performance in NAPLAN [The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy] when the variables that influence performance are so many and varied."  David Johns, Hennessy Catholic College, Young AU. Young Witness

  • "Statistical literacy is vital to citizenship, and particularly students engaged in non-quantitative majors for whom advanced statistical reasoning, without resort to formal advanced statistical analysis, is becoming ever more important."  Ridgway, Nicholson & McCusker ICOTS

OTHER

  • "Statistical problems with just one independent variable and a single dependent variable are usually only found in textbooks.  The real world is hopelessly multivariate. "  Inside Out Plots by Jim Ramsay and Howard Wainer.    CHANCE News, 2010 (23.3)

International Statistical Literacy Poster Project

Helenius New Director of ISLP

Reija Helenius (right) is the new Director of the ISLP from 2009-2012 along with colleagues Dr Pedro Campos (Portugal) and Dr Sharleen Forbes (New Zealand). "An ISLP advisory board will assist us in our work. All of us aim to improve statistical literacy worldwide."  Presented Improving statistical literacy by national and international cooperation" at ICOTS-8.

US-ISLP Poster Competition

The US is conducting a national poster competition under the auspices of the International Statistical Literacy project (ISLP).   The US team involves Kathryn Hall, Dean Johnson, Rose Martinez-Dawson and Ashley Steel. Milo Schield (right) is the US Coordinator. For more information, see www.StatLit.org/US-ISLP.htm

ICOTS-8 PLENARIES

Data and Context

ICOTS-8 was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  Andrej Blejec (Slovenia), chair of the local organizing committee, was in charge. Keynote videos

Call for Statistical Literacy

In his keynote address "Toward an Evidence Based Society", Gerg Gigerenzer (Max Planck Institute for Human Development) called for statistical literacy: representations that foster insight. Gigerenzer advocated replacing five-year survival rates with mortality rates, replacing conditional probabilities with natural frequencies and replacing relative risks with absolute risks. Video

Showbiz: the Beauty of Statistics

Hans Rosling, founder of GapMinder, argued "If you show the core numbers of statistics, rather than the meaning of the data, your audience will be small."  "Animated displays of time series do not replace any other form of data presentation. Its aim is to attract new user groups to the beauty of statistics. I will review what it will take to bring statistical databases into prime time TV."    Video.

Are We All Bayesians?

The Strength of Evidence vs the Power of Belief: Are we all Bayesians?  Psi studies provide a natural context for Bayesian analysis, in which prior beliefs can easily be incorporated.  Tests of psychic abilities can be an interesting and entertaining way to teach many different concepts at varying levels of statistics courses [such as the concept of power].   Video

ICOTS-8 STATISTICAL LITERACY

Stat Lit For Non-Quant Majors

Milo Schield, Director of the W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Project, organized a session on Statistical Literacy for Students in Non-Quantitative majors.  This includes about 40% of recent US college graduates. Milo also presented Association-Causation Problems in News Stories. This paper investigates inaccuracies, omissions and ambiguities in number-based news stories. Slides.

Reading Tables & Graphs

Using a Five Step Framework for interpreting tables and graphs in their contexts: Marian Kemp and Barry Kissane (Australia) Step 1: Get started.  Step 2: What do they mean?  Step 3: How do they vary [within a series]?  Step 4: Where are the differences [between two series]?  Step 5: Why do they differ?

Using Media Reports

Using media reports to promote statistical literacy for non-quantitative majors by Stephanie Budgett (right) and  Maxine Pfannkuch (NZ).  Among the 6 students interviewed seven months after the course, they found no meaningful difference between the quantitative and non-quantitative students.  There does however appear to be a difference in the way the two groups explain their understanding." 

Think Critically about Data

How we can all learn to think critically about data: Ian Gordon, Sue Finch (Australia). We considered "a problem-based approach ..., but opted for a topic-based approach."  Students had "to make a detailed review of a single research study" and compare it with the reporting ... in the news item and in the published article." 

Luring Statistical Educators ...

Luring non-quantitative majors into advanced statistical reasoning (and luring statistics educators into real statistics): Sean McCusker (right), Jim Ridgway, James Nicholson.  Goal: "to extend students’ activity beyond simple descriptive and inferential statistics which often relate to just two variables, to key [multivariate] statistical ideas such as effect size and interaction."

Making sense of statistical studies

Making Sense of Statistical Studies: A Capstone Experience for Secondary Students by Roxy Peck and Daren Starnes. "investigations start with a research question on some topic of interest. Students are then led through a series of questions that help them examine the study design, analyze data, and interpret results" Three contexts: observational studies, surveys & experiments.

Statistics Assessment

Statistics Assessment: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. by James Nicholson (left), Jim Ridgway and Sean McKusker.  Given data, students created reports.  Over 80% of the reports used data, with about 60% using it accurately and appropriately. Just over 20% described trends in a clear and accurate manner.... About 15% of the reports made mention of 2-way interactions..."

Pupils Reasoning w Data

Pupils Reasoning with Information and Misinformation by Jim Ridgway (left) and James Nicholson.  "Thirteen out of 90 responses actually showed evidence that students could discuss two-way interactions. The idea of interaction is central to understanding most real world problems..."

Spinning News: Media Gap in QR

Rebecca Goldin (GMU and advisor to STATS), presented "Spinning Heads and Spinning News: the American Media's Gap in Quantitative Reasoning."   It is a challenging task to increase statistical savvy in the public forum.   As statistics educators in an increasingly data-driven society, we need to be aware that our impact is far greater than it used to be, and far more important.

Don't Blame Journalists ...

Unintentional Lies in the Media: Don't Blame Journalists for What We Don't Teach.  Jessica Utts. As statistics educators, we need to do a better job of educating our students to write these stories (as future journalists), to interpret them for decision-making (as future ... professionals) and to read them with a critical eye (as future consumers of information).

Interpreting Two-Way Tables

Assessing the Interpretation of Two-Way Tables as Part of Statistical Literacy by Jane Watson (right) and Erica Nathan. "Most teachers (17/29) revealed a partial understanding only of the “Big Ideas” inherent in the 2-way table, and were unable to articulate its learning potential immediately."   "this is all about proportional thinking obviously" 

Assessing Statistical Literacy

Post Secondary and Adult Statistical Literacy: Assessing Beyond the Classroom by Jenifer Kaplan (right) and Justin Thorpe. "This paper defines adult statistical literacy as the set of skills and knowledge used by expert consumers of statistics and then provides a potential framework, based in the literature, to describe the components of statistical literacy." 

Improving Statistical Literacy

Improving Statistical Literacy by National and International Cooperation by Reija Helenius.  "The promotion of statistical literacy and awareness represent a strategic goal of each statistical office.  A set of statistics does not become endowed with a meaning until it finds its user and is capable of adding value to the activity of the user of the information." 

Promote Statistical Literacy

Promoting Statistical Literacy: A European Pilot Project to Bring Official Statistics Into University and Secondary School Classrooms by Hans-Joachim Mittag (University of Hagen, Germany).  This paper presents an EU-funded project that aims at promoting statistical literacy amongst young people by providing an innovative e-course with interactive and dynamic components.

Developmental Interest in StatLit

Developmental Changes in Australian School Students' Interest for Statistical Literacy by Colin Carmichael (right) and Ian Hay (U. Tasmania). "younger students are more likely to be interested in activities related to chance and the use of computers. Older students, on the other hand, are more likely to value the ability to interpret statistics in media and scientific contexts."

Workshops

Jane Watson and Milo Schield held mid-day workshops.  Jane talked on critical numeracy.  Milo presented "Statistical Literacy 2010: An Update."  Slides. He elaborated on his article "Assessing Statistical Literacy: Take CARE."

Statistical Literacy Education

Teachers’ perceptions of best practice in statistical literacy education by Ian Hay (U. Tasmania). "teacher interviews were tape-recorded an d transcribed. These transcripts were then entered into the software package Leximancer. The Leximancer program “reads” the text and creates a map that is comprised of a set of ‘concepts." 

Ethical-political aspects Stat Lit

Karen Francois (left) and Jean Paul Van Bendegem (Free University Brussels, Belgium) presented "Ethical-political aspects of statistical literacy."  They introduced ISOTYPE (a graphical-visual language): "one of the most innovative approaches to the representation of statistics in such a way that the greatest accessibility can be guaranteed." "mainly used for societal matters."

ICOTS-8 OTHER

100 Years of Teaching Statistics

One Hundred Years of Progress-Teaching Statistics: 1910-2010. What Have we Learned?  Part 1 and Part 2. Neville Davies, Vic Barnett and John Marriott.  "statistics is ... a branch of science. Statistical numeracy requires ... a commonsense approach to the use of data in supporting an argument, ...  and a judicious understanding of ...concepts such as means and percentages. part of everyday living."

Reporting Effect Sizes and CIs

Effect Sizes and Confidence Intervals for Multivariate Analysis: How Complete are Published Accounts of Research in Psychology? by Fiona Fidler (right), Harlow, Cumming and Abbott.  "The only consistent finding was an unfortunate one: CIs [confidence intervals] are exceptionally rare!"  See The APA Publication Manual 6th Ed: Implications for Statistical Education by Fidler.

Estimation Thinking (ET)

Statistics Education in the Social and Behavioural Sciences: From Dichotomous Thinking to Estimation Thinking and Meta-Analytic Thinking by Geoff Cumming. estimation thinking (ET) and meta-analytic thinking (MAT) focus on sizes of effects, and cumulation of evidence to increase precision. A shift from DT [deterministic thinking] to ET/MAT is highly desirable. 

