Telling Stories, Landing Planes and Getting Them Moving – A Holistic Approach to Developing Students’ Statistical Literacy

Julie Scott Jones and John E. Goldring

The issue of poor statistical literacy amongst undergraduates in the United Kingdom is well documented. At university level, where poor statistics skills impact particularly on social science programmes, embedding is often used as a remedy. However, embedding represents a surface approach to the problem. It ignores the barriers to learning that students bring to class, which may not always be addressed solely through embedding, such as, mathematics anxiety. Instead, embedding can only work within a much deeper pedagogic model that places students at its heart, as active participants in learning. This paper examines the development of such a model within a large sociology programme, where there was an implementation of a range of pedagogic strategies to support the development of students’ statistical literacy.

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