1B: Evaluating and Improving Textbook Examples Involving Race, Ethnicity, Sex, and Gender

With Lauren Samuels (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine)


The examples, case studies, and problems in many statistics textbooks use outdated understandings of race, ethnicity, sex, and gender. In using these examples uncritically, we may inadvertently be a) teaching bad science and b) creating classroom environments that are unwelcoming to some of our students. This session aims to provide the following: first, a better sense of the messages our textbooks send, directly or indirectly, about human race, ethnicity, sex, and gender; second, ideas about how to improve textbook examples, case studies, and problems so that they present more accurate versions of these constructs; and third, ideas about how to share findings from the session with others.

This session will begin with a presentation on current scientific understandings of race, ethnicity, sex, and gender. Following the presentation, we will evaluate textbook examples and problems shared by participants and discuss ways of improving them. In the final portion of the session, we will discuss strategies for sharing our findings. The intended audience is anyone who uses a statistics textbook that contains examples or problems involving human beings. No background knowledge or experience required, but if possible, participants should have one or more statistics textbooks available in print or electronic format during the session.