Interpreting Confidence Interval

The Confidence Interval: A Difficult Matter, Even for Experts by Gabriel Yáñez Canal and Roberto Behar Gutiérrez.  Goal: "to find out what a sample of experts (statisticians and statistics university professors) and university students understood exactly by confidence intervals. To this end, a questionnaire was answered by 41 experts and 297 students."

Happy Statistics

Real-Life Module Statistics: A Happy Harvard Experiment by Kari Lock and Xiao-Li Meng. "the course focus is on real-life applications, not finding examples for the sake of illustrating statistical techniques...." "By creating a course that applies statistics to topics relevant to the students’ lives, we excite and engage students and open their eyes to the power of statistics."

Informal Inference

Two related papers on informal inference among school children.  Chris Wild presented Inferential Reasoning: Learning to "Make a Call" in Theory.  Maxine Pfannkuch presented Inferential Reasoning: Learning to "Make a Call" in Practice.

Qualitative Methods: Bus Stats

Some Arguments for Integration of Qualitative Methods into Business Statistics Courses by Iddo Gal and Irena Ograjenšek.  "We argue for the introduction of a balanced mixed method approach early in the process of studying business statistics, as a preferred basis for developing business students’ ability to respond to diverse types of real-life managerial challenges."

Data Analysis

Data Analysis: Linking Mathematics, Science and Social Studies by Jerry Moreno. "It is through the GAISE Model that data analysis links mathematics, science, and social studies and it is through the GAISE Model that the scientific method in science and social studies skills for evaluating the credibility and reliability of sources for projects is enhanced and verified."

Use of Real-World Examples

Helping Teachers To make Effective use of Real-World Examples in Statistics by Helen Chick (left) and Robyn Pierce.  Case study involving primary school teachers (PST).  "Finding ways to enhance statistical content and pedagogical content knowledge is particularly critical for teachers—especially including primary teachers—who have limited experience in mathematics and statistics."

Explore vs. Confirm

Exploration and Induction Versus Confirmation and Deduction by Kathryn Blackmond Laskey (right, GMU) and Laura Martignon (U. Ludwigsburg). Stochastic education itself can be ... a profoundly political activity–in the sense of being intimately tied to environmental and social issues. Sophisticated statistical arguments have been applied to deeply controversial political issues.

Jane Watson: Educating for Statistical Literacy

Jane Watson Honored

In 2010 Jane Watson was awarded the inaugural Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia MERGA Career Research Medal, which recognized “an outstanding and long-running program of research in mathematics education in general and chance and data education in particular.” In 2007. Jane was elected "Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia." vitae

Measuring Students' Interest

Measuring Middle School Students' Interest in Statistical literacy.  Colin Carmichael (left), Rosemary Callingham, Ian Hay, Jane Watson.  Math Ed Research Jrnl V22, N3, 11/2010.

Stat Literacy in Middle School

Statistical literacy in the middle school: The relationship between interest, self-efficacy and prior mathematics achievement.          Australian Jrnl Educational Psych. Vol 10, 2010, pp. 83-93.  C. Carmichael, R. Callingham, Ian Hay [right], J. Watson. How do age, prior achievement, gender, and self-competency beliefs contribute to ... students’ interest for statistical literacy?

Create Stats Literacy Measure

Creating a Measure of Middle School Students' Interest in Statistical Literacy: Is it Possible?, Colin Carmichael, Rosemary Callingham [left], Ian Hay, Jane Watson.  Mathematics Education Research Journal V22, N3, Nov. 2010.

Statistical Education Research Journal (SERJ)

Need for Conceptual Analysis

On Conceptual Analysis as the Primary Qualitative Approach to Statistics Education Research in Psychology by Agnes Petocz and Glenn Newberry. "Conceptual analysis, a fundamental part of the scientific method and arguably the primary qualitative method insofar as it is logically prior and equally applicable to all other empirical research methods .. has been largely overlooked.

School Teachers+Data Displays

Elementary School Teachers' Comprehension of Data Displays by Timothy Jacobbe (U. Florida, left) and Robert Horton (Clemson U).  The elementary school teachers involved in this study generally had a low-level comprehension of data displays.   Teachers were proficient at "reading the data" but were unsuccessful with questions assessing higher level skills.

Teaching Statistical Association

Subject Matter Knowledge for Teaching Statistical Associations by Stephanie Casey.  "Findings regarding the knowledge required for teaching correlation coefficient are highlighted"  Best fit line and correlation coefficient were found to be the two most-referenced topics involving statistical association. Association, scatter-plot and two-way tables were involved much less often.

Achievement-Related Factors

Cognitive and Non-cognitive Factors Related to Students' Statistics Achievement by Francesca Cheisa and Caterina Primi (U Florence). Data was obtained from 487 psychology students enrolled in undergraduate introductory statistics courses.  Data obtained using SATS, PMP and STARS.  Data for the 327 students passing the final exam was analyzed.

ASA Journal of Statistical Education (JSE)

How Students Define Words

Lexical Ambiguity in Statistics: How students use and define the words: association, average, confidence, random and spread by Jennifer Kaplan (right), Diane Fisher and Neal Rogness.   Forty-nine students wrote sentences and definitions for the statistical meanings of the words. Less than a fourth of the students "were able to define  association as a relationship between two variables." JSE

Graphs and Concepts

The Effects of Data and Graph Type on Concepts and Visualizations of Variability by Linda Cooper and Felice Shore.  "we present basic misconceptions found in the literature that hinder students’ abilities to interpret and compare some types of graphs."  Problem distinguishing between distribution bar graphs and value bar charts if frequency is found on the vertical axis...     JSE

Telling Data Stories

"Telling Data Stories: Essential Dialogues for Comparative Reasoning association as a relationship between two variables"  by Pfannkuch et al.  "this paper we discuss some of the major issues surrounding story telling in statistics, challenge current practices, open debates about what constitutes good verbalization of structure in graphical and numerical summaries"     JSE

Statistical Literacy: Adult College Students

PhD dissertation.  By Barbara Wade.  Knowing how important statistical literacy is, the purpose of this research was to measure statistical literacy in adult learners before and after they have completed a statistics class, or a research methods class with no prior statistics, or a research methods class with prior statistics.   Table of Contents and Ch 1 excerpt.   Thesis.   See also Confronting Statistical Literacy in the Undergraduate Social Science Curriculum by Wade and Goodfellow.

ASA: Statistical Literacy

Statistical Literacy

Milo Schield (Augsburg) organized the 13th session on statistical literacy with 90 attendees. He talked on "The Social Construction of Rankings."   Milo argued that teaching rankings was a good way to show the importance of assumptions on simple numbers with minimal math.  6up

Quantitative Rhetoric

John Schmit (Augsburg College) presented "Teaching Statistical Literacy as Quantitative Rhetoric."  "Statistical literacy is a bridge between quantitative information and social meaning. Quantitative rhetoric interrogates the strategies used to create that meaning. ...  statistical literacy ...should ... be included in college general education programs.."   6up

Time Series Info

Statistical Literacy and Time-series Information by Britt (left) and Anders (right) Wallgren  "times-series data are more important to large groups of users of statistical information than cross section data."  "the scope is how to get a good picture of qualitative patterns."  6up;

Everyday Numbers

Numbers in Everyday Life: A Short Course for Adults by Gerald Hahn (left), Necip Doganaksoy (right), Ricki Lewis, Jane Oppenlander and Josef Schmee 6up; "We therefore needed to focus the course around the use and abuse of statistics in specific application areas."  [Voted #1]

Probability in Decline

Probability in Decline by Dean Brooks 6up; "Long sequences of random digits generated by a variety of methods show long-term declines in repetition of rare items or sequences." "Similar decline patterns show up empirically in epidemiology, Web traffic, and other probabilistic settings." "the strength of the argument lies in the difficulty of finding ‘chance machines’ that do not exhibit decline."

"Problem" of P-Values

The Undetectable Difference: An Experimental Look at the “Problem” of p-Values by Bill Goodman 6up; "This paper explores the impacts on p-values, and alternatives, if the null hypothesis is defined as a thick or thin range of values. It also examines the extent to which the p-value may or may not be a good predictor of the probability that H0 is true, given the distribution of the data."

ASA JSM

QL & StatLit

Moving towards a QL core competency requirement by A. John Bailer (left, Univ. Miami, Ohio).  6up

Roundtable: Statistical Literacy as a Separate Course from Introductory Statistics by Robert Molnar (right)

Student Attitudes

Understanding Students’ Attitudes toward Statistics: New Perspectives Using an Expectancy-Value Model of Motivation and the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics  by Caroline Ramirez, Esma Emmioglu and Candace Schau (right).  

Assessing Students’ Attitudes: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by Anne Millar and Candace Schau (right).

Frequentist -- not Bayesian

Statistical Inference, Statistics Education, and the Fallacy of the Transposed Conditional by Andrew Neath (S. Illinois, Edwardsville). "The interpretations of significance testing and confidence interval .. often presented to statistics students are based on the "fallacy of the transposed conditional"." "the use of terms such as "rejection" and "confidence", purposefully or not, are misleading."

Concepts Retained Afterward

Why do we study this? Critical Concepts to Retain from Statistics Class by Kathryn Hall and Diane K. Michelson.   "we should not be surprised that the content knowledge of a class ... is forgotten after 6 months." "We had to expand the exercises from proofs and formula manipulation to include the interpretation of the results and correct decision making."

Improve Business Statistics

Implementing Modern Pedagogical Guidelines in Business Statistics: Challenges and Possible Solutions by Bodapati V. R. Gandhi. "Making statistics relevant to students ... is not optional in the business curriculum. It is the key to making them use statistics and apply statistical reasoning in their professional career."

