Key Success Factors for Statistical Literacy Poster Competitions

Steve MacFeely, Pedro Campos, and Reija Helenius

Statistical literacy is complex and multifaceted. In every country, education and
numeracy are a function of a multitude of factors including culture, history, and
societal norms. Nevertheless, since the launch of the International Statistical Poster
Competition (ISLP) in 1994, a number of patterns have emerged to suggest there are
some common or universal success factors in running statistical literacy competitions
involving schools, universities, statistical offices, and many other institutions. This
paper outlines some of those factors, such as institutional cooperation, celebrating
participation and success, improvement of statistical literacy in the local schools,
support for teachers, the involvement of national statistics institutes, and use of
technology. These factors have been identified from our own experience running the
competition and from articles submitted to the ISLP newsletters. Statistical literacy is
a complex phenomenon, and so this is neither an exhaustive list of key factors nor a
formula for success, but rather an overview of recurring themes across countries
participating in the competition around the world.