P3-09: Understanding dynamic, multivariate data about society: How can we teach civic statistics?

By Iddo Gal (University of Haifa, Israel)


How can we prepare students to understand statistical data and findings about trends or changes in key societal issues such as regarding demographics, crime, unemployment, wage equality, migration, health, well-being, and other areas of importance to society? This paper sketches in broad strokes some ideas regarding the emerging sub-field of 'civic statistics', based on insights from ProCivicStat, a collaborative project of six universities in five countries funded by the European Commission’s ERASMUS+ program.

Our analyses suggests that civic statistics involve unique features, such as the importance of understanding multivariate dynamic phenomena in a meaningful social context, comprehension of rich texts and rich visualizations, and other demands. These and related task demands are not emphasized in traditional intro statistics course, and downplayed even in the recent GAISE 2016 recommendations. Based on our analysis, we have developed a new model describing eleven knowledge bases and enabling processes that are needed so that citizens can comprehend, critically evaluate, and engage with civic statistics, and discuss implications for learning goals and learning processes.


For more information about ProCivicStat, see: www.procivicstat.org. This website contains details of new conceptual frameworks, teaching materials for high-school and college instructors, worksheets for students, datasets with stories and suggestions for class activities, visualization guides, and many other publications, all geared to promote the teaching, learning and understanding of civic statistics.


We welcome questions, comments and suggestions - see the "Contacts" menu on the ProCivicStat website, or write to:

Planned website move:

The ProCivicStat materials will move in Fall 2018 from the website listed above, and will be hosted by the International Association for Statistics Education (IASE), as part of the International Statistical Literacy Project (ISLP) resources webpage, here: http://iase-web.org/islp.