Reform Introductory Statistics

Reform and Renewal in the Introductory Statistics Courses by Nancy Leveille, Anna Simmons and Ron Barnes.  "It is time to eliminate or reformulate topics in the introductory statistics courses." Misusing tables and charts "is an important topic." "Bayes’ Theorem and conditional probabilities ..  would be better" with decision theory" "simple linear regression  is usually .. the final chapter."

Web News

Statistical Literacy, QL and QR

John Pullinger: The RSS getstats statistical literacy campaign.

The RSS Statistical Literacy Campaign.

Common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics (c.f., legal trials).

Bernie Madison at ORC/OMSC. (6/2009). QL1, QL2, QL3, QL4, QL5.

Alexaber Laskin: Integrating Q/R in the Social Sciences Curriculum.

Rosling YouTube Videos

200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes 1.4M views 12/2010  Hans Rosling's lectures reveal the story of the world's past, present and future development. 2020 Shaping Ideas     No more boring data: TEDTalks    New insights on poverty and life around the world     Global population growth.        Asia's rise -- how and when.  

Who Counts? Marquette Social Justice

Who Counts?  A Marquette University project funded by a $631,661 grant from the U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE). The goal of Who Counts is to encourage students to retain and enhance quantitative reasoning skills for global social justice by infusing math into non-STEM courses. Who Counts provided curriculum development grants, faculty workshops, a multidisciplinary reader, and prizes for student work. Over the 3-year period of the grant (2008-2010), the nearly 2,000 students enrolled in over 30 Who Counts courses showed significant improvement in their confidence in using quantitative reasoning to analyze global and social justice issues.

Temple University: Statistics in the News

Obituary: Burt Holland, professor at Temple University, died of ALS on June 21.  In 2006, Holland created "Statistics in the News" for Temple's quantitative literacy program.

Temple QL Program:  "IX. The quantitative literacy course is intended to help students interpret phenomena in quantitative terms and to understand the uses, limits, and abuses of quantification. It contextualizes quantitative statements by encouraging students to think about them as citizens rather than as specialists. These courses teach quantitative reasoning, and while computation may be part of the course, the primary focus is not the teaching of computational skills."

OTHER JOURNAL ARTICLES

Journal Articles: Numeracy-Health

How to Win Without Overtly Cheating: The Inverse Simpson Paradox By Ora E. Percus and Jerome K. Percus. The Mathematical Intelligencer Volume 32, Number 4, 49-52, DOI: 10.1007/s00283-010-9174-3 

What Counts as an Education Revolution?  Phi Delta Kappan, Dec2010, Vol. 92 Issue 4, p101-102, 2p

Prior achievement, effort, and mathematics attitude as predictors of current achievement. By Hemmings, Brian; Kay, Russell. Australian Educational Researcher, Aug 2010, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p41-58.

What's average? By: Stack, Watson, Hindley, Samson and Devlin. Australian Mathematics Teacher, Aug2010, Vol. 66 Issue 3, p7-15.

Improving literacy and numeracy in the workplace.  By: Wilson, Tom. Literacy Today, Jun2010, Issue 63, p13-13.

The fear of all sums. Economist, 5/15/2010, Vol. 395 # 8682, p84-84,

“What's Math Got to Do With It?”: Numeracy & Social Studies Education.  By: Crowe, Alicia R.. Social Studies, Apr2010, Vol. 101 Issue 3, p105-110.

Adult Literacy and Numeracy. Literacy Today, Mar2010, Issue 62, p20.

Journal Articles: Numeracy+Health

Numeracy in Nursing and Healthcare: Calculations and Practice. By Carlisle, Susan. Emergency Nurse, Nov2010, Vol. 18 Issue 7, p9-9, 1/6p,

Reviews. Numeracy in Nursing and Healthcare.  By Carlisle, Susan. Nursing Standard, 10/6/2010, Vol. 25 Issue 5, p30-30.

Neurocognition, Health-Related Reading Literacy, and Numeracy in Medication Management for HIV Infection.  By Waldrop-Valverde, Jones, Gould, Kuma and Ownby. AIDS Patient Care & STDs, Aug2010, Vol. 24 Issue 8, p477-484.

Can This Patient Read and Understand Written Health Information? By: Powers, Benjamin J.; Trinh, Jane V.; Bosworth, Hayden B.. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 7/7/2010, Vol. 304 Issue 1, p76-84

Numeracy and patient safety: the need for regular staff assessment. By: Warburton, Paul. Nursing Standard, 3/10/2010, Vol. 24 Issue 27, p42-44.

Boost literacy and numeracy skills in only 25 minutes.  Nursing Standard, 2/3/2010, Vol. 24 Issue 22, p10-10

An evaluation of an online numeracy assessment tool.  By: Warburton, Paul; Sherrington, Sam; Kirton, Jennifer; Ryland, Ida; Jinks, Annette. Nursing Standard, 3/31/2010, Vol. 24 Issue 30, p62-68.

Journal Articles: Statistical Literacy

Write-Skewed: Writing in An Introductory Statistics Course. by Delcham, Hendrick and Renan Sezer in Education, Summer2010, V130 #4, p603-615.

Statistics and the Modern Student by Robert Gould (2010) in International Statistical Review, 78,2,297-315.

Journal Articles: Quantitative Literacy

“What's Math Got to Do With It?”: Numeracy and Social Studies Education.  By: Crowe, Alicia R.. Social Studies, Apr2010, Vol. 101 Issue 3, p105-110, 6p; DOI: 10.1080/00377990903493846 

Journal Articles: Data Analysis

High School Mathematics Teacher Professional Development in Data Analysis, Probability, and Statistics by Gregory D. Foley, Jeremy F. Strayer, Blake Regan

Our Abstinence-Based Curriculum

After-dinner talk on intro stats curriculum by Daniel Kaplan (Macalester College).    Takes 2 minutes to load after Open; be patient. For Save, download audio with PPT 1up slides into same folder.  Audio stops just before the close. 6up  [Ed. 55 min.]

NEW BOOKS: EPIDEMIOLOGY

Inside the OutBreaks

Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service by M. Pendergrast.  Educates people on the importance of epidemiology and the need to  fund it properly. It will come as no surprise to anyone that public health has always been (and still is) very poorly funded, even though a good public health approach.. ultimately saves millions of dollars as well as lives.

Cholesterol and Beyond

Cholesterol and Beyond: The Research on Diet and Coronary Heart Disease 1900-2000 by A. Stewart Truswell.  "With consummate scholarship, clarity and brevity, Truswell sifts out the chaff and identifies the critical questions, the responsible investigators, and the key studies." Foreward.  "a remarkable concise book on the history of research on diet and heart disease."

Social Capital and Health

Social Capital and Health edited by Ichiro Kawachi, S.V. Subramanian and Daniel Kim.  Two large sections: the first on the measurement of social capital and the second on the evidence linking social capital to health.  Theory of social capital, the strengths and limitations of current methodologies of measuring it, and salient examples of social capital concepts informing public health practice.

Fact-Checking Epi Arguments

The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-checking the Left's new theory of everything by Christopher Snowdon. Several books (c.f., The Spirit Level, Happiness and Affluenza) have called for a shift in power to the state based on the supposedly devastating effects of wealth, economic growth and inequality.  This book argues that the theory lacks empirical support and fails the test of believability.

NEW BOOKS: SOCIAL STATISTICS

Pres-i-metrics

Presimetrics: What the Facts Tell Us About How the Presidents Measure Up On the Issues We Care About by Mike Kimel and Michael E. Kanell. Nigel Holmes (Illustrator)  Fresh look at modern politics by gathering data ... in order to compare and rank presidential performance on critical issues, from employment and health care to taxes and family values. The results frequently defy expectations:

Causality: Methods Matter

Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research by Richard J. Murnane and John B. Willett.  Offers essential guidance for those who evaluate educational policies. Using numerous examples of high-quality studies, the authors go beyond the simple presentation of new analytical methods to discuss the controversies surrounding each.

Social Science Research

Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-glut by Kistin Luker. a charming and effective manual on how to get through the research process with most of one's enthusiasm still intact. This is a guidebook for the methodologically bewildered.   Endorsing what used to be called "theories of the middle range," this approach eschews master narratives and grand theory.

Statistical Persuasion

Statistical Persuasion: How to Collect, Analyze, and Present Data...Accurately, Honestly, and Persuasively [Paperback] Dr. Robert W. Pearson.  "This text clearly and straightforwardly demonstrates how to collect, manage, analyze, and present data in real world applications in education, criminal justice and other fields in the social sciences."

NEWS IN 2010

  • Dec.  How to Win Without Overtly Cheating: The Inverse Simpson Paradox by Ora E. Percus and Jerome K. Percus in The Mathematical Intelligencer Volume 32, Number 4 / December 2010.

  • Dec 10-11.  OZCOTS: Australian Conference on Teaching Statistics to be held in Fremantle, Western Australia.

  • Nov Atlantic: Lies, Damned Lies and Medical Science by David H. Freedman. Dr. John Ioannidis (Prof. of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical School, University of Ioannina ) authored two papers in 2005. In PL0S he proved that "researchers with come up with the wrong findings most of the time." His model predicted ... rates of wrongness: 80% for non-randomized studies, 25% of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials and as much as 10% of the platinum-standard large randomized trials.  [His 2005 paper in PLoS Medicine, “Why most Published Research Findings are False,” has been the most-downloaded article in the history of Public Library of Science.]  In his JAMA paper, he "zoomed in on 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 15 years, as judged by the science community's two standard measures: the papers had appeared in the journals most widely cited in research articles, and the 49 articles themselves were the most widely cited articles in these journals."   "Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions.  Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated.  If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proven untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable." "How should we choose among these dueling, high-profile nutritional findings?  Ioannidis suggests a simple approach: ignore them all."  "Science is a low-yield endeavor" he says.  "I'm not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to a major improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life.  We should be very comfortable with that fact." 

