Developing Statistical Literacy in the Final School Year

Stephanie Budgett and Drusilla Rose

Statistical information pervades everyday life in the twenty-first century.
Research shows, however, that the skills needed to be able to understand and
critically evaluate statistical information must be specifically taught. In 2013, an
externally assessed National Certificate in Educational Achievement standard in
statistical literacy was introduced for the first time in New Zealand. A small
exploratory study investigated a possible teaching approach designed to enable Year-
13 students (aged 17-18) to critically evaluate media reports. Findings suggest that
the learning trajectory required several key components including media reports as
both a motivational and conceptual development tool. In addition, computer
visualizations and procedural scaffolds appeared valuable tools for facilitating
conceptual understanding of the margin of error.

The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education