Groupwork Pedagogy for Addressing Classroom Social Inequalities

Alana Unfried & Judith Canner (California State University, Monterey Bay)


When teaching introductory statistics, we do not have control over the varied mathematical and statistical backgrounds of our students. This can lead to inequitable participation and success within the statistics classroom. In Fall 2018, we adopted Complex Instruction as the primary pedagogy of our introductory statistics courses to effectively support student learning in such a mathematically-diverse environment. Complex Instruction is a combination of pedagogical strategies that attend to problems of social inequality in the classroom through intentionally designed participation structures and group-worthy tasks. If left unaddressed, social inequality can inhibit student success in the classroom because of preconceived notions about what they can achieve. Through Complex Instruction, everyone can succeed in introductory statistics, regardless of mathematical background. This breakout session will discuss the practice of Complex Instruction, as well as give practical tips on effectively implementing this pedagogical strategy in order to Engage Everyone in statistics.