  • Nov 7: Big Lies, Little Lies. Fake Unemployment Data. Rising Poverty in America by Paul Craig Roberts.  "can we trust the government’s statement last Friday that the US economy gained 151,000 payroll jobs during October?  Apparently not. After examining the government’s report, statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) reported that the jobs were “phantom jobs” created by “concurrent seasonal factor adjustments.” In other words, the 151,000 jobs cannot be found in the unadjusted underlying data. The jobs were the product of seasonal adjustments concocted by the BLS."

  • Nov 6: Katherine Wallman on Statistics and Statistical Literacy. Science News. "I personally believe that with the advent of computer technology, people have a lot more numbers readily at their disposal. They have a lot of computer literacy, but they don’t necessarily have statistical literacy to go with it. So they can manipulate lots of numbers but they may not be doing it in the best advised fashion. I do have a concern personally about the gap between the availability of information and the computer literacy of our population and the statistical literacy they should have if they’re going to use these numbers most intelligently." Katherine Wallman, US Chief Statistician.

  • Nov 5:  Assessment of Liberal Education, Quantitative Literacy, and Individual Majors: Lessons Learned, Initial Data & Ongoing Issues The presenters will discuss assessment across several academic areas, with a focus on the Liberal Education program and Quantitative Literacy initiative. The presentation will include how the assessment tools were developed and implemented, initial results, and how they are using these results to improve the curricula. This presentation works as a “How To (or How Not To)” session. This presentation will be targeted toward assessment beginners, both faculty and administrators. However assessment veterans are welcome, especially for their insight during the discussion at the end of the formal presentation. Presenters: Cheryl Coolidge, Professor; Beth Crockford, Academic Dean & Professor; Semra-Kilic Bahi, Associate Professor. Colby-Sawyer College.  See also Quantitative Literacy: Does it Work? Evaluation of Student Outcomes at Colby-Sawyer College in Numeracy.

  • Oct 29:  Wired Names the Neoliberal Arts—And They Look a Lot Like AAC&U’s Essential Learning Outcomes by Debra Humphries. "The article’s authors present mini -course descriptions on such things as statistical literacy—making sense of today’s data-driven world..."  "AAC&U, too, has recommended ... in a world of daunting complexity, all students need practice in integrating and applying their learning to challenging questions and real-world problems."  "What Wired recommends are exactly the kinds of things that AAC&U has also recommended—learning experiences that prepare students to solve unscripted problems and to understand knowledge in the context of how today’s complex world actually works."

  • Oct 27:  Malta’s Statistical Institution within a Historical Perspective by Michael Pace Ross, Director General NSO.  "The set of basic statistical skills (and scepticism) that people need to deal with information in their everyday lives properly is referred to as statistical literacy."

  • Oct 25: How Much Math Do We Really Need?  by G. V. Ramathan in the Washington Post. "How much math do you really need in everyday life? Ask yourself that -- and also the next 10 people you meet, say, your plumber, your lawyer, your grocer, your mechanic, your physician or even a math teacher. Unlike literature, history, politics and music, math has little relevance to everyday life. That courses such as "Quantitative Reasoning" improve critical thinking is an unsubstantiated myth. All the mathematics one needs in real life can be learned in early years without much fuss. Most adults have no contact with math at work, nor do they curl up with an algebra book for relaxation."

  • Oct 20: RSS Series A Read Paper: Towards More Accessible Conceptions of Statistical Inference by Chris Wild, Maxine Pfannkuch and Matt Regan University of Auckland, New Zealand and by Nicholas Horton, Smith College, USA. Abstract: "There is a compelling case, based on research in statistics education, for first courses in statistical inference to be underpinned by a staged development path. Preferably over a number of years, students should begin working with precursor forms of statistical inference, much earlier than they now do. A side benefit is giving younger students more straightforward and more satisfying ways of answering interesting real world questions.  We discuss the issues that are involved in formulating precursor versions of inference and then present some specific and highly visual proposals.  These build on novel ways of experiencing sampling variation and have intuitive connections to the standard formal methods of making inferences in first university courses in statistics. Our proposal uses visual comparisons to enable the inferential step to be made without taking the eyes off relevant graphs of the data.  This allows the time and conceptual distances between questions, data and conclusions to be minimized, so that the most critical linkages can be made. Our approach was devised for use in high schools but is also relevant to adult education and some introductory tertiary courses."   Commentary: Professor Neville Davies from the Society says that the paper is set to transform the international landscape of statistical education. "Make no mistake, in my view this read paper is a seminal event in the society's long history. It is ground-breaking in its innovation and should have impact and influence for a long time to come."

  • Oct 20: First World Statistics Day 20.10.2010  Resolution Sponsored by the United Nations.

  • Oct 14:  Quantitative Literacy across the Curriculum: Integrating Skills from English Composition, Mathematics, and the Substantive Disciplines by Jane Miller. The Educational Forum, 74: 334–46, 2010.  "QUANTITATIVE LITERACY ACROSS THE CURRICULUM Despite repeated documentation of innumeracy in the general population, quantitative literacy is a neglected skill in most curricula. Resolving this problem involves contributions by faculty in each of the major academic departments. Figure 1 ... illustrates how English composition, mathematics, and substantive disciplines such as science and history intersect to generate quantitative literacy, each contributing unique and important concepts and skills."

  • Oct 8-10: PKAL/Carleton College "Quantifying Quantitative Reasoning in Undergraduate Education: Alternative Strategies for the Assessment of Quantitative Reasoning Program development workshop October 8-10, 2010, Northfield, MN.   The AAC&U's Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative identifies quantitative reasoning (QR) among 11 critical learning outcomes for all students in the 21st century. Sharing this perspective, many institutions have recently adopted QR graduation requirements. Led by leaders in the national QR movement, this interactive workshop will lead campus teams in developing plans to enhance QR programming and assessment. Friday: 3:40-5:00 Plenary Session: "Quantitative Reasoning On Campus and Beyond" "Quantitative Reasoning Today" Milo Schield (Augsburg College) 6up.  "Quantitative Reasoning: Some Evidence and Questions on Learning" Shannon Dingman and Bernie Madison (University of Arkansas.  6:30-8:15 Dinner Plenary Session: "Many Women Work, Wealthy People Have More Money, and Other Important Things I've Learned from Reading Student Papers" Nathan Grawe (Carleton College).  Saturday:  Statistical Literacy at Augsburg, Schield 6up.  Teaching Statistical Literacy as Quantitative Rhetoric, Schmit 4up.  11:45-1:00 Lunch Plenary Session: "Challenges of QR Assessment" Donna Sundre (James Madison University).  Sunday 11:30-12:00 Lunch and Plenary Session: "Building a QR Community: The Future of the National Numeracy Network" Corrine Taylor (Wellesley College) and Len Vacher (Univ. of Southern Florida). Agenda

  • Oct 5.  Erosion of American higher education by Bill Costello, American Thinker.  " Most college graduates are below proficiency in verbal and quantitative literacy according to the National Center for Education Statistics. QL-Proficient Rates by Level of Education

  • Oct 3: ASA Urges Support of Statistical Literacy Bill The American Statistical Association urges members of the House of Representatives to support H.R. 6355 , the Statistical Teaching, Aptitude and Training Act of 2010 (STAT Act of 2010), which was introduced yesterday by Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)and to sign on as co-sponsors. ASA also is urging its members, as well as all statisticians and mathematicians, to contact their Congressional representatives about supporting this critical bill, which is designed to ensure that this and future generations of students will have the statistical skills to cope in an increasingly data-centric world. Statistical Literacy flyer: "Statistical literacy— the understanding and using the basic language and tools of statistics, recognizing and being able to interpret different representations of data in a context, and knowing how to ask critical questions about the design and conclusions of a study — is a vital component of mathematics education. It includes the understanding and interpretation of data and graphs, including the ability to make rational decisions in the face of uncertainty. Quantitative literacy includes statistical literacy, but also addresses understanding mathematical relations (e.g., investment income growth) and number sense (e.g., What is the per capita share of a $700 billion bailout debt spread among 300 million citizens?)." Bill summary   Bill tracker

  • Oct 1: To mark the launch of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) ten-year statistical literacy campaign, the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education (RSSCSE) and the University of Plymouth are pleased to host a series of free statistical education days and workshops from 20 - 26 October. These not to be missed events will include a number of presentations by leading international experts, presenting ground-breaking aspects of statistics teaching and learning.

  • Oct 1: "no idea has stifled the growth of statistical literacy as much as the endless repetition of the words correlation is not causation. This phrase seems to be primarily used to suppress intellectual inquiry by encouraging the unspoken assumption that correlational knowledge is somehow an inferior form of knowledge."  Three-Quarter Truths: Correlation Is Not Causation by John Myles White.

  • Oct 1: Statistical Literacy is #1 course to fill gaps in college education. October issue, Wired Magazine.  "Our world is shaped by widespread statistical illiteracy.  We fear things that probably won't kill us (terrorist attacks) while ignoring things that probably will (texting while driving)." Jim Rodgers: "Statistical Literacy: You may be in the Disraeli camp regarding statistics, but you certainly should be able to recognize how a statistic is gathered and presented." "Unfortunately, most math instructors avoid statistics and most statistics instructors make the material seem absolutely painful." 

