Becoming statistically literate

The seminar is accessible through zoom - everyone is welcome to attend 


Camilla Østergaard, PhD-student at KU


“Are we physically active?” and “Can we affect climate change, if we change our eating habits?” are two generative questions setting the stage for students’ engagement in ‘questioning the world’. The questions are the starting point for students’ inquiry. They are genuine in the sense that they are not a mere excuse to visit some specific school material. But the generative questions do not drive the inquiry process alone.

At the seminar I present some first results of my investigations into how study and research paths and educational statistics software may be combined to develop statistical literacy in primary and lower secondary school.

Statistical literacy involves both perceptive capacities like being a critical reader of statistical claims, and productive ones, like constructing, collecting, analysing, interpreting, presenting and protecting data. Digital tools offer several affordances, but the use of digital tools also raises new questions about the interaction between “using others’ answers” (accessing media) and “autonomous investigation” (creating and interacting with a milieu).

I  present and discuss how primary and lower secondary school students investigate complex generative questions: how they use media, analyse data using a dynamic data visualization and modelling tool, how they pose new questions and justify their own answers (based on inferences from data) - and how these statistical answers are products of the dialectic between media and milieu. I analyse the cases using so-called Q&A diagrams to illustrate the dynamic between media and milieu.