  • Sept 27: Law of Very Large Numbers "The unlikely is almost certain given enough tries"   Schield Excel demo.

  • Sept 24: How subtle factors in poll construction help determine polling results.  Carl Bialik, The Numbers Guy WSJ

  • Sept 20:  ACT: Mind the Gaps: How College Readiness Narrows Achievement Gaps in College Success" is the latest report to bring attention to the critical relationship between college readiness and college success. Chance of at least a B for students completing core curriculum vs. same chance for those with less: Intermediate Algebra (39% vs. 32%),  College Algebra (43% vs. 35%), Pre-calc/Finite (41% vs. 37%).   (The high-level report aims to shed light on the importance of better college preparation in high schools and the lasting impact it bears on a student’s success in college. "In 2009, 67 percent of ACT-tested high school graduates were ready for first-year college coursework in English Composition, 42 percent were ready for College Algebra, 53 percent were ready for social sciences coursework (i.e., History, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, and Economics) and 28 percent were ready for Biology (Figure 7). Just 23 percent were ready for college work in all four subject areas (ACT, 2009b)."  Executive Summary  Full Report.  See how racial and income gaps for college enrollment, first year high grades and re-enrollment vary with college readiness and math courses taken.  Fig 10, 12, 13, 17, 18, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31Achieve: Minding the (Expectations) Gap.

  • Sept 19: Marilyn Savant's Four Envelope ProblemSchield Excel demo of the solution.

  • Sep 10: Poynter Report, The New Media Landscape by Doug Bradshaw: "...journalists’ training will have to change. The profession has a history of arts graduates who are highly literate but not typically numerate. That has already been the source of ongoing embarrassment for the profession."  "There is a danger of ‘data churnalism’ – taking public statistics and visualising them in a spectacular way that lacks insight or context. Editors will need the statistical literacy to guard against this, or they will be found out."

  • Sept 7: Hahn-Doganaksoy, Numbers in Everyday Life: A Short Course for Adults, voted #1 at JSM.  6up

  • Sept 3: The Flu: It's about Variance Rebecca Goldin.  " the notion of average is itself misleading" because "the variance is so high."If you averaged the highs and lows of a rollercoaster, it wouldn’t be much of a thrill ride; same with the threat of flu."

  • Aug 28: Understanding Ag Statistics: NASS and FFA.  "USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service and the National FFA Organization have developed a new series of K- 12 online learning tools and outreach kits to increase statistical literacy in the classroom through the exploration and use of data from the 2007 Census of Agriculture. To access the materials for free, visit the FFA Learn web site."   Lesson Plans

  • Aug 10: Achieving the Possible 86% of voters support “college- and career-ready” graduation requirements for all high school students.  "Raising academic and graduation requirements means more students will drop out of high school."  57% of those with less than college education agree; 54% of those in states with CCR Graduation Requirements agree. Overall 49% agree (50% disagree). Poll Release  6up 

  • Aug 5-7:  MathFest 2010  Pittsburg, PA.  Quantitative Reasoning/Literacy:  The Role of Quantitative and Covariational Reasoning in Trigonometry Curriculum by Kevin Moore;  Quantitative Reasoning by Darcel Strayer; Current Events Friday by Kira Hamman 6up.   Minicourse: A Game Theory Path to Quantitative Literacy by David Housman and Rick Gillman.  Statistical literacy: Popular Media and Introductory Statistics by Karen Briggs 6up.  Analyzing Real Biomedical Data Using Scientific Writing and TI Calculators by Magdalena Luca.   SIGMAA QL Panel Discussion: Mathematics in Interdisciplinary Survey Courses.   Organizers: Cinnamon Hillyard and  Stuart Boersma.   Panelists: Maura Mast,  Mike Pinter, Robert Root, Natasha Dobrinen and Susan Goldstine.  Others:  Benford's Law, a Growth Industry by Kenneth Ross.    Zipf's Distribution in "Gadsby" by Ze Cheng.  An Examination of Student Attitudes in a Business Statistics Course by Deborah GougeonAbstracts

  • August:  Statistics for All — the Flip Side of Quantitative Reasoning  by J. Michael Shaughnessy, NCTM President.  "Over the years ... I’ve been increasingly impressed by how important statistical literacy has become for all of us around the globe. And statistics will only continue to become more critical in the future. Statistical literacy has risen to the top of my advocacy list, right alongside numeracy, and perhaps even ahead of “algebra for all.” By statistical literacy, I mean much more than just the ability to read graphs or compute means as representatives for data sets. I mean developing the ability to reason in the presence of, or under conditions of uncertainty. It may be that the most important quantitative reasoning ability of all is the facility to read and interpret statistical information and make informed inferences based on statistical and probabilistic information."  "Mathematical arguments are based on proof and certainty. There is beauty—and perhaps even comfort—in convincing mathematical arguments such as the proof that demonstrates that the amazing Pythagorean relationship holds among the sides of every right triangle, or that for any circle the ratio of the circumference to the diameter is equal to the same number, every time, no matter the size of the circle. This is beautiful stuff, and we clearly want all our students to understand and to bask in these elegant mathematical truths. However, unlike the reasoning behind this mathematics, statistical reasoning and sense making, by their very nature, occur under conditions of uncertainty. The twin sister of the “certainty” in mathematics is the “uncertainty” in statistics. We must prepare our students to deal with both types of quantitative reasoning as they grow in the mathematical sciences."

  • July 31 - Aug 5.  Joint Statistical Meeting of the American Statistical Association (Vancouver, BC)Program
    Sunday  Topics in causal inference:  Design of an Observational Study ... by Donald Rubin, Stephanie Schrag and Elizabeth Zel.
    Monday  Session Statistical Literacy 2010: Numbers in Everyday Life: A Short Course for Adults by Gerald Hahn, Necip Doganaksoy, Ricki Lewis, Jane Oppenlander and Josef Schmee 6up; Statistical Literacy and Time-series Information by Anders and Britt Wallgren 6up; The Undetectable Difference: An Experimental Look at the “Problem” of p-Values by Bill Goodman 6up; Probability in Decline by Dean Brooks 6up; and Teaching Statistical Literacy as a Quantitative Rhetoric Course by John Schmit 6up.
    Monday  Learning to Fly without a Net: Inferring Legal Causation by Herbert Weisberg.  Roundtable: Readings for Intro Stat Courses Organizer Veda Abu-Bakare. 
    Rethinking Statistics Courses - What to Let Go of? Panel: Deborah Rumsey, Allan Rossman, Beth Chance, Jessica Utts
    Tuesday Framing Specific Hypotheses: What's the Alternative? by Daniel Kaplan.  Interpreting Variability in Various Types of Graphs: How do Teachers' Recognize/Understand Variability? Linda Cooper.  Roundtable Statistical Literacy as a Separate Course from Introductory Statistics by Robert Molnar. 
    Wednesday  The Role of Statistics in Science and Everyday Life: A First Year Seminar by Jessica Chapman 1up.    Moving towards a QL core competency requirement by A. John Bailer 6up.     Assessment of QR Across a General Education Curriculum by Stephanie Cano, Nandini Kannan and Ermine Orta 1up.   The Social Construction of Rankings by Milo Schield. 6up  Session: Understanding Students' Attitudes. The Hidden Attitude: Students' Perceptions of "Statistics" Prior to Taking the First Course by Marjorie Bond and Gloria Lehr 6up.   Assessing Changes in Students' Attitudes: the good, the bad, and the ugly by Anne Millar and Candace Schau.   Session (509).  Adjusting for Treatment Disparities in Observational Research by Marshall Joffe. Roundtable:
    The Basics of the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education: Candace Schau.

  • July Join the ASA Statistical Literacy Grassroots Campaign: "The American Statistical Association requests your participation in our statistical literacy grassroots campaign. With preparation underway for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind), this is a wonderful opportunity to educate our elected leaders about statistical literacy, its benefits and the challenges toward achieving it." "If you are going to be at JSM, you are also invited to be part of a training session at 5 pm on Wednesday, August 4 in Convention Centre Meeting Room 9 (CC-9)." "We recognize that statistical literacy is a vital component of mathematics education."   Resources:   (1) "For Today's Graduate, Just One Word: Statistics," New York Times, August 5, 2009, front page. (2) Promoting Statistical Literacy one-pager.

  • July International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS-8 Ljubljana, Slovenia).  Keynote videos
    Plenary 1 Hans Rosling - What showbiz has to do with it.  Check out Gapminder.  See a video of Hans in action.
    Plenary 2 Jessica Utts - The strength of evidence versus the power of belief: Are we all Bayesians
    Plenary 3 Gerd Gigerenzer
    - Helping doctors and patients make sense of health statistics: towards an evidence-based society

    Session 1G Ograjenšek - Lies, damn lies, statistics:
     
    1G1 The compleat applied statistician: Donald Bentley (US).  
    1G2 Unintentional lies in the media: don’t blame journalists for what we don’t teach: Jessica Utts (US). 

    Session 4D Forester - Innovations in Teaching Statistics

    4D1 Real-Life Module Statistics Xiao-Li Meng (US). 
    4D3 Enriching Statistics courses with Statistical Diversions  Eric Sowey and Peter Petrocz (Australia)

    Session 5E Utts - Assessing statistical literacy:
     
    5E1 Assessing the interpretation of two-way tables as part of statistical literacy: Jane Watson, Erica Nathan (Australia). 
    5E3 Post secondary and adult statistical literacy: assessing beyond the classroom: Jennifer Kaplan (US)

    Session 7A Murphy - Statistics and the media
    :
    7A1 Association-Causation Problems in News Stories: Milo Schield (US) 6up
    7A2 Spinning heads and spinning news: the American media’s gap in quantitative reasoning skills: Rebecca Goldin (US).
    7A3 Statistics on national radio: some insights from working with professional broadcasters: Kevin McConway (UK).  

    Session 7G Schield - Statistics for non-quantitative majors:

    7G1 Using media reports to promote statistical literacy for non-quantitative majors by Stephanie Budgett, Maxine Pfannkuch (NZ). 
    7G2 Luring non-quantitative majors into advanced statistical reasoning (and luring statistics educators into real statistics): Nicholson et al. 
    7G3 Using a Five Step Framework for interpreting tables and graphs in their contexts: Marian Kemp and Barry Kissane (Australia). 
    7G4 How we can all learn to think critically about data: Ian Gordon, Sue Finch (Australia).

    9A3 People Reasoning with Information and Mis-Information Jim Ridgway et al. (UK)
    5D1 Statistics assessment the good, the bad, and the ugly  James Nicholson et al.  (UK)
    8J4: Understanding, teaching and using p values Geoff Cumming (Australia) 


    Special Interest Group: Critical Numeracy -- Statistical literacy:
    Critical Numeracy by Jane Watson (AU)  Statistical Literacy 2010: An Update by Milo Schield (US).
    ISLP International Statistical Literacy Project. 7H2 Improving Statistical Literacy by National and International Cooperation Helenius (Finland)

    Contributed Papers
    :
    C101 Dichotomous thinking: a problem beyond NHST: Jerry Lai (AU). 
    C104 Identifying misconceptions about confidence intervals: Pawel Kalinowski (Australia). 
    C143 The confidence intervals: a difficult matter, even for experts: Gabriel Yáñez Canal (Colombia).
    C153 Developmental changes in Australian school students’ interest for statistical literacy: Colin Carmichael and Ian Hay (Australia).
    C156 The American Psychological Association Publication Manual sixth edition: implications for statistics education: Fiona Fidler (Australia). 
    C158 Teachers’ perceptions of best practice in statistical literacy education: Ian Hay (Australia). 
    C159 Aspects of statistical literacy ...: empirical research in the project “RIKO-STAT”: Kuntze, Engel, Martignon andn Gundlach (Germany).
    C165 Creating YouTube videos that engage students and enhance learning in statistics and Excel  Nicola Petty (NZ)
    C166 Interpreting literacy and numeracy testing reports: what do teachers need to know? Robyn Pierce and Helen Chick (Australia). 
    C193 Teaching strategies to promote statistical literacy: review and implementation: Svetlana Tishkovskaya (UK).
    C202 Hidden jargon: everyday words with meanings specific to statistics  Christine Anderson-Cook (US). 
    C206 Enhancing statistical literacy through short open-ended questions that involve context, data, & upper level thinking: Esfandiari et al
    C258 Ethical-political aspects of statistical literacy: Karen François (Belgium).
    C265 Is median an easy concept? Semiotic analysis of an open-ended task  Silvia Mayén (Mexico) and Carmen Díaz (Spain).   
     

  • June. 2010-11 ISLP Statistical Literacy Poster Competition.   Form and Phases. ISLP Personnel: Executive, Advisory Board and Country representatives. ICOTS (July 12): ISLP open-meeting agenda

  • June. AACU includes "Quantitative Literacy" and "Information Literacy" in 12 "Essential Learning Outcomes"

  • June. U. of Edinburgh PhD Studentship Re-defining statistical literacy in teaching statistics to undergraduate medical students

  • May 15.  Assessment Methods in Statistical Education: An International ComparisonWiley (pb, $82).
    Edited by P. Bidgood, N. Hunt and F. Jolliffe.  Part B on Assessing Statistical Literacy includes Ch 6: Assessing statistical thinking by Jolliffe; Ch 7: Assessing important learning outcomes in introductory tertiary statistics courses by Garfield, delMas and Zieffler; Ch 9. Assessing students’ statistical literacy by Budgett and Pfannkuch; Ch 11 Assessing statistical literacy: Take CARE by Schield: Excerpts.

  • May  Letters from ASA Presidents to NC Senators asking for their help to promote statistical literacy
    "Statistical literacy ... is important because of our society’s growing dependence on data and the accompanying importance of reasoning under uncertainty. Media sources confront us with statistical information on topics such as the economy, education, food, medicine, climate change, security, public opinion, entertainment, and social behavior. Statistical literacy skills—including data analysis strategies, critical thinking, and other related concepts— help guide our decisions and enable us to meet our responsibilities as citizens."  "We would welcome a discussion with you or your staff about how we can work together to promote statistical literacy... Excellence in mathematics education that includes statistical literacy is vital to our nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness, and homeland security in the 21st century."  Signed by four ASA Presidents: James O. Berger, Alan F. Karr, Sally C. Morton, and Sastry G. Pantula
    .   Attached document: Statistical Literacy in PreK-12 Education.

  • April 25: Chances Are by Steven Strogatz, NY Times Opinionator.    "Perhaps the most pulse-quickening topic of all is “conditional probability” — the probability that some event A happens, given (or “conditional” upon) the occurrence of some other event B. It’s a slippery concept, easily conflated with the probability of B given A. They’re not the same, but you have to concentrate to see why."

  • April 19: Clive Thompson on Why We Should Learn the Language of Data.  "Statistics is the new grammar."

  • April: Modeling Quantitative Literacy by Jesse L. M. Wilkins Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. "In this study, exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis were used to build and evaluate a measurement model of quantitative literacy. Data from the Second International Mathematics Study (SIMS) were used to create calibration (N = 1,429) and validation samples (N = 1,429) of high school students for testing an initial model and cross-validation. An additional sample of high school students (N = 1,429) collected from the midwestern part of the United States was used in a replication study. In each stage, a hierarchical three-factor model was compared with two alternative rival models: a one-factor model and a hierarchical two-factor model. The results of the analyses supported the structure of the hierarchical three-factor model. Implications and limitations associated with the findings from the study are discussed."

  • April: New data visualization tool from Tableau Public at www.tableausoftware.com. Not only does it facilitate the display of any user's data, it allows one to see the relationship between two variables in a geographic layout. See the US Under-Funded Public Pension map by state where the size of the circle indicates the amount under-funded and the color indicates the under-funding rate: www.tableausoftware.com/public/gallery/mish-pension-viz

  • March: Odds Are, It's Wrong: Science fails to face the shortcomings of statistics by Tom Sigfried in Science News. 

  • March 10: Draft K-12 Common Core State Standards Available for Comment.  The Common Core State Standards [for English and Mathematics] provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. Downloads. Teams.  The mathematics work team included Bernard Madison, Deborah Hughes Hallett and Richard Scheaffer. The mathematics feedback group included Hyman Bass and Roxy Peck.

  • March: Delving Deeper: Sizing Up Class Size: A Deeper Classroom Investigation of Central Tendency
    By Larry Lesser -- published in The Mathematics Teacher. An investigation of average class size introduces the difference between mean- per-class and mean-per-student. Learn about self-weighted means and the inspection paradox.   Dec. 2009, Vol 103, Issue 5, Page 376.

  • Feb 5: Confounded -- a poem by Larry Lesser -- published in The Mathematical Intelligencer by Springer.
    According to Larry, "the 'Peterson roll' is a common way a wrestler scores a 'reversal' to go from bottom to top in one move."

  • Jan 31: LA Times Opinion on the need for Quantitative Literacy: But Who's Counting? by Doug SmithQuotes from Lynn Steen and Milo Schield.

  • Jan 13-16.  MAA-AMS Joint Mathematics Meeting, San Francisco.
    SIGMAA-QL 2009 Survey: Quantitative Graduation Requirements at US Four-Year Colleges by Milo Schield  6up
    An Across-The-Curriculum Approach to Quantitative Literacy in Environmental Studies, Ben Steele et al. Colby-Sawyer College.  6up
    Modeling Radon in Pennsylvania by Mike Huber, Muhlenberg College  6up

  • Jan 8: Common Standards and New Assessments for K12: Recommendations from the National Forum convened by the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences.  Comment: "a widespread reaction to the draft standards was that the standard for mathematical practice is extremely ambitious, but the content described by the ten content standards would be insufficient for a student entering college with the intent to major in STEM."  Recommendations: "Be explicit that students intending to major in STEM will need mathematical content beyond that described in the standards. Include more statistics and emphasis on quantitative literacy." "Make use of available research in creating the standards."

Our Top Statistical Literacy Books as of 2010

Popular books

Choice based solely on the opinion of the StatLit webmaster

Rank,  Author, (Date) and Title [Ordered somewhat by date]

  1. Lynn Steen (2001), Mathematics and Democracy: The Case for Q/L

  2. Joel Best (2002), Damned Lies and Statistics

  3. Joel Best (2004), More Damned Lies and Statistics

  4. Darrell Huff (1954), How To Lie with Statistics

  5. Edward Tufte (1983), The Visual Display of Quantitative Information 2nd ed.

  6. Lynn Steen, Ed (1990), On The Shoulder’s Of Giants: New Approaches to Numeracy

  7. Lynn Steen (1997) Why Numbers Count: Q/L for Tomorrow’s America

  8. John Paulos (1988), Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy

  9. John Allen Paulos (1993), once upon a number: hidden mathematical logic of stories

  10. Edward Tufte (1995), Visual Explanations

  11. Howard Wainer (2000), Visual Revelations

  12. Robyn Dawes (2001), Everyday Irrationality

  13. Murray, Schwartz & Lichter (2001). How Media Make & Unmake ... Reality.

  14. Howard Wainer (2005), Graphic Discovery: A Trout in the Milk

  15. Gerd Gigerenzer (2002), Calculated Risks: Numbers Deceive You

  16. Lynn Arthur Steen (2004), Achieving Quantitative Literacy

Broad Academic books (excluding textbooks)

Choice based solely on the opinion of the StatLit webmaster:

Rank,  Author, (Date) and Title [Ordered somewhat by date]

  1. Hans Zeisel (1947), Say It With Figures

  2. Stanley Lieberson (1985), Making It Count

  3. Victor Cohn (1989), News and Numbers

  4. Stephen K. Campbell (1974), Flaws and Fallacies in Statistical Thinking

  5. Phillip Meyer (1991), The New Precision Journalism

  6. A. K. Dewdney (1995), 200% of Nothing

  7. John Allen Paulos (1995), A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper

  8. John Brignell (2000), Sorry, Wrong Number

  9. Jane Miller (2004), The Chicago Guide to Writing About Numbers

  10. Sarah Cohen (2001), Numbers in the Newsroom: Math and Statistics in the News

  11. John Brignell (2004), The Epidemiologists

  12. Jane Miller (2005), The Chicago Guide to Writing About Multivariate Analysis
  13. Michael Blastland ():  The Tiger That Isn't

  14. Kaiser Fung (): Numbers Rule Your World

  15. Richard Gillman (2006),  Current Practices in Quantitative Literacy

  16. Roxy Peck et al., (2009), Making Sense of Statistical Studies

OTHER TOP BOOKS (as of Dec 2010)

Narrower Academic Books (Excluding Textbooks)

Selected by the StatLit Webmaster

Rank    Author and Title

  1. Nassem Taleb:  Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance

  2. Hubbard"  How to Measure Anything: Valuing Intangibles in Business

  3. Edward Tufte:  Envisioning Information

  4. Stephen Few:  Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques

  5. Othmar Winkler (2009),  Interpreting Economic and Social Data

  6. Herbert Weisberg (2010).  Bias and Causation

  7. Jane M. Watson (2006), Statistical Literacy at School

  8. Gerald Bracey (2006), Reading Educational Research

  9. Doll (2011). Assessment Methods in Statistical Education, Wiley

  10. Donna Wong ():  WSJ Guide to Information Graphics

#2. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed Methods Creswell
Murnane+Willett (2099).  Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference ...

Textbooks

Selected by the StatLit Webmaster

Rank    Author and Title

  1. Utts: Seeing Through Statistics

  2. Madison et al., QR: A case book of media articles

  3. Whitin ():  Learning to Read the Numbers

 

 

 

AMAZON's TOP STATISTICS/QR/QL TEXTBOOKS as of 2010

Ranks based on sales rankings at Amazon.com as of Feb 5, 2011.

These rankings fluctuate daily and don't include sales made directly by publishers to bookstores.  Rankings via www.salesrankexpress.com

Rank    Author and Title

2,064  Triola: Elementary Statistics

2,370  Salkind: Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics

3,201  Field: Discovering Statistics Using SPSS

3,984  Gonick and Smith: Cartoon Guide to Statistics

4,251  Triola: Essentials of Statistics

4,292  Moore: The Basic Practice of Statistics 5th

4,611  Gravetter  et al: Essentials of Statistics Behavioral Sciences 7th

5,287  Donnelly: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Statistics 2nd ed.

5,537  Agresti, Franklin: Statistics: Art/Science Learning from Data 2nd

6,674  Rumsey:  Statistics for Dummies I

7,653  Moore, McCabe, Craig: Introduction to the Practice of Statistics

8,165  Bluman: Elementary Statistics: A Step By Step Approach

10.564  Freedman, Pisani and Purves: Statistics

11,505  Burger and Starbird: Heart of Mathematics

13,762  Miller, Heeren and Hornsby: Mathematical Ideas 11th

16,094  Voelker, Orton and Adams: Statistics (Cliffs Quick Review)

17,925  Urdan: Statistics in Plain English 2nd

18,025  Utts: Seeing Through Statistics

18,768  Sullivan: Fundamentals of Statistics 3rd

18,891  Brase & Brase Understandable Statistics 9th (Understanding Basic)

22,388  Witte and Witte: Statistics 9th

29,260  Agresti & Finlay: Statistical Methods for Social Sciences 4th

32,338  COMAP: For All Practical Purposes: Mathematical Literacy ...

34,180  Moore, McCabe et al The Practice of Business Statistics 2nd

36,908  Moore and Notz: Concepts and Controversies 7th

41,477  McClave, Sincich and Mendenhall: Statistics 11th

43,870  Aufmann and Lockwood: Mathematical Thinking and QR

45,377  Sullivan:  Statistics: Informed Decisions Using Data 2nd

55,067  McClave and Benson: Statistics for Business Economics 11th

59,827  Bennet & Briggs: Using & Understanding Math: QR Approach 4th

72,400  Johnson: Statistics: Principles and Methods 6th

82,526  Howell: Fundamental Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences 7th

103,556  Bennet, Briggs, Triola: Statistical Reasoning For Everyday Life 3

106,673  Sprinthall: Basic Statistical Analysis 8th

112,323  Nolan and Heinzen: Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences 1st

132,308  Hand:  Statistics -- A Very Short Introduction

137,904  Utts and Heckard: Mind on Statistics 3rd 770p.

138,161  Rossman, Chance: Workshop Statistics with Data

138,507  Kiess, Green: Statistical Concepts for Behavioral Sciences 4th

146,688  Woloshin-Schwartz-Welch Know Your Chances,Health Statistics

240,913  Pearson: Statistical Persuasion:..Collect, Analyze, Present Data

379,621  Sevilla and Somers: QR: Tools for Today's Citizen  1st

434,337  Larson and Farber: Elementary Statistics: Picturing the World

443,667  Rossman-Chance-Lock: Workshop Statistics: Data and Fathom

510,906  Utts and Heckard: Statistical Ideas and Methods 1st

544,893  Langkamp and Hull: QR and the Environment 1st

649,806  Rossman, Chance: Investigating Statistical Concepts ... 1st

882,205  Greenleaf: Quantitative Reasoning: Understanding Nature 2nd

1,093,508  Fusaro, Kenschaft: Environmental Math in the Classroom 1st

1,566,752  Sons: Mathematical Thinking & Quantitative Reasoning 4th

1,973,077 Madison et al., QR: A case book of media articles

2,339,036  Bennett and Briggs: Themes of the Times on QL 4th

2,400,224  Pierce, Wright, Roland: Mathematics for Life: ... QL

2,784,024  Abramson and Isom: Literacy and Mathematics 1st

3,175,710 Bennett, Briggs: Essentials of Using and Understanding Math 2

4,175,755  Richman et al: Mathematics for Liberal Arts

5,091,669  Burkhart: Quantitative and Qualitative Reasoning Skills

TOP STATLIT-SITE PAPERS VIEWED IN 2010

Papers with over 400 views at www.StatLit.org in 2010.

Total downloads: (207,000 in 2010, 184,000 in 2009; 106,000 in 2008).  Numbers in parenthesis are (2010; 2009; 2008) counts.
2010: The StatLit website hosts 679 pdfs including 158 pdfs of slides.

  1. Percentage Graphs in USA Today. Milo Schield 2006 ASA (10,664; 13253; 14247; 8809).  Inception to date: 47,552.

  2. The Cult of Statistical Significance by Stephen Ziliak and Deirdre McCloskey  2009 ASA 6up 4up (3972; 999)

  3. Importance and Measurement of Pre-Service Teachers' Efficacy to Teach Statistics...    2009 ASA Harrell et al. (2,506)

  4. Q/R Textbooks  StatLit Q/R textbook web-page (2234; 1532)

  5. Interpreting the substantive significance of multivariate regression coefficients by Jane Miller 2008 ASA (2094; 1412)

  6. Presenting Confounding Graphically Using Standardization (2084; 1985; 1616). Milo Schield, 2006 Draft for Stats magazine

  7. Exploring Simpson's Paradox. Larry Lesser (Univ. Texas, El Paso) NCTM 2001 (2043[11]; 2844; 913)

  8. Univ. Texas San Antonio: Quantitative Scholarship - Final Draft    Press Release 2009 (2000[11], 1174)

  9. Developing statistical literacy with students and teachers in the secondary mathematics classroom.  PhD Thesis. Doyle (1811[9])

  10. The Components of Numeracy. Ginsburg, Manly & Schmitt 2006 NCSALL (1809[8]; 466; 235)

  11. Some Difficulties Learning Histograms. Carl Lee & Maria Meletiou-Mavrotheris ASA 2003 (1792; 991; 1179)

  12. Statistical Literacy Textbook: Introduction 2009 M Schield (1209[9])

  13. Three Paradoxes. Howard Wainer and Lisa Brown, Nat. Board of Med. Examiners. Draft American Statistician 2004 (1084[10]; 315; 750)

  14. Sencer 2009 Statistics Symposium Program.  Metropolitan State U.[1078[5]; 282]

  15. Statistical Literacy: An Online Course at Capella University. Marc Isaacson (Augsburg College) 2005 ASA (1054[10]; 902; 1202)

  16. Quantity Words Without Numbers: Why Students use "Many". Milo Schield 2005 Carleton (889[6] 1863; 2090)

  17. Social Mathematics in US Civics Curriculum. James Mauch dissertation 2005 (858[7]; 442; 470)

  18. Statistical Literacy & Mathematical Thinking. Milo Schield 2000 ICME (753[7]; 681; 997)

  19. Bracey Principles by Gerald Bracey 2006 (702[6]; 312)

  20. Pedagogical Challenges of Quantitative Literacy. Bernie Madison, President of NNN,  2006 ASA (690[7]; 476; 468)

  1. Just Plain Data Analysis: Common Statistical Fallacies.... Gary Klass (Illinois State University) 2008 ASA (654[6]; 991; 499)

  2. Connections between Experimental and non-experimental designs by Elizabeth Stuart  2009 ASA 1up  (637[6]; 150)

  3. Ambiguity Intolerance: An Impediment to Inferential Reasoning?  Robert Carver 2006 ASA (624[5]; 797)

  4. Statistics for Political Science Majors. Gary Klass 2004 ASA (596[6]; 765; 215)

  5. People Count: The Social Construction of Statistics.  Joel Best 2002 Presented at ASA (554[5]; 803; 1,087)

  6. Teaching the Social Construction of Statistics by Milo Schield, 2007 Midwest Sociological Society (462[5]; 340; 754)

  7. Frequency of Simpson's Paradox in NAEP Data. Jim Terwilliger & Milo Schield, 2004 AERA (448[3]; 1070; 678)

  8. Accuracy and Apparent Accuracy in Medical Testing by Stuart Boersma and Teri Willlard 6up slides 2009 NNN (421[4]; 781)

Number of months tracked in brackets [#] if less than 12.  Excludes papers tracked less than 3 months or having less than 400 downloads.

 

New Papers in 2010:

  1. How We can All Learn to Think Critically About Data. 2010 Ian Gordon and Sue Finch, Univ. of Melbourne.  (714[4])

  2. A Five Step Framework for Interpreting Tables and Graphs in Their Contexts.  2010 Marian Kemp & Barry Kissane Murdoch U. (607[5])

  3. The Undetectable Difference: An Experimental Look at the “Problem” of p-Values.  ASA 6up 2010  Goodman. (371[2])

  4. Teaching Statistical Literacy as Quantitative Rhetoric. ASA 2010 John Schmit 6up (279[2])

  5. The Social Construction of Rankings. ASA 2010 Milo Schield 6up (194[2])

  6. World Statistics Day Resolution 10/10/10.  United Nations (146[1])

  7. Association-Causation Problems in News Stories. ICOTS 2010 Milo Schield (107[1])

  8. The NeoLiberal Arts -- Statistical Literacy.  Wired magazine 2010 (102[1]).

  9. Quantitative Graduation Requirements at US Four-Year Colleges. 2010 MAA JMM 6up by Milo Schield (102[1])

  10. Statistical Literacy for Managers Analyzing Time Series Data. ASA 2010 Anders and Britt Wallgren Örebro University and Statistics Sweden 6up (100[1])

TOP STATLIT-SITE PAGES VIEWED IN 2010

Top StatLit Pages Viewed at www.StatLit.org in 2010
(####; ###; ###): page views in 2010; 2009; 2008.
  1. Welcome (23,159; 15,729; 10,423):  Home Page: Current

  2. Adult Numeracy (5,007; 2,467; 1,987): News on adult numeracy.

  3. StatLit News 2009 (4,869):  Stat-Lit News from 2009.

  4. Joel Best (4,794; 3,481; 3,118): Author "Damned Lies & Statistics"

  5. StatLit News 2008 (3,333; 2,634):  Stat-Lit News from 2008.

  6. Standardizing (3,265; 2,434; 1,718): Excel displays standardizing.

  7. StatLit Papers (3,131; 2,837; 2,444): Papers and presentations.

  8. Howard Wainer (2,778; 2,127; 1,966): Author of "A Tout in the Milk".

  9. Q/L Textbooks (2,741; 2,484; 2,387): Q/R or Q/L textbook details.

  10. Gerald Bracey (2,655; 2,669; 2,035): "Reading Educational Research"

  11. StatLit News 2007 (2,552; 1,498; 1,928): Stat-Lit News in 2007.

  12. Q/L Books (2,074; 1,418; 1,459):  Q/L-related books (not texts).

  13. Gerd Gigerenzer (1,993*; 1,415; 1,503):  Author "Calculated Risks"

  14. StatLit News 2006 (1,971; 1,386; 1,523):  Stat-Lit News in 2006.

  15. John Paulos (1,935; 1,845; 1,669):  Author of "Numeracy".

  16. StatLit News 2004 (1,929; 1,191; 1,183: StatLit News from 2004

  17. W. M. Keck Statistical Literacy Survey (1,564*) 2002 Long version

  18. Q/L Activities (1,725*; 1,278; 1,378): Details Q/L-related activities.

Note: Website statistics are tabulated by the DeepMatrix program LiveStats® .XSP V8.03. Each month, the views for the top 25 website pages are tabulated.  Those pages that aren't in the top 25 that month are treated as having zero views.  Thus the annual totals for the most popular pages (e.g., Home page) are quite accurate, whereas those with the lowest ranks MAY BE understated.

* Pages with less than 12 months statistics are indicated by the asterisk (no adjustment). Pages with less than 9 months of statistics are omitted (except those that are student assigned during certain months).

In 2010, the StatLit web site has 47 pages: 34 in the main directory. Others include student-assigned pages (/GC) and the Keck Survey.

Navigation page views totaled (9,716; 9,522; 8,474): Statistical Literacy (2,729; 2,396; 2,100), StatLit News (1,836; 1,928; 1,863), Authors (1,980; 2,033; 1,860),  Statistical Reasoning (1,617*; 1,625; 1,425) and Numeracy (1,554*; 1,540; 1,226).

Student-assigned page-views [all via /GC] totaled 7,129 (3,907; 5,548). These included the grammar-checker programs (SLRSV.aspx; four versions) with 4,097 (1,988; 3,374) views and the Part-Whole program (PartWholeImages.aspx) with 3,032 (1,919; 2,169) views.   

TOP 10 STATLIT-SITE SEARCH-TERMS

Top 13 terms in search referrals to www.StatLit.org.
Search referrals (2010, 09; 08; 07)
 References shown are likely targets. 
Search phrases totals (14,022;  21,222).
  1. Joel Best (835; 1,147; 594): See Joel Best author page. [Billie Joel?]

  2. graphs (567; 654; 634): Schield Percentage Graphs in USA Today

  3. Howard Wainer (424;340; 110): See Howard Wainer author page.

  4. Statistical Literacy (341; 385; 249): See Statistical Literacy.

  5. Quantity words (317; 547; 264): Schield, Why Students Use 'Many'?

  6. Standardiz... (240; 100; 131):  Schield, Adjusting for Confounding Graphically.

  7. Numeracy and Math across curriculum (197; 75; 60): See Numeracy

  8. Significance, substantial and statistical (168)

  9. Gerald Bracey (162; 214; 94): See Gerald Bracey author page.

  1. Data (80)

  2. Simpson Paradox (45; 59; 54): Schield, "Adjust for Confounding Graphically".

  3. Social construction and ambiguity (38): See Schield, Teaching the Social Construction of Statistics

  4. quantitative reasoning (22; 33):  See Numeracy or Q/L

Each month, LiveStats ranks the search terms used and captures the top 20 with the associated number of referrals.  In 2010, this generated more than a hundred unique search terms with 2,950 visits (plus 11,160 Other) for a total of 14,110 total search referrals. These 92 search terms were grouped by search phrase  (so 'standardizing' and 'standardized' were counted together) into 30 groups.   Note that these numbers are very sensitive to how search terms are grouped into search phrases.  Note that most of the search referrals are tabulated under Other.

GOOGLE STATLIT-SITE RANKINGS

Google rated www.StatLit.org as the #1 site for Statistical Literacy for the 6th year. Google ranking (12/10) of www.StatLit.org.

When two words are shown, they are searched as a phrase.

#1:  Statistical literacy, Joel Best, Howard Wainer, Bernie Madison, Othmar Winkler, statistical prevarication, chance grammar, percentage graphs, social construction statistics, spurious association, statistical doublespeak, statistical paradoxes, data literacy and StatLit.

#2:  Dennis Haack, Milo Schield, statistically literate, social construction rankings

#3:  percentage grammar, adult numeracy

Top 10: journalistic significance (5), standardizing (6), USA Today graphs (6), interpreting doublespeak (6), John Paulos (6), Gerald Bracey (6),  multivariate thinking (7), quantity words (8), data literacy (8), Jane Miller statistics (9), David Phyllis Whitin (9), Marc Isaacson statistics (10).

Top 30: Simpson's paradox (13), innumeracy (15), Gigerenzer (17), Lynn Steen (21), numeracy (21), statistical reasoning (26).

Top 100 (estimated ranking): statistical illiteracy (32), confounding (37), confounder (43), statistically illiterate (46), quantitative literacy (64), quantitative reasoning (65), statistical education (70), social construction (75), Katherine Wallman (80), Marc Isaacson (90).

This site was not in the first 100 for chance, confound, confounded, critical thinking, effect size, financial literacy, graphs, health literacy, health numeracy, induction, information literacy, interaction, Jane Watson, randomness, significance, spurious, standardization, statistics or Take care.

Process: Search on phrase (in quotes); Find "StatLit.org" on page.

TOP 10 DOMAIN REFERRAL SITES

Search Engines rankings (by hits?)  Total (2010): 61,557 (8,563 Other)

#0:  11,393  www.dailyspeculations.com [linked to a picture]

#1:  10,510   www.google.com

#2:   8,563   ilt.ilstu.edu

#3:   1,263    www.google.co.uk

#4:    1,165   search.yahoo.com

#5:    1,056   www.bing.com

#6:    1,040   www.google.co.in

#7:      833    www.google.ca

#8:      724   picsdigger.com

#9       600   www.google.com.au

#10:    393   mathforum.org

This site was last updated 11